The children and teens we serve have been removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect and placed into the foster care system. When they are ripped from their home, they are typically taken in a rush and don’t have time to take their favorite toys and essentials like hygiene products. This holiday you can make a child smile with a special gift!
“Who is CASA of CGS?”
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties trains and supports community volunteers to speak up for abused and/or neglected in court. A CASA volunteer is an officer of the court. A judge appoints a special advocate, as mandated in SDCL 26-8A-20, to represent the best interest of an abused or neglected child in court proceedings.
Research has shown that children with CASA volunteers:
- Are half as likely to re-enter foster care
- Are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care
- Are more likely to be adopted
- Have more services ordered for them
- Are more likely to have a consistent, responsible adult presence
- Spend less time in foster care
- Do better in school*
“Why does a child need a CASA volunteer?”
A trained CASA volunteer gathers information for the court. He or she recommends to the judge what the child needs to be safe and what is in the child’s best interest in securing a permanent home. A CASA volunteer advocates for a speedy decision that considers a child’s sense of time.
When the court is making decisions that will affect a child’s future, the child needs and deserves a spokesperson—an objective adult to provide independent information about the best interests of the child. While other parties in the case are concerned about the child, they also have other interests. The CASA volunteer is the only person in the case whose sole concern is the best interest of the child. CASA volunteers are assigned one case at a time, one CASA volunteer to one case, to provide a “voice in court”. A CASA volunteer can give his or her full individual attention to a case.
An abused or neglected child has come from a world of chaos and instability. For the child, there is fear; fear of being hurt; fear of being alone and fear about the future. For children who are in out of home placements, there can be many changes in schools and homes before a decision is made on where the child should live. A CASA volunteer can be the sole source of stability and comfort to fill an enormous void in the child’s life. A CASA volunteer is a trusted, dependable adult who doesn’t go away and who gives the child hope for a better future.
“How can I donate?”
There are several different ways you can make a child smile this holiday.
- Make a monetary gift to help towards this project here: http://bit.ly/DonateforStockings
- Choose a CASA child to buy a stocking filled with goodies for. We recommend at least 5 items per stocking. Email our Donation Coordinator Hillary at Hillary.email@example.com
- Buy stockings in bulk to give.
- Buy items for the stockings.
- Buy gender neutral toys for 5-10 year old or Pre-teen to teen.
We are aiming to distribute the donations to the CASA kids the second and third week of December. Please contact Hillary with all interest in order for us to make sure every child receives a stocking. Thanks in advance! Contact us at email: Hillary.firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 856-521-0734.
“Where do I donate?”
You can schedule a pick up of your donations with Hillary or drop off at our drop off location at: Cooks Cleaners, 1163 Shiloh Pike, Bridgeton NJ 08302. You can drop off any time during their open hours, Mon.-Fri. 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Here are a few gender neutral gift ideas:
Ages 5-10 Years Old
- Play-doh is a universal toy that EVERY kid loves. Some may like the taste but it’s also great fun.
- Fun Stickers are always something kids love to get.
- Small Stuffed Toy
- Children’s Book, here are some great ideas for books
- Stamps, I’ve found some great examples: Example 1 Example 2
- Crayons and other art supplies. We love support creativity.
Preteens and Teens
- Card Games such as Uno, Skip bo, or just a deck of playing cards
- Gift Cards to anywhere. There is no minimum amount required.
- Gum and Candy, throw in your favorites!
- Book, you can stick with classics or pick from the best seller list.
- Ear buds, don’t we all know teens love music and tuning adults out!
- USB Flash Drive, these are great for school, holding important photos, documents, music and more.
Interested in volunteering with CASA?
Contact us with any questions!