My five years as a Court Appointed Special Advocate have been exactly what I imagined it to be, both beautiful and difficult wrapped up in one very powerful package.
Not only have I been privileged to meet three amazing kids, plus their siblings, parents, families and caregivers, three years into the program, my husband, watching on the sidelines, made the decision to jump in. My theory is that he didn’t want to miss out. - Kathy
My first year of being a CASA has been pretty much what I expected after watching Kathy’s involvement from a distance for the last couple of years. I was motivated last year to finish the training online and was quickly assigned an older teenager. Starting a relationship in the midst of a lock down made it very challenging. I’m excited about the possibilities that this year might allow me to connect at a deeper level with my CASA youth and to have the opportunity to give some stability, mentoring, and the chance for a friendly smile. - Norb
As we’re writing this we realize that it would be a dishonest perspective to just paint the whole experience as just simple or fun or easy. Not one of those things has actually been a part of our own lives, both in or out of our involvement in the CASA program. Yes, it is a simple answer to a very complex need. Show up, listen, and keep showing up through the awkward silences and the unspoken wounds. It can be easy to grab a hamburger with a child, and hilariously fun to run down the beach trying to escape seagulls from eating those burgers and fries. Hopefully we’re helping to create forever memories that can bury deep in between their wounds and traumas.
But it does take emotional commitment and spiritual discernment sometimes to see it through. Any fun or easy parts have usually been squeezed in between our own lives. As a family we have walked through our share of really hard and beautiful and uncertain circumstances. Maybe that’s why we decided to step into this role.
No child should have to go through this alone.
After 35+ years of marriage, we have seen that love is not just good feelings and perfect days. It’s a mixture of commitment, forgiveness, learning, really caring and an awful lot of laughter. Walking through family crises and our own share of loss and grief we have learned how powerful relationships have been and continue to be for our personal healing.
Maybe that’s why we want to pay attention to the little ones in our world who just need someone to care enough to keep calling, keep listening, keep showing up.
We are both so grateful that so many years ago we heard about this volunteer opportunity. CASA has definitely done the work in order to make it such a powerful platform to in turn be able to impact lives of some of the most beautiful, yet vulnerable human beings in our world.