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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Speak up for children: Court Appointed Special Advocates needed

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers are needed in Seattle and King County and elsewhere around the State of Washington. CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to speak up for children. Do you qualify? Volunteers are being sought from all walks of life.

One of my most treasured friends, Kimberley McKaig, is a CASA volunteer. She gives of her time and from an abundance of love in her heart to help the neediest children and finds tremendous joy in doing so. She passed along via e-mail a request for her friends to give thought to not only becoming a CASA volunteer, but to also think of new avenues or ways to get the word out that there are much needed and highly rewarding opportunities for volunteerism with the children in the most difficult and heart-wrenching situations.

Kimberley writes so well (part of being a CASA volunteer is writing reports for the courts) so I am taking the liberty of posting here what she wrote, because I cannot say it better. I invite you to consider the needs of the children and how you might be able to help -- even if only by passing along the information or posting it at work, on a church bulletin board, or elsewhere.

To find out more about what it means to be a CASA volunteer visit:

The following is what Kimberley passed along. I hope it will start you thinking...
"I'm sending this to you who know about the work I do as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, representing abused and neglected children in the court system. These little ones (under age 13) have been removed from their homes and are in the care of the state...

Our program, which currently has over 1,000 volunteers in King County, is experiencing a shortfall of new volunteers to meet the needs of these kids...all very needy of personal representation.

I quote below from the newsletter our CASA office sent out, in case you might have an idea of a way you could (comfortably for YOU) expose the program to someone(s) you work, church, to family, friends, whatever...

Of course response is great, if you have an idea for me to send to the CASA office to be followed up on. As you can see below, you are not the one who has to do the work, (other than to perhaps put out materials you receive, if you have access to a venue).

CASA is mainly looking for referrals our office can pursue as an opportunity to publicize the program. I suppose it goes without saying, but if not, I will say that this is a powerful opportunity to carry the grace and love of Jesus just as he did while he was here, to “the least of these.” It’s the best...indeed the only reason to do it.

Thanks so much for taking the time to look at this!!!

Kimberley McKaig

QUOTE from the CASA newsletter:
**If you or a family member works for an organization that permits posters, flyers, brochures, bookmarks, etc. We have a good assortment of attractive CASA materials that we will send or bring to you at no charge.

**If you or a family member works for an organization that occasionally uses speakers for community information events, let us know. We have many CASAs who are experienced at public speaking, enjoy telling the CASA story, and will come to your site.

**Similarly, if you have access to an Intranet Bulletin Board in which volunteer opportunities are posted for employees to see, let us know. We can easily supply a CASA announcement.

**If you live in an apartment building or condo which could make use of any of the above, let us know. If you frequent a Community Center or recreational facility, look around to see if other groups publicize their programs there, and let us know.

**Let us know about websites you’re aware of that feature volunteer opportunities. If we’re not already using them, we’d like to give them a try.

**Pay attention to news stories by reporters who might be good prospects for a CASA feature, and let us know. Often you will see public interest stories about local citizens doing interesting and important work. Those reporters like to interview “good examples” in the community, such as CASAs. We will do the outreach if you give us a good tip.

1 comment:

JosephMcG said...

Thank you... will start thinking about which one of my buddies in Seattle might be interested in this...