On December 18, 2020, CASA for Kids of South Central Texas held its 1st annual Casas for CASA Home for the Holidays Playhouse Raffle and they would like to thank the community for its overwhelming support. Over $20,000 was raised through ticket sales and donations and will be used to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in Austin, Colorado, Waller & Washington county courts through the training and support of community volunteers. “We could not have raised these funds without our four builders who designed, constructed and donated the playhouses,” said Mandy Wright, executive director of CASA for Kids.
A special thank you goes to Luedeker Homes in Austin County, Winston Sage Custom Homes in Colorado County, Heritage Oak Homes in Waller County, and Estella Contracting, LLC. in Washington County for supporting the fundraiser and stepping up in a big way. The funds raised will help fill a gap in funding that COVID has caused. “We are so appreciative of everyone who bought tickets or donated as we know times are tough for many,” said Wright. Congratulations to the winners: Magen Bain, Lori Jackson, Amanda Guthrie and Stefanie Kraus. (Bain Family pictured above enjoying their new Luedecker Homes custom Playhouse).
As 2020 comes to an end, CASA for Kids invites you to join them in supporting their mission to advocate for the best interest of local children in foster care by becoming a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) to help ensure every child’s voice is heard. The start of a new year often comes with a list of resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are different for everyone, but one of the most common is to live a healthier lifestyle. If you’re hoping to improve your physical and mental health, there’s one option that often gets overlooked and benefits others: volunteering.
Volunteering and helping others has been found to benefit both physical and mental health, and there are a variety of options in our community. If you’re looking for a new way to make changes in your life and in the lives of others, consider resolving to help children and families in the child welfare system by volunteering with CASA for Kids.
51,417 children are currently in the Texas child welfare system. These children have been removed from their homes and placed in foster care, sometimes far away from their families and communities. They need a CASA to stand by their side and advocate for them. “Children in foster care are often separated from their families, siblings, friends and other loved ones, and placed in an unfamiliar setting far away from everything they know,” said Wright. “CASA volunteers stand with them during this uncertain time, providing a consistent presence and speaking up for their best interest in court, school and other settings.”
CASA volunteers are everyday members of the community who are recruited, screened and trained to advocate for a child or sibling group in foster care. They get to know the child on an individual level so that they can make sure their physical, emotional and educational needs are met.
They also get to know the child’s parents, family, foster parents and other important people in their life, with the goal of working towards reunifying the child with their parents whenever safe and possible. They help make sure children have a support system of family and other reliable, committed adults who can help them both during and after their time in foster care.
CASA for Kids has served 180 children in foster care this year with 73 CASA volunteers. CASA is always seeking more community members to step up and advocate.
“Volunteering with CASA is an opportunity unlike any other,” said Wright. “It’s a unique chance to make a true, positive difference for a young person and their family. We need more members of the community to join the CASA movement.”
In the New Year, consider becoming a CASA volunteer and make an impact in a child’s life, and your own. Every child has a chance – it’s you. ®
To learn more, visit www.wespeak4kids.org. Next training session starts 1/19/2021.
Applications are being accepted now.