CASA OC Spreads The Love For Valentine’s Day

Karina Tarsadia and Ryan Clemons

Kids for CASA recently held their 2nd Annual Bear-Building event for Valentine’s Day. The goal was to raise $32,500 to recruit and train CASA volunteers and to create and donate hundreds of custom-stuffed bears to Orange County youth in the juvenile court system. Thanks to the overwhelming support of our community partners, donors and volunteers, Kids for CASA raised almost $40,000!

The event was hosted by the Newport Coast Child Development Center and was staffed by Kids for CASA youth. Volunteers helped children select and stuff a variety of plush animals to donate to youth in foster care. Karina's Backpack Project provided gift bags loaded with fuzzy socks, beanies, water bottles, $10 Target gift cards and candy. Handwritten valentines and bundled candy, donated by community auxiliaries and Kids for CASA chapters, were also included in gift bags. 

Later that afternoon, Friends of CASA members and CASA staff distributed the stuffed animals and overflowing gift bags to advocates to bring to their CASA youth for Valentine's Day. 

Thank you to all of the incredible families and donors who so generously supported this sweet and heartwarming event. Special thanks to Newport Coast Child Development Center families who actively participated in the event with several of their young children. The kids did an amazing job selecting and building stuffed animals only to give them away to another child.  Their reward was a high five and a lollipop.....a testament to how kind all of these littles were.

James Joseph, Liam Flanagan, Ava Joseph, Bridget Flanagan

Johnny's Animaland provided the materials to make the bears and brought along family members to help in the fun with the bear-building pump stations. Mango House Media was on hand to take photos and capture video of the event. And a big shout-out to Kids for CASA and two of their high school chapters: Santa Margarita Catholic High School CASA Teens and Corona Del Mar Kids for CASA who were on hand to work at the event.

To support CASA OC or for information on joining Kids for CASA, please visit 

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