I volunteer because every child deserves to be treated with love, kindness, decency and respect. To live in a home that offers anything less is unacceptable. I volunteer with the hope of helping a child know that they are worthy of this and so much more and with the hope of making a difference. I volunteer because these children continue to be a blessing in my life and they each deserve a parent(s) that feels the same way.
Three years ago I had never heard of CASA. It was when I retired as an Elementary School Principal in Maryland to move here to be closer to my children and grandchildren, that I heard about CASA and what it was all about. After a year of retirement, I was looking for some type of volunteer work that was meaningful, interesting and educational. My daughter-in-law mentioned CASA to me. I checked it out, applied and was trained for the most rewarding and challenging job I have ever had. The fact that I can actually make a difference in a child’s life who has been abused or neglected is beyond my expectations.
At one time or another, we all confront that ‘what’s it all about’ issue. My life has been absolutely blessed, but I have not had the experience of raising kids. In pursuing volunteer work, I wanted to give something back to the community; preferably, something that would benefit children. After several less than satisfactory volunteer experiences, I stumbled upon CASA and was immediately impressed with the level of responsibility extended to its volunteer Advocates. At a time when the traditional family is under assault, CASA affords me the unique opportunity to help a child achieve a level of stability within a safe, permanent environment. As a CASA volunteer, I am privileged to have a stake in contributing to the well-being of a child in distress.
In 2000 I retired in excellent health from a successful career in the insurance business and I began to think about what I wanted to do next. Williamson County Community had given so much to me and my family and I realized I wanted to do something to give back. I had not worked with children and wanted to do some volunteer work outside my “comfort zone” so my neighbor introduced me to CASA.
After 10+ years service as a Williamson County CASA Advocate, 44cases, and nearly 100 children served, I know I have made a difference in many of those children’s lives.
I will continue to support Williamson County CASA with my thoughts, prayers, and financial support. If you cannot support CASA as a Volunteer Advocate, please consider supporting Williamson County CASA with your financial gifts, no matter the size. Small gifts too can make a “BIG” difference in an abused and neglected child’s life.
I was initially introduced to CASA by a Davidson County judge who I met at a political fundraiser. Her enthusiasm and praise of the CASA program intrigued me and lead me to do more research online. Then I called a mentor of mine , who happened to be a supervisor of Social workers in Palmdale CA, and he also had nothing but good things to say about CASA. The icing on the cake was meeting Babs, Audrey and Danielle at the local office and being chosen to be a part of the February 2013 class. The amazing people I met in training further convinced me that volunteering for this worthwhile cause was the right decision. A few years ago, I volunteered as a referee for a basketball league at Riverbend Max Security prison and met a lot of good guys who all basically said they didnt have any positive male role models while growing up. Being a CASA volunteer gives me that opportunity and I’m humbled to help out in any way that I can.
“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.”—C.S. Lewis
What will you do with yourself after closing your classroom door for the last time? I faced this question three years ago as the door closed on my life-long work as an educator. Many opportunities for meaningful volunteer work were presented to me, but becoming a CASA advocate provided me with the opportunity to positively impact the lives of children—the most important work.
What does “I Am for the Child”, a current mission statement of CASA, mean for the work of an advocate? It means that many times the advocate is the most consistent adult presence in the life of an abused or neglected child. It is the advocate’s job to gather information for the court; to help insure that all children have a safe and secure place to live and grow; and to listen to the child. The work of an advocate is “the most important work” I have ever done.
After my husband passed in 2007, I understood very abruptly what it means to live a healthy and happy life. Through my journey to figure out that everyone at least deserves a chance at happiness, I found CASA. Eight years later, it has provided me an opportunity to choose to be a part of the greater solution and to let the innocents know that there are people who set aside the business of life to say, “no more”. CASA has challenged me to beand do better. It exposes the CASA volunteer to life through a child’s perspective. In doing so, CASA volunteers do not simply uncover hurtful things, but moreover, we discover the resilience of the human spirit. As a director for a local non profit organization, I am reminded daily that life can play out in several different unaccounted for scenarios; however, when you are able to share hope with a child, it beckons you to hope for tomorrow all on your own.
My experience as an advocate has been rewarding on several levels. The initial training was informative and packed with real case examples that prepared and motivated me for the journey. My classmates were of diverse backgrounds and great to work with. The Williamson County CASA staff is dynamic and has provided effective and timely advice and encouragement in all of my cases.
As the CASA brand and our team are so respected in the Court, my observations and recommendations have always been thoughtfully received and considered by the Judge and Magistrate.
I consider the few hours a week I spend on CASA matters as time well used. Time spent face to face with children in tough situations, time investigating their surroundings and time empowered to tell their stories to those who can make meaningful improvements in children’s lives.