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CASA Spotlight: Lindsay McCann, Advocate of the Month for April!

Lindsay's journey into advocacy began in August 2022 when she took the bold step of joining CASA. Since then, she has tirelessly served on the same case, demonstrating a level of consistency and dedication that is truly commendable. Beyond her advocacy work, Lindsay finds joy in staying active, tending to her garden, and tackling puzzles in her free time.

Lindsay's desire to make a difference started when she was in her 20s, volunteering with homeless children in Washington, D.C. It’s then that Lindsay realized the profound impact a supportive presence can have on a child's life. "I empathize with the challenges of growing up with a parent facing difficulties, but being removed from home must introduce a whole new level of stress and trauma for a child," Lindsay shares. "This group of children deserves all the support and advocacy they can get."

She first learned about CASA from her stepsister, who shared her experiences as a special educator in Maryland, where she had collaborated with CASA volunteers and witnessed the profound impact they had on children's lives. Lindsay, intrigued by fostering but unable to pursue it at the moment, was encouraged by her sister to explore alternative ways to contribute. Considering her sister's suggestion, Lindsay researched CASA opportunities in New Jersey and ultimately decided to apply to become a volunteer with our organization.

"I feel like foster kids are such a vulnerable population of people who can really use support from anyone who's willing to help," Lindsay explains. "I just thought it was a good way to help society in a really important way, and I just felt I had the ability and the time to do it, too, at this point in my life."

Since joining CASA, Lindsay has exemplified dedication and compassion in her advocacy efforts. Serving on the same case since September 2022, Lindsay has consistently gone above and beyond to ensure her CASA child receives the care and attention they deserve. According to her coordinator, Cara, Lindsay's professional background in critical care medicine has been instrumental in identifying crucial medical needs and advocating for essential services.

“Lindsay’s visits bring fun and sunshine; whether it’s playing a water balloon fight on a hot day or meeting her child and caregiver out for one of her CASA’s child favorite meals. I am immensely grateful for Lindsay's unwavering commitment despite her busy schedule,” Cara shares.

"Thanks to Lindsay, her CASA child now has the ability to hear with the assistance of hearing aids. I deeply appreciate her decision to dedicate her time to CASA of CGS. Lindsay truly embodies the sentiment expressed by Elizabeth Andrew: 'Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.'"

Despite the challenges and frustrations inherent in the advocacy process, Lindsay remains resolute. "Everything takes forever," she admits, acknowledging the slow pace of progress. However, it's the welfare of the child that fuels her determination. "The continued needs of the child is really the motivator," Lindsay affirms. "If I don't keep after something, it's likely that nobody else will."

Lindsay’s dedication to her CASA child and her unwavering support for the program speak volumes about her character and commitment. When asked about her experience working with CASA, Lindsay expresses gratitude for the support she has received and highlights the impact she has been able to make in her CASA child’s life. “I feel like I've really been able to help my CASA kid,” she shares. “So, my experience has been really good.”

To those considering becoming a CASA advocate, Lindsay offers words of encouragement and reassurance.

“Don't be intimidated by this,” she urges. “By becoming a CASA you do get training and you have a lot of support through the CASA staff... I do think it was easier emotionally than I thought it would be, which is a good thing.”

In the midst of the challenges and triumphs of advocacy, Lindsay serves as a striking reminder of the profound impact one person's dedication and compassion can have on the life of a child in need.

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