Hall-Dawson Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) recently celebrated local volunteers by placing signs at their homes to publicly recognize their service to the community.
According to a press release by CASA, the signs were a small way of recognizing the volunteers for their valuable work with the organization.
“CASA volunteers encourage children to dream, to have hope in the midst of a chaotic time in the child’s life,” the release said. “CASA volunteers are everyday heroes who come from all walks of life and advocate for the best interests of each child. The volunteer signs are a small token of appreciation to acknowledge our CASA heroes and let them know their work is essential, their work changes a child’s story.”
Dawson County residents Ben and Dee Payton are CASA volunteers who work with children from different families. According to Dee Payton, volunteering is its own reward.
“The most rewarding aspect is the time we spend with the children. We love our CASA kids and want them to be in a loving, nurturing, stable home that allows them to be successful,” Dee Payton said in the release. “Being a CASA volunteer can be difficult at times, but life for these kids is far more difficult than anything we face being volunteers. They need us to care. They need us to do our best to make their lives better.”
CASA volunteers help provide a caring and consistent adult for a child who is lonely and uncertain while in foster care. The volunteers go through research based training that gives them insight on childhood development and the skills to successfully advocate for children in the child welfare system.
“Our training at Hall-Dawson CASA was excellent. The team made our training session effective and insightful, and when some of the information was emotionally difficult they were sensitive and helped us get through it,” Dee Payton said in the press release. “The time we spent during training and in the courtrooms observing cases prepared us well for our court sessions.”
The CASA volunteers make a huge impact on the children in the program, according to the release.
“To give a child a CASA is to give them a voice, to give them a voice is to give them hope, and to give them hope is to give them the world,” former foster child Pamela said. “I believe that with all my heart.”
CASA volunteers are always in high demand, and too many children are on the waiting list for volunteers.
“We know our advocates are amazing and we wanted to share just how amazing they are with the rest of the world,” Volunteer Recruitment and Training Coordinator Tracy Verrigni said in the release.
Hall-Dawson CASA has invited any interested Dawson County residents to help them meet their volunteer goal and to provide advocates for local children. There will be two virtual informational sessions held on Jan. 12 and 14, 2021.
For more information on volunteering, contact Volunteer Recruitment and Training Coordinator Tracy Verrrigni at firstname.lastname@example.org or (770) 531-1964, or visit www.halldawsoncasa.org.