New Beginnings for CASA
Thank you to our new readers! We are thrilled with our new website and the opportunity to share information with you through blog posts here. Our Executive Director, Laurie Johnson, along with board members and others will be posting here frequently, so we hope you will spend some time looking at our site and return often for the latest blog posts.
As you can see from our site, Court Appointed Special Advocates or CASA of Mississippi is the state organization, dedicated to building and sustaining our local CASA programs in Mississippi. To put it simply, local CASA programs train and manage CASA volunteers who speak out for the best interests of children when they are abused or neglected. They help them find a safe, permanent and nurturing home as quickly as possible. State CASA organizations are responsible for helping to build these local CASA programs and find resources to support them. So, while we don’t advocate for abused or neglected children directly, we do support them indirectly by recruiting volunteers and helping their local CASA program find the human and fiscal resources needed to serve more victims. Our vision is to one day have a CASA program operating in every county and a CASA for each foster child who needs one. And to do that, we need your help!
So by now, you have probably looked around the site and discovered more about what CASAs do, and what we do and you’re wondering how you can help. The simplest thing you can do right now is to share our site! Comment on this blog. Like us on Facebook and Twitter and share our sites with your friends. Watch our videos on YouTube. Interact with us through all of these portals often and tell us about you in the process.
The next way you can show your support is by talking with us to discover whether you can strengthen our continued work with your financial gifts and other needed support. We expand every year by offering more services, moving into new communities and by building the capacity of existing programs to serve more children. We value every dollar received and consider it an honor to meet so many new and potential donors who believe in the work we do for children. And we believe a gift to CASA programs is a gift to our local counties, state and nation, as we strive to improve outcomes for children who need us most so that they won’t grow up and repeat the cycle of child abuse. We want foster children to do more than just survive – we want them to thrive and become leaders who create a brighter future for their peers. For those of you who already support us, we cannot thank you enough. You can and do make a difference!!
Next, you may be wondering about volunteerism. We can always use more volunteers and this can happen in a number of ways. Local CASA programs in Mississippi need advocates! Some are in critical need and we hope you’ll look at our program page to contact the program nearest you about their application process and next training dates. We also need help on the ground in communities where we have a developing CASA program. You can volunteer during CASA MS training events, in the office, or serving as a board or committee member. Every resource counts!
In our future blog posts, we will introduce you to our board members, staff, volunteers, and even a few former foster youth. We will tell you about the national movements in the area of child welfare and help you see the connections between National CASA, state CASA organizations and local programs. We will talk about Champions for Children in our state and how we’re reaching out to children, advocates and supporters in each community. And, of course, we will want to hear from you! Our blog will feature guest bloggers, interviews, and will respond to your suggestions for topics that are of interest to you and your community.
There are no words to describe the way we feel when we talk to CASA volunteers and learn about the work they are doing for our vulnerable children every day. Likewise, the dedication of our board members, staff, and donors is invaluable. Pamela Butler, a former foster child, said it best when she said, “To give a child a CASA volunteer is to give them a voice. To give them a voice is to give them hope, and to give them hope is to give them the world.”
You bring us hope too – the hope that one day we will support each and every child, everywhere in our little corner of the nation.
I am for the child who has never had a birthday party. Are you?