Dear Friend of CASA of the Fox Cities:
My father abandoned us when I was 12. I remember sitting on the porch after he told me he was never coming back. I must have sat there for hours. Something inside me snapped that day. I ended up in court for reasons spanning truancy to underage drinking, which led to my mother voluntarily giving me away. She said she could not control me.
I was in many foster homes throughout my childhood, but my last placement stands out most. These were amazing people. I remember having family dinners and helping out with the younger kids. I was given freedom and choices. One of the most memorable moments was when they told me I should go to college. I had never had anyone tell me I should or could go to college. At the time, I brushed the conversation under the rug, but now, I point to that moment as pivotal.
It didn’t happen right away, but after some years of dead-end jobs and bad relationships, I went to college. I started with what I knew. I earned my bachelor’s degree in social work in 2010 and a master’s in public administration and nonprofit management in 2012.
Someone once asked me what I would have changed about my experience in foster care. That question stumped me until I was introduced to CASA of the Fox Cities. I joined the Board of Directors because, if I could have changed one thing, it would have been to have a CASA. After being abandoned by my parents, I would have given anything to have just one person who didn’t give up on me, who had told me sooner that I could be someone – a volunteer who did not have an agenda and only helped because they had faith in me.
CASA volunteers are unpaid, but CASA of the Fox Cities needs your help. The costs associated with staff support and monitoring the work of just one advocate is about $100 per month. We are in the midst of training our first 18 advocate volunteers. Please join me in supporting this organization so we can change the lives of local children, one special advocate at a time.