As all of you know CASA of El Paso is near and dear to my heart. Many years ago, when I had no clue as to a career choice, I spent time helping my mother in her pre-first elementary classroom. I was a young, college student and spent Friday afternoons observing and helping my mom teach a class full of pre-first graders. It was there that I met Sarah. Sarah was energetic, spunky, and fun. Sarah needed extra help with school as she had a speech impediment and a rough homelife. Sarah and I quickly became friends and spent time at McDonalds eating happy meals together. On one happy meal outing, I noticed that Sarah saved each French fry and neatly folded her paper packaging of the fries to take home. She only ate half of her hamburger and would take the fries and the hamburger home with her. When I asked Sarah why she did this, she told me that she was saving them for her brother Anthony. Sarah and Anthony were abused and were living apart from each other. Sarah was in a foster home with 13 other children and Anthony was still living at home. Sarah was afraid that Anthony was not being fed. Sarah was removed from her parents because of abuse and neglect and she had to scrounge for food. Spending time with Sarah opened my then young eyes and made me realize at the age of twenty that children were indeed abused and neglected and needed someone by their side. I have never forgotten Sarah and she remains to this day my inspiration for raising money for CASA of El Paso.
In my adult life I have since realized that severe abuse was also present in my extended family. I have cousins who endured years of abuse from their stepfather. My cousins endured horrific abuse and did not have a CASA volunteer advocating for their best interest in court. If they had had a CASA speaking on their behalf to a judge, their chances of living with their father or other safe, loving family members would have greatly increased. They would have been placed in a safe, loving home instead of being tortured by a horrific monster of a stepfather. Instead, they were stuck in an abusive environment until they gathered the courage to run away to my grandmother’s house in their teen years. Both of my cousins are survivors of abuse and by their own strength and courage have led healthy and successful lives.
I am proud to work for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). El Paso is lucky to have a CASA program that provides volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children. We serve over 600 children annually and depend on supporters like you to help us provide a CASA Guardian ad Litem to every child that needs one.
A donation to CASA of El Paso is an investment in the future of El Paso’s children and families. Gifts to CASA are a meaningful way to make a difference to children and families in foster care. Thank you in advance for donating to CASA!
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