Several years ago, Kym Matthews met former CASA volunteer and current Michigan CASA employee, Janice Fonger at a networking “power lunch” hosted by WGVU radio host Shelley Irwin. For Kym, this was the introduction into a community she is now passionate about.
Did you know that 49% of the children CASA of Kent County serves are boys, but only 14% of volunteers are men? Having a positive male role model can make a big difference in the lives of boys in foster care — especially since most child welfare staff are women. CASA wants to close the gender gap in volunteer representation.
In June, we held our first-ever volunteer recruitment event targeted to men at the Mitten Brewing Company. Current male CASA volunteers gathered with community members to share their experiences as court appointed special advocates. It was a fun evening filled with pizza, drinks, and engaging conversation. Reflecting on the event, CASA volunteer Chad said, “The opportunity to engage with other West Michigan guys that wanted to learn more about our mission, the work and what it takes to play a role was awe-inspiring. It was awesome to have the opportunity to help spread the word in a comfortable, relaxed setting.”
A total of 25 people met to discuss how to improve advocacy for boys in Kent County. Three men have already signed up for CASA volunteer training in September, and we hope others join the November cohort. We are committed to our goal of diverse representation among CASA volunteers to best meet the needs of the children we serve.
If you or someone you know is looking for a way to give back to the community, consider becoming a CASA volunteer.
This article is part of the Fall 2023 edition of CASA Connect, CASA of Kent County’s quarterly newsletter. Click here to view a pdf version of this newsletter.
For 35 years, local accounting firm EHTC has devoted its annual golf outing, Chipping for Chairty, to raising money for community organizations. Our staff and board of directors were ecstatic when CASA of Kent County selected as the company’s official charity partner for 2023.
CASA volunteers commit time throughout the year to advocate for children, so we love to throw a proper party to express our gratitude for their hard work.
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