With over 160 participants, The Glow the Distance for CASA 5K was one of Brush Country CASA's biggest events to date. Featuring a children's mile and a full 5K, The Glow the Distance for CASA 5K truly was a family event. Awards were issued to first, second, and third place males and females for each age group which ranged from 10 and under all the way up to 60+. For a complete list of the results please visit www.brushcountrycasa.org.Brush Country CASA, a non-profit organization, supports community volunteers as they help children who have been abused and neglected in Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy and Kleberg Counties. As a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA volunteer, you can keep the children in your own county safe while they reach a safe, permanent home. CASA volunteers get to know the child and everyone involved in their life to speak up for their best interests while they are in the foster care system. You are not a foster parent, you are a voice making a difference at a critical point in a child's life. Brush Country CASA's mission is to have a CASA volunteer for every child in the foster care system.The Glow the Distance for CASA 5K was wildly successful, generating over $4,800 for the CASA program. Brush Country CASA would like to thank: Our Board of Directors, Kleberg County Parks and Recreation, all of our community members who participated and volunteered, Chennel 69, The Knights of Columbus, DJ Rene, Amanda Martinez and last but certainly not least, we would like to thank each and every one of our sponsors without whom none of this would be possible.For more information regarding CASA or The Glow the Distance for CASA 5K, please contact Nicole Johnson at 361.595.7233. To register to become a CASA volunteer please visit www.BecomeACASA.org.
WHAT IS LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY?
Legislative advocacy refers to efforts to influence the introduction, enactment, or modification of legislation. The most common means of legislative advocacy is direct lobbying, which entails contacting a legislator, sharing your views on an issue, and asking him or her to vote a specific way on a bill.
WHY IS LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY SO IMPORTANT?
Because it works! We can make a powerful impact on the child protection system by speaking up for children at the Capitol as well as in the courts. Legislators are more likely to listen and take action on a bill if they hear from their constituents that it is important. Without the help of volunteers across Texas, our priority bills are less likely to be successful. Your voice matters!
WHY ARE CASA VOLUNTEERS SUCH EFFECTIVE LEGISLATIVE ADVOCATES?
For the same reasons that they are effective advocates in court! CASA volunteers are:
• Well trained to speak up for children professionally and persuasively.
• Motivated to serve the best interest of Texas’ most vulnerable children.
• Motivated by the best interests of children and don’t have financial incentives or other hidden agendas when they speak up for children.
• Community members, constituents and voters, which brings perspective and power to their advocacy.
• Knowledgeable about how the child protection system works (and doesn’t work) and can share personal case examples of each, which helps to put a face on the issues.
• Passionate about helping children. Their passion is contagious!
WHAT IS A LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY TEAM (LAT)?
A Legislative Advocacy Team (LAT) is a group of committed CASA volunteers who take their advocacy for children to the next level by using the experience and knowledge they have gained as volunteers to advocate for change in the child protection system. Each LAT has at least one chair: a volunteer who agrees to be the face of the LAT and the point of contact for the group. In addition to the chair, there is at least one CASA staffer who is responsible for supporting the team.
LATs enable volunteers to experience advocating for children on a larger scale. Knowing that you and other CASAs all over the state are working toward solutions to problems many of you encounter can bring another degree of satisfaction to your role as an advocate. You can be the voice to create change not only for the child(ren) for whom you advocate, but for every child in the child protection system!
There are many things that members of LATs can do, depending on their availability and comfort level. Some members feel comfortable writing letters to support changes to the system. Others might want to directly interact with legislators and their staff by meeting with them or inviting them to CASArelated events. CASA volunteers may testify before legislative committees, sharing a particular experience they have had in order to illustrate the relevancy of a bill. We encourage LATs to brainstorm activities quarterly, with Texas CASA’s assistance and support.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
The 85th Legislative Session begins in January so contact Nicole at 361.595.7233 today to learn more.
LAT training will be held in November 2016.
The 4th Annual Tournament of Champions was held on Saturday, April 30th at the Celanese Bishop Facility Park in Bishop, Texas. The event raised over $3,000 for our local CASA Program. Brush Country CASA is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to recruit, train and support community volunteers as they help to guide children through the foster care system.
Brush Country CASA would like to extend a heart felt thank you to the wonderful people at Celanese for their continued support and belief in our mission.
Brush Country CASA would like to welcome Vilma Cisneros to our wonderful group of volunteers! Vilma was sworn in on May 11, 2016 by Judge Micheal Garcia at the Jim Wells County Courthouse in Alice, Texas. Congratulations on completing your training towards become a CASA volunteer. We are so happy to have her in our CASA Family!!!
We are so happy to announce that our Kingsville CASA office has moved to a new location. The new Kingsville office is located at 203 S. 10th Street. We have been looking for a new office space for quite some time and we are so excited that we finally found a place that suits our needs. If further assistance is needed, please do not hesitate to contact us at 361.595.7233. Our phone numbers and email addresses remain the same. We look forward to serving you at our new location.
Celanese Bishop Facility hosted the 4th Annual Tournament of Champions to benefit Brush Country CASA. Participants participated in a series of events including horse shoes, corn hole and golf chipping. First and second place winners were awarded. All of the prizes, food and some of the silent auction items were donated by Celanese and their sponsors.
Brush Country CASA would like to thank everyone at Celanese for hosting this event for us. We are very appreciative of their continued support. Special thank you to our staff, board members and volunteers for donating snacks and goodies for our bake sale and lending a helping hand at the event. We can't thank you enough!
Thank you to both student organizations at Texas A&M University-Kingsville for your dedication to the children in your community. We are forever grateful for your support.
The heart and soul of every CASA program is their outstanding group of committed volunteers. Brush Country CASA strives everyday to remind our volunteers how valuable they are to us and to the children that they represent. During the month of April we like to take that one step further by hosting a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Week. This year we treated our volunteers to dinner at the End Zone in Alice, Texas.
Our Volunteers are one of a kind. We can't thank you enough for all of your dedication to the children we serve. You are truly an inspiration to us all.
Brush Country CASA is thrilled to welcome two new volunteers to our amazing group of advocates. Kara Ramos was sworn in on April 15, 2016 and Yesenia Martinez was sworn in on April 26, 2016 by Judge Pete De La Garza in Kleberg County. Thank you so very much for taking time to help guide our children through the foster care system. Both of you are going to be a wonderful addition to our team.