Thanksgiving has me thinking about gratitude – and the power it has to enhance our lives and inspire us to action. Many of us keep gratitude journals as a reminder of the blessings in our lives. Mine is on my nightstand – and it calls to me daily to write a line or two.
Rarely a day goes by when my journal is not filled with appreciation of our CASA volunteers. Here are three recent stories that have touched my heart:
- Last week one of our longtime volunteers, with the affectionate nickname of “CASA Bob”, dropped by the office with the young man for whom he has been advocating for a year and a half. I sat and talked with the teen, who will soon turn 18 and “age out” of the system. The young man shared his great affection for Bob. Bob, he said, tells him the truth, encourages him in school, and helps him to imagine his future. Because of Bob’s strong support, this young man will most likely stay in foster care to pursue higher education.
- In October, CASA volunteer MaryAnn worked three cases, wrote three Court reports, completed 10 child visits, 40 professional contacts, and turned in 85.5 hours of case work! Mary Ann had recently been assigned to a second case when her previously closed case re-opened; she did not hesitate to take on that third case and do whatever was necessary to ensure safety and stability for each child.
- A foster mother for an abused child wrote to us recently. She wanted us to know that Tory, the CASA volunteer who served the young boy in her care for two years, “went above and beyond” in her work with the family. “She was smart, friendly, and very assertive in meeting everyone involved in his life,” she wrote. “[The boy] had wonderful outings that he will never forget. Now he has gone on to his ‘forever family’ and will soon be adopted. … Kudos to Tory! She is the example of a great CASA volunteer.”
Working at Fairfax CASA affirms my faith in our community and gives me hope for the future of every child whose life we touch. I am grateful to each of you who believe in our work – CASA volunteers, staff, board, donors, professional colleagues, business partners, and community supporters. It is an honor to share this meaningful work with you.
May this Thanksgiving season offer you a moment to reflect on the fortitude of everyday citizens who help our children grow and thrive.