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Sisters Supporting CASA

Sisters Supporting CASA

Tina's CASA journey began in April, 2012, as her own children were getting older and more independent. In the past twelve years, she has advocated for 18 children in 11 families, focusing primarily on cases with teenage girls. Tina learned about CASA from a friend who volunteered. When exploring the "suggested reading" on the CASA website, Tina realized she had read most all of the books and knew this was the right volunteer opportunity for her. When Tina isn't hiking, camping, or reading, she enjoys anything food related: gardening, cooking (with produce from her garden!), reading recipes, and going out to eat with family and friends. As a certified yoga instructor, she finds peace and balance practicing yoga and leading yoga classes.

Recently becoming an empty nester, Tina's sister-in-law Jean was sworn in as a CASA volunteer in March, 2021 and has served 3 children in 2 different families. She had learned about CASA after reading Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter and discussing it with Tina. When the time was right, Jean jumped right in taking two cases initially and attending the Ohio CASA conference shortly after her CASA graduation. Her expertise as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist Assistant has been beneficial in advocating for children experiencing medical neglect. Outside of helping children and families, Jean enjoys spending her time with a good book, tap dancing, and participating in game nights with her family and friends. 

What kept you motivated to continue serving as a CASA volunteer? 

Tina: It’s important work.  All children should have an advocate and sadly, not all do.  I take breaks between cases as it’s taxing at times. I give myself a mental break and return when I feel ready

Jean: The Starfish poem! Knowing you are making a difference for ‘that one’. Knowing that putting in time and advocating for kids, truly makes a difference in the outcome of their lives.

What advice do you have for new CASA volunteers? 

Jean: If you are thinking about getting involved, DO IT! If you think you may have an interest, jump in with both feet.

Tina: Be yourself.  Take good notes.  Use your incredibly helpful volunteer coordinators.  Don’t be afraid to speak up. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say how hard and frustrating it can be to be a CASA. But, when you see your hard work ease the life of a child or help their family, even in the slightest of ways, it is so rewarding.  The spiritual leader Ram Dass said “we’re all just walking each other home”.  I believe these kids need a friend and a constant in their life to help walk with them on their journey.