I have been blessed to serve with the 13th South Judicial District as a Court Appointed Special Advocate as a volunteer advocate for the past six months. CASA is a national organization that helps children in foster care find a safe, permanent home so they can begin building a better future for themselves. CASA Advocates are volunteers who give their time to be a stable adult in the life of a foster child who is facing constant change and uncertanty. Here is CASA's story:
In 1976, Superior Court Judge David Soukup of Seattle, WA, saw a recurring problem in his courtroom:
In criminal and civil cases, even though there were always many different points of view, you walked out of the courthouse at the end of the day and you said, 'I've done my best; I can live with this decision,' he explains.
"But when you're involved with a child and you're trying to decide what to do to facilitate that child's growth into a mature and happy adult, you don't feel like you have sufficient information to allow you to make the right decision. You can't walk away and leave them at the courthouse at 4 o'clock. You wonder, 'Do I really know everything I should? Have I really been told all of the different things? Is this really right?'"
To ensure he was getting all the facts and the long-term welfare of each child was being represented, the Seattle judge came up with an idea that would change America's judicial procedure and the lives of thousands of children. He obtained funding to recruit and train community volunteers to step into courtrooms on behalf of the children: the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers.
This unique concept was implemented in Seattle as a pilot program in January 1977. During that first year, the program provided 110 trained CASA volunteers for 498 children in 376 dependency cases.
Today, the National CASA Association represents over 950 CASA programs across the country in every state, including Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It provides support for starting programs, technical assistance, training, and fundraising, media, and public awareness services.
To learn more about 13th South CASA and National CASA, visit the following website:
In my journey to becoming an IRONMAN, I want to make the road there about more than just myself. I hope to raise 3000 dollars before raceday on May 16th for the 13th South CASA, and I hope that you consider donating to this wonderful organization. Any donation is appreciated, and thank you so much for your time!
Through The IRONMAN® Foundation's Your Journey, Your CauseTM program, athletes will have the opportunity to identify a non-profit beneficiary as part of their journey to become an IRONMAN and race for a cause. The IRONMAN Foundation has established a fundraising program that will provide athletes with all of the tools necessary to enable fundraising efforts while supporting the mission of their organization. Athletes can choose any non-profit organization as the beneficiary of their fundraising efforts.