BECOMING A CASA
AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE ?
Why Be A CASA?
In Their Own Words
I have been a CASA since completing training at the end of April 2017 and received my first case at that time. I became a CASA following our move to Terre Haute from Nebraska. I had been thinking about various ways that I could contribute to our new community. I am a retired schoolteacher and have always enjoyed working with youth. I read several newspaper articles and followed a variety of news releases focusing on the Vigo County CASA program. I discussed my interest with veteran CASA volunteer, Bill Jenkins. He invited me to an “open house” meeting where I was able to visit with staff and learn more about becoming a volunteer!
So far, my greatest difficulty being a CASA has been getting to used to the long delays that frequently occur when waiting to attend a hearing. However, I am now beginning my third case and greatly enjoy my role as a CASA volunteer, and I firmly believe that all CASA volunteers are making a positive impact on the lives of children.
When the Right Things Happen
It will be 7 years in July 2018 that I have been a CASA with Vigo County. I read an article in the paper about the needs for CASA volunteers. I also volunteered in the kindergarten class at Terre Town Elementary School. There I witnessed a lot of children who needed services. The hardest part of being a CASA volunteer is trying not to get emotionally involving and it is practically impossible not to get involved when you see the children and their circumstances. But I always remind myself that its okay to take a break after a tough case. If you cannot take care of yourself, you cannot take care of your children!
I remain a volunteer because Vigo County is my town, my territory, and my home, this is where I am needed. I also love the stuff! I do it for the children! With some of the cases I had many sleepless nights but it is all worth it at the end, when the right things happen it is a beautiful thing. I have been blessed that I have had many of the right things happen. The CASA program is something that is very important to our children and the community, and the children of our community desperately need more CASAs.
I have been a CASA volunteer for Vigo County CASA for 3 plus years. I decided to be a volunteer after having worked in the corrections field for 20 plus years, I realized that many of the people incarcerated had no one looking out for their best interest when their family had problems. It takes a village to raise a child and they had none. It was time for me to step up and lend a hand up.
The most difficult obstacle for me to overcome in my time as a CASA is the reality of the overwhelming need in our village. Because of that I continue on as a CASA, plus in my heart I know this is the most important work of my life, giving hope to others.
I’d like for others to know that being a CASA is like being a gardener, we plant seeds of hope and watch them grow and someday there will be a harvest. Be brave and speak boldly for the child.