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.
Throughout the office, staff agree that Advocate Supervisor Amy Smith says it best when she describes CASA volunteers as “extraordinary humans.” Not surprisingly, one of the CASA staff’s favorite events is our annual volunteer appreciation celebration!
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. So far during fiscal year 2023, 93 CASA volunteers have advocated for 164 children in Kent County. This tremendous impact is only possible with the generous donation of time from dedicated volunteer advocates. CASA Program Manager Kari Frederick said, “It’s a priority for us that volunteers feel appreciated, important, and connected to the program. Volunteer appreciation is more than just saying ‘thank you.’ It’s a way to show our volunteers that we care about them and appreciate their hard work.”
CASA volunteers and their guests gathered with CASA staff and board members at the Prince Conference Center on August 18 to celebrate a job well done. Guests mingled and shared updates about their experiences. Everyone enjoyed a delicious taco bar and yummy desserts. Each CASA volunteer received tickets to enter a raffle for a chance to win a variety of prize baskets. They also received novelty awards based on their unique personalities, which included everything from the “Sherlock Holmes” award for the best investigator to the “Needle and Thread” award for leaving everyone in stitches.
Thank you, CASA volunteers for spending the evening with us, and – of course – for the generous gift of your time and advocacy for vulnerable children in our community!
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.
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.
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