We had a wonderful time celebrating the accomplishments of our CASA Volunteer Advocates last Friday. Thanks to the Allen County CASA Coalition for providing this event, and for their continued support. .
Before coming to the court (in 2012) and CASA (in 2018), I had long history of working with volunteers. But what immediately struck me about our CASA volunteers is their willingness to serve in, what I believe is one of the most difficult volunteer opportunities in our community – child abuse and neglect. The path that has led families to our court is riddled with some of the most difficult situations to overcome – drug abuse, mental illness, domestic violence. Children have been physically and emotionally neglected, physically abused, and sexually abused. When people ask me about our organization, and I try to describe our volunteers, the word that most often comes to mind is PERSEVERANCE. I’m speaking that tireless devotion that CASAs exhibit every day, ensuring that children’s best interests are represented in every hearing, every team meeting, every conversation with schools and service providers, and ensuring that there are eyes on these children and relationships built with these children, so that we can be the voice for abused and neglected children in the court system.
During the evening:
We were honored to celebrate Donna Neff's 25th anniversary with CASA! Wow!
We heard from Volunteer Courtney Unrue about her experiences with CASA as she and her husband fostered two boys and then adopted them. (Thank you, Courtney!)
Volunteer Gayle Newton shared her experiences as a long-time volunteer and member of the Advisory Board. (Thank you, Gayle, for serving in both capacities!)
We heard from one of our CASA youth - Gabe Cravins - and his experiences with CASA Volunteer Mike Payne. (Thank you, Gabe, for sharing your story!)
Thank you to all our CASAs for all that you do for abused and neglected children in Allen County!
Nancy Springer, Director