A few days ago Springfield News-Leader featured an article about CASA Christmas cards, which are illustrated by area children. Each year the project raises $15,000 for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).
CASA trains volunteers to follow the cases of children who have been abused and neglected and reports what they find to the court when a child’s case comes up for review. The organization works closely with the system to make sure that all facts possible are brought out in time for the child to receive the most appropriate placement — either back to his/her home or into foster care.
I had the pleasure of serving on the area CASA board of directors from 1999-2005 when Rhoda Clark was executive director. In 2001 I suggested to the board that instead of purchasing Christmas cards each year from a third party we could and should create our own line. With the board’s permission I took the lead to make it happen. For the first few years I made most of the contacts with area schools to ask for student artwork and after the board and staff selected the winners I wrote the brief sentiments to go with each design.
Seeing the great article by Linda Leicht in the paper brought back exciting memories of when and how those CASA cards got their start. To quote from Linda’s article, “At a cost of $750 per child served for a year, that money helps to serve 20 of the more than 900 children in foster care in Greene County.”
I draw deep satisfaction that the project continues to help fund the annual costs of helping children around here who need help the most. If you might be interested in ordering CASA cards to send this year, here’s how to order: online: http://casaswmo.org/. By phone: Julie Good at 417-864-6202, ext. 102.