ST. LOUIS - The New Year brings resolutions and a promise for many to volunteer more and give back. Our Monica Adams has the story on our Spirit of St Louis charity CASA and their need for your help.
Your health and losing weight is always the number one resolution for many year after year but also becoming more involved in the community. One way you can give back this year is to volunteer your services as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children.
Kuwana Hornberger is a Case Advocacy Supervisor and says "they have access to children's educational records, anything that would require of the court for the family to assist the child and to be able to get them to permanency as soon as possible".
These CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and will undergo a 5-week training program, "They will also be given court documentation, paperwork to let the CASA know what the court concern is and they will be the voice of reason for the child," said Hornberger.
There are currently 230 volunteers between St. Louis City and County and they make a difference in the lives of children from infant to the age of 21 and no case looks the same, "You're talking about trauma, what it looks like, what it feels like, you are also given some varied case scenarios, your personal biases because that's all out the door when we are working with our children and families being that this is a vulnerable population," said Hornberger.
The donations they need vary as well due to age and circumstance, "There may be an allergy that the child has that maybe certain foods can't be eaten, we just never know". They may need clothes; school supplies and blankets are very popular. "They use these for security blankets because sometimes kids they just need a reminder of something at home if possible, so to identify and make them feel secure. That’s beautiful..."
The volunteers gain their trust and become a constant in their lives "and if we can keep a child connected to something that is familiar to them..how amazing is that?"
You can help make a difference by logging on to fox2now.com and kplr11.com and donating to CASA and helping to change the outlook in the lives of these foster children. To volunteer log on to www.stlcasa.org.