CASA Open House Set for Dec. 8 in BridgetonLast Edited: Dec 01, 2018 1:17 PM -05:00
For CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), kids will always be the chief priority.
That’s why on Saturday, December 8th, they will be hosting their first-ever CASA Open House, a holiday event centered around children and the spirit of the season, at 40 E. Commerce St. in Bridgeton.
“We’re calling it the CASA Open House, but basically it’s open to anybody in the three counties we serve: Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem,” said Julia Frank, recruitment and training coordinator with CASA. “They can come out and they can enjoy some holiday spirit, they can meet Santa, and they can take pictures for free.”
CASA is “a nonprofit that advocates for abused and neglected children in foster care.” They appoint advocates to children in need, who then speak with people in the child’s life — whether it be family members, doctors or teachers — who might be able to provide insight on what would be an advantageous way to move forward. After they acquire enough information, the advocates will then make a recommendation in a court report based on the information they were able to obtain.
“So, they’re advocating for [the child’s] best interest in court,” Frank said.
With the serious nature of the service they provide, Frank figured it would be a good idea to bring some levity to their work while still forging future relationships. Which is how the combination of a meeting with Santa, a face painter, a bake sale, and a meet and greet with current CASA members came about.
“It’s a day for the kids to get out and do something, hangout with other kids, just feel like they’re living a normal life,” Frank said. “We will have multiple things going on [for people who may want to join CASA], and we can show them who we are, show them our office, see what we do. And if they’re interested they can sign up right then and there and be an advocate with us.”
There will be a myriad of other resources made available by this event as well. In addition to the niceties CASA will be providing, there will be a floor devoted to a toy drive, a coat drive, and a duffel bag and hygiene bag drive. Attendees are encouraged to bring something to donate.
“People can come and drop off whatever items they want to donate, and they can even help us assemble them,” Frank said.
Frank also wants to ensure this can be a boost for the region’s youth to get familiar with doing good for the community while still enjoying themselves.
“We thought we would cater to the people who are going to be coming up in our communities — our future generations — teach them what it’s like to be able to give back and do something nice and still enjoy yourselves,” Frank said.
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