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Summer 2017: Message from CASA of the Heartland's Executive Director
Message from the Executive Director
Throughout this last quarter, we have seen more evidence of the difference CASA Volunteers make in the lives of children. I am constantly amazed at the dedication and compassion of our CASA Volunteers, their stories of interactions with the children they serve is what motivates me to keep going. With a record number of 40 volunteers actively serving children, our goal of 60 active volunteers in 2017 is within reach.
One volunteer (I wish I could tell all their stories) but this quarter, if not for one volunteer and her ability to apply the skills learned and keep a keen eye on a concerning situation for two young boys, who knows how long they would have remained in a depraved situation.  Because she voiced her concern and acted on it, these two boys were removed from the situation, are now doing well in a safe environment and on target to return home to their mother. Another story shared by a volunteer is one I’ve shared in speaking to groups or organizations. 
When her CASA child was asked who she was, he boldly replied, “She’s my CASA. She works for me.”   CASA volunteers are providing more than advocacy, they are empowering children, giving them the voice they deserve, and teaching them to be strong advocates for themselves one day. In a time when more children are coming into the Family Court system than we’ve seen since we began serving children in 2009 (currently 144 on our waiting list), our mission to serve every child may not come about in 2017, but as with the story of the starfish, we helped that one.
When community volunteers step up and “speak up” for a child, it gives them hope.  It gives them something they may never have experienced in their young lives; the knowledge that someone cares and the faith that someone will show up.  I want to take this opportunity to recognize all CASA Volunteers and thank you for the heartfelt work you do. For those receiving our newsletter, we thank you for your support in whatever form that comes, and know that you are also making a difference in the lives of our community’s most at risk children.  - Debra Smith, CASA of the Heartland Executive Director

Originally Published on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 under News & Events
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