CASA in the Heart of Texas is creating an auxiliary group of volunteers called CASA Crusaders.

The auxiliary group is being created because the CASA board of directors and staff know that not every single adult who cares can be a CASA, executive director Michelle Wells said.

The Crusaders will help CASA with a number of tasks including awareness projects and helping the staff and board make connections with others who could possibly volunteer as advocates, serve on the board of directors or donate financially.

“CASA Crusaders will be a group whose members we can call if we need assistance with something other than being an advocate,” Wells said.

“One might have a gift for party planning and decorating; one might be highly computer savvy and allow us to call when we need IT-type help; one might volunteer to make a congratulatory decorated cake when new volunteers are

sworn in or we want to have an event for volunteer recognition.”

CASA recruiter/trainer Joanne McCraw said there are undoubtedly other ways the Crusaders can help.

“We just know that there are people out there who truly want to help in our mission but for whatever reason, cannot be a court appointed special advocate,” McCraw said.

The mission of CASA in the Heart of Texas is to train and support quality volunteers who speak out for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court in an effort to find each child a safe, permanent, nurturing home. The number of children being removed from their homes and placed in care has been and is still outpacing the number of caring adults coming forward to be trained

and put to work as Court Appointed Special Advocates for these children. 

Every child who comes into care should have a CASA volunteer to stand by them as they go through this time. Aside from the trauma these children have already known, there is an unfathomable additional trauma that accompanies being removed from their home — even if it is to save their very life.

Having a safe, caring, consistent adult presence throughout their time in care is an invaluable, stabilizing gift to these children, which no child in care should be denied. “The disparity between children in care and volunteers available for them is something we are committed to change, but we need help,” McCraw said.

Anyone who wants to be a CASA volunteer who wants to  support CASA in other ways should contact CASA in the

Heart of Texas. 

The next CASA 101: Information Session in Brownwood will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 19 at the Family Services Center in Brownwood.

A CASA 101session has also been scheduled in Comanche for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 17 at the Comanche

Housing Authority office. If you can’t make it to CASA 101 or just don’t want to wait until then, call the CASA office at 325-643-2557, go to www.casabrownwood.org to fill out an application, or email McGraw at casa.tr@familysc.net.