by LINDA FRABL | photos by Samantha Gleaton Photography

Voices for Children

volunteer_paynter1After retiring as a teacher, Elizabeth “Bette” Paynter of the Aviara community continued to substitute and tutor students part time, but she admitted, “I was still looking for a volunteer position that would match my passion for children.” She found it serving as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Voices for Children (VFC), a San Diego County nonprofit organization that believes every foster child deserves a safe and permanent home. Bette revealed, “I feel a sense of purpose, an abundance of satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment as a CASA. I can impact a child’s life by making positive and needed recommendations.”

As a CASA, Bette advocates for her assigned child’s best interest in court, providing detailed and informed recommendations in a court report to ensure that the judge knows everything about that child’s case. Whether she’s simply requesting an appointment with an orthodontist or suggesting a supervised visit with a family member, Bette stated, “My biggest accomplishment is that I know I’ve made a difference in the lives of these children.”
The children Bette represents often have trust issues because they haven’t had reliable authority figures in their lives. Bette proclaimed, “Observing the children moving towards trust and honesty is truly a rewarding aspect of volunteering, and I’m always encouraging them to seek the best in themselves. With patience, persistence, and unconditional love and care, I have seen the fear, anger, and confusion slowly slip away.”


Name: Elizabeth (Bette) Paynter
Community: Aviara
Volunteer Affiliation: Voices for Children
Family: Husband – J.P. Paynter, children and grandchildren
Hobbies: Reading, traveling, golfing, hiking


 

volunteer_paynter2In addition to meeting with her assigned case child twice a month, Bette also meets with her three-year-old great granddaughter every Wednesday, and they attend the Carlsbad Dove Library’s storytime together. Bette is graced with three daughters, and aside from her great granddaughter, she also has two granddaughters. Her husband, J.P., also has a granddaughter (with another granddaughter on the way!). Bette exclaimed, “Our family has felt much joy and gratitude with the arrival of each of these beautiful girls!”

When she isn’t caring for children in all capacities, Bette loves to travel with J.P. They frequently visit Ireland, J.P.’s homeland, and also have a home in Palm Desert. The happy couple also travels to Kauai once a year. At the moment, Bette insisted, “I don’t seem to have time to retire!” Busy with VFC, Bette extends a plea for others to either donate or volunteer towards the worthy cause.


Group: Voices for Children
Mission: Voices for Children transforms the lives of abused children in San Diego County by providing them with a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). They believe that every child deserves a safe and permanent home, and to that end will review and monitor every court file in the system, provide a CASA to every child in the foster care system who needs one, and advocate to improve the lives of San Diego County’s foster children.
Website: www.speakupnow.org
Phone: 858-569-2019
General Questions: info@speakupnow.org
Volunteer Inquiries: volunteer@speakupnow.org