CASA of the Heartland unveiled today a mural made from handprints of local children served by the organization. “The Future is in Our Hands” mural was made possible by a grant from the Fort Knox Spouses Community Club and is displayed in the lobby of the CASA of the Heartland office.
During an open house event, CASA unveiled the mural and the meaning behind the artwork. The mural consists of canvases, with handprints of local children who have received a CASA advocate, that come together to make a large display on the wall. CASA hopes the mural will help the community understand that while they may not always see the children who are served in Hardin County, they are here and in need of advocates.
“It’s so hard sometimes for people to visualize CASA’s needs because they don’t see the kids on our brochures or our social media accounts,” said CASA of the Heartland’s Executive Director Norma Hatfield. “Now, when anyone walks in or out of the office, there is a reminder. These children leave imprints on our hearts and minds.”
The mural will also serve as a reminder to CASA volunteers that their efforts make a difference in the lives of local children. CASA volunteers act as dedicated advocates for children who are involved in dependency, neglect and abuse cases in the Family Court system. There are currently more than 90 local children who are on a waitlist for a CASA volunteer in Hardin County.
“These kids are in our community, and they are in the system through no fault of their own,” said Hatfield. “A CASA volunteer is a voice. If we had 40 people in Hardin County step up, we would not have a child waiting anymore. Volunteers make a significant difference in the lives of these children with just a couple of hours a month.”
CASA of the Heartland was organized in Hardin County in 2007 to recruit, train and support community volunteers who advocate on behalf of abused, neglected and dependent children under the protection of the Hardin County Family Court system. The organization encourages residents to learn and recognize the signs of abuse. Kentucky ranks fifth in the U.S. for the number of reported child abuse and neglect cases.