CASA Swears in New Volunteer!

CASA is thrilled to welcome our newest CASA volunteer, Markiea Evans, who was sworn in on October 5, 2018 by Judge Jaime E. Carrillo. Ms. Evans has chosen to be a part of our program because of her passion for children. Her passion helps us all come together and be a strong voice as we speak up for and on behalf of children in foster care.

When a child enters foster care because his or her home is no longer safe, a CASA volunteer can be appointed by a Judge to represent the child’s best interest. A volunteer guides a foster child through the child protective system with the goal of reaching a safe and permanent home. Volunteers often become one of the only consistent adults for a foster child, spending a significant amount of time with the child.

The work of a CASA volunteer also involves gathering information from everyone involved in the child’s daily life, including family members, foster parents, teachers, doctors and social workers. CASA volunteers use the information they collect to report to the Judge, advocating for the child’s physical and emotional needs. CASA volunteers are not foster parents; they are highly trained community advocates acting as a powerful voice for a child or sibling group.

CASA is currently seeking volunteers. To learn how you can help children in your community, please visit or contact Nicole at 361.595.7233. Volunteers must be 21 years of age or older and be willing to commit to at least one year of advocacy. No special educational background or experience is required. Call today! Every child deserves a chance... It's You!

Markiea Adams and Judge Jaime E. Carrillo

Markiea Adams and Judge Jaime E. Carrillo


Dinner with CASA Save the Date

Brush Country CASA will be hosting a Dinner with CASA event on November 15, 2018 at 6:00 pm at the beautiful Salazar Building located at 200 E. Richard. This event is being put together in an effort to recruit new CASA volunteers. CASA will be inviting staff, board members and advocates to attend and request that all patrons bring a guest who they feel would make a great addition to our exceptional group of CASA volunteers.

Please mark your calendars! For more information about this event please contact Nicole Ortegon at 361.595.7233.

Save the Date

CASA Welcomes New Volunteer Supervisor

Brendy (Bre) Santiago

Brendy (Bre) Santiago

Brendy Santiago is our newest Brush Country CASA employee!  She serves in the role of Volunteer Supervisor.  Brendy and her family recently moved to Kingsville from an overseas assignment, but since Brendy was born in Texas and raised in New Mexico, this move was a homecoming for her!

Brendy received her Bachelor's of Science degree with a major in Sociology from Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) in May 2000.  She met her husband at ENMU and they have been fortunate enough to be stationed around the world at numerous duty locations working for both the US Army and US Navy.  Her family started their overseas journey in Sasebo, Japan in 2002 and have since moved to La Maddalena, Italy; Darmstadt, Germany; Fort Huachuca, Arizona; Manama Bahrain; Uijeongbu, South Korea, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Yokosuka, Japan; and now Kingsville, Texas!  She has an extensive background working with both the US Army Child, Youth and School (CYS) Services, and the US Navy Child and Youth Program (CYP).  Since NAS Kingsville will be their retirement duty station, Brendy is very excited to join the Brush Country CASA Team, to work with and support our CASA Volunteers who help make a positive differences within Our Community!

2018 Coastal Bend Day of Giving

On November 13, 2018, our community will come together for the Coastal Bend Day of Giving, and we need YOU to join us. It is 24 hours of unprecedented nonprofit giving—and it is your chance make a real difference, right here in our community.

If you love your lifting up children, then you love Brush Country CASA! And by showing your love through the Coastal Bend Day of Giving, you help sustain the organizations that give so much to our community. On that day, every donation and donor they get will go further to help them claim their share of $875,000 in matching dollars to further their mission. The amount donated will be matched and doubled, up to $17,500, raising at least $35,000 in just 24 hours!

Join me in supporting our community on November 13, 2018 by donating online. Fight hunger • Support children • Improve health • Reduce homelessness - right here in the Coastal Bend.



Hang a flyer in your business or post it on Facebook!
Link to flyer HERE.
Like Brush Country CASA on Facebook Page HERE.

Tips for Safe Trick or Treating

In the spirit of Halloween here are a few tips for safe Trick or Treating!

Brush Country CASA wishes you all a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Trick-or-treating safety tips
1. Provide adult supervision
Trick or treat is safer – not to mention more fun – in groups, and adult supervision is essential. So get together with other adults and make an evening of it. Bring cellphones for quick pictures and emergencies, but leave them in your pockets to avoid getting distracted.

2. Stay on the sidewalks
The thrill of the holiday often factors into accidents as excited kids rush from door to door. Keep children on the sidewalks, and shepherd them carefully when they need to cross the road. In areas without sidewalks, walk on the far edge of the road, facing traffic.

3. Carefully check candy
Check candy for choking hazards like gum and hard candies. Throw away any candy that is not sealed with a wrapper and avoid homemade treats received from strangers.

Costume safety tips
4. Choose bright, visible costumes
When selecting a costume, opt for the bright-colored outfits and add a touch of reflective tape to the material. Stick some reflective tape on their trick-or-treat bags as well so they can be easily spotted by motorists. Lastly, don’t forget to make sure they’re equipped with a flashlight or glow stick – must-have accessories for any costume.

5. Make sure costumes are well-fitted and safe
Being visible isn’t the only safety consideration for a costume. The right fit is just as important. Here’s some advice on keeping your child’s ensemble safe and secure:

Prevent accidental tripping or entanglement by making sure costumes aren’t too big or long
Avoid masks that block vision, but if your child wears one – it should have large eye, nose and mouth openings. You can also op for makeup or face paint as an alternative

Costumes, wigs and accessories should contain a label indicating they are flame resistant
Make sure accessories such as swords, canes, or sticks are not sharp or too long

6. Makeup safety
If makeup is a part of your child’s Halloween costume plans, make sure it is non-toxic and test it on a small area first. Before your child goes to bed, make sure to remove all makeup.

Home Safety Tips
7. Jack-o-lantern safety
Young children can paint or color their pumpkins instead of carving. Or have them draw a face with markers and an adult can do the carving. Use colorful glow sticks inside your Jack-o-lanterns instead of candles to prevent burns.

8. Home decoration safety
If you’re turning your home into a haunted house, keep safety in mind: make sure steps, sidewalks, porches and paths are well-lit and free of decorations and holiday props. Keep decorations away from fireplaces and candles.

9. Take precaution against pranks and vandalism
Unfortunately, vandalism often increases during Halloween. That’s why taking these precautions is a good idea:

If you’re going away during Halloween, make it seem like you’re still home by turning down the volume of your answering machine and phone, covering your garage windows, and leaving your curtains in normal positions with valuables out of sight.

Install outdoor lighting (activated by a photocell or movement) to illuminate the area around your home during Halloween.
Consider purchasing a security system that directly alerts police to intruders.

Trim shrubs and large trees before Halloween so trespassers have fewer hiding spots.
Make sure your homeowners insurance policy is up-to-date.

Car and driving safety tips
10. Use extra caution while driving
Drivers need to take particular care on this chaotic night. Keep your car parked if you can, but if you have to drive through a neighborhood, take it much slower than normal. Watch for kids who may dart between cars and into the road without looking. Read our Halloween Driving Safety Guide for more useful tips.

11. Protect your car
Cars are another common target of vandalism on Halloween. Here are some ways you can help secure your car:

Park inside if you can on Halloween. Your garage is your best bet. If you do not have a garage you may want to consider investing in some outdoor lighting for your driveway and yard.

Make sure your car is locked on Halloween. Oftentimes, vandals complete their missions with ease when doors are unlocked and windows are down/cracked.
Consider a car alarm.

Hide your valuables on Halloween. Don’t give thieves any extra incentive to break into your car.