Updated: Mar 10, 2021
Flipping through static, Donna settles on her go-to station, WFIL Christian radio. The familiar voices of the Focus on the Family talk show chime through, urging its listeners to take care of widows, children, and orphans. And that’s when she hears them mention an organization that would come to change her life: CASA of Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem Counties.
A lifelong employee of the Gloucester County welfare office, Donna Lightcap spent the last decade working specifically in child support, witnessing the drastic surge of foster care cases in her area due in large part to the rising opioid epidemic. The influx of cases deeply troubled her, and she was determined to go the extra mile upon her retirement. Thanks to the fateful recommendations of the Focus on the Family radio talk show, Donna was inspired to bring her years of experience and drive to help others to our family at CASA of CGS two years ago, and we have felt her impact ever since.
“Donna has been a part of our CASA family since 2019 and has continued to faithfully serve on her case since the day she began,” says Program Director Jennifer Henderson. “She's so incredibly sweet, smart, kind, generous, and compassionate. She always thanks me for what I do, but I am the one who is forever thankful for the time and advocacy she gives to our children in care. Donna is a strong advocate and very deserving of this recognition!”
Donna’s passion to give back to her community, especially youth, stems from an impetus to use her blessings to help others, and she does so in a way that comes purely from the kindness of her heart.
“Donna is one of the most kindhearted people I’ve ever met. She is easy to talk to and has great energy!” says Training and Recruitment Coordinator Julia Shulzhenko. “I really enjoyed getting to know her during training and I saw how passionate she is about helping others.”
But not only is Donna passionate about the work she does at CASA, she loves the people she is surrounded by. She truly feels that everyone at CASA of CGS cares about one another, “so you feel like you’re spending good time with good people--and you don’t get that everywhere,” she says. And Donna’s love for her team is felt and reciprocated in abundance.
“Donna brings light into everything she does,” says Donna’s Gloucester County Advocate Coordinator, Michele Musick. “Her gentle spirit not only touches me, but those around her. She has a way of communicating that allows people to trust and open up, but is fearless in speaking up for what is right and needed. She is a valuable asset to her CASA children and CASA program and I am proud to say she is my friend.”
Donna is truly a light in her community and in our CASA family, and we are so lucky to have her by our side, united in one cause: changing a child’s story. Thank you, Donna, for your love, commitment, and kind heart. We couldn’t do this work without you!