How CASAs Change A Child's Story
Can ANYONE Really be a CASA?
Can ANYONE Really be a CASA?
Authored by CASA Blogger, Diane Wolfkiel/DMW CopyWriting
The first time I took my sister to CASA’s Hero’s Gala- their largest annual fundraising event- that is the question she asked me. The event was quite effective, filled with a few hundred well-dressed adults who were either donors, advocates or both. People were socializing, bidding on the silent auction, gambling, listening to youth success stories- obviously very much dedicated to the cause. She was looking around the room at all the advocates- former teachers, lawyers, administrators, businessmen, etc. and wondering to herself - could I be a CASA? Would they even consider someone like me? Engaging in that self-defeating behavior we all have of stacking ourselves up against others.
My sister never went to college. She graduated H.S. in 1983 and was the first of her friends to be married and have children. She held various jobs throughout her life - but her primary role was that of a mother. She raised two wonderful daughters (I, of course, like to think) who were pretty typical middle-class kids. They are grown now, soon to begin families of their own, and fortunately never experienced any of the hardships many foster children endure today. “I don’t have any experience with troubled teens or troubled parents. How could I possibly help them?” Karin said, ”But gosh I would love to be a CASA!”
It is within her final comment that the answer lies. For all it takes to be a CASA is the desire to help kids and a little extra time each week. All the rest can be taught, perceived or learned through experience. It’s just like starting a new job with a new company in an industry you already know. There will be some things that come easy and make sense - others that you’ll have to seek out the answers to. The difference is, you’ll have way more support along the way and the rewards are immeasurable.
The desire to help others is the one thing that can’t be taught or learned. It’s something you have to have inside you- and when you have it - that’s all it takes to become a CASA - and make a profound difference in the life of a child. Our volunteer advocates come from all walks of life. Some are parents, some are not. Some are young, some old. Some are male, some female. Many have busy lives and full-time jobs; some have trades, some work from home. Some are retired. Many have a house full of young children, some are empty nesters. But each of them, unique as they are, are matched up with a foster care youth whom they can help and feel comfortable helping.
So yes, dear sister, and anyone else out there who’s thought about becoming a CASA, you are completely capable, wanted and so very much needed.
Click on the link to learn more. www.casalancaster.org/volunteer/ Be on the lookout for our next article on volunteering. Share on social media if you know a CASA or are one...