EVENT DATE: Apr 07, 2017
Emily, Janika, Lisa, Anthony, Jacob.
These are the five kids that I have personally served as a CASA volunteer - just 5 of the thousands of kids we have served at CASA of Santa Barbara County in the past 10 years.
You probably know that I am the Executive Director of CASA for Children of Santa Barbara County. I feel so fortunate to lead this organization, with amazing associates who, like me, are dedicated to making sure that every abused and/or neglected child has the chance to be safe, loved, and to have someone who will support their right to create a future that does not have to echo their past.
But being an advocate is the most important thing I’ve done. Supporting the kids I’ve served, and making sure that they were safe, is the most rewarding volunteer work I have ever done.
Will you consider sponsoring me? I set a goal of raising $1000 for each of the kids I’ve served, and with that contribution we will be able to recruit and train 5 new volunteers.
Just think – if each of those new volunteers also serve 5 kids over time, we will have impacted the lives of another 25 children. With your donation of $10, $20, or more, you can help me reach my goal.
And remember - CASA is always looking for more volunteers! Contact me to find out how you can get started!
Here is an excerpt from a story I wrote about one of the kids I served:
When I first met Jacob, he jumped in my car with a question – “Did you know I have a plan?”
Seriously, I was hooked. I wanted to know his plan, and I wanted to know how I could help him achieve his goals.
“While I wait to be adopted, I’m going to work hard in school so that I get good grades so that I can join the Air Force division of the Army” said my 10 (almost 11) year old new friend.
Before he was in foster care, Jacob lived on the streets, and sometimes in homeless shelters, with his mother and younger siblings. Abandoned by his father, and with his mother suffering mental illness and drug addiction, Jacob never knew what safety looked like. Jacob is a survivor though. I have never met a more resilient child. Despite the chaos of his early life, he had managed to stay at grade level, and was achieving grades that any parent would be proud of. I supported his plans and dreams.
I worked to make sure that he was safe, cared for, and would always have the chance to focus on his "Plan", even if the plan changed over time.
I was his advocate for four years. Eight different homes. Seven different schools. I worried that he would give up hope for a permanent home. But he kept working on his plan, and I refused to give up hope. Finally, he spent his whole first year of high school in the same home, and they became his forever family.