Children in crisis need support
CASA Volunteer, South Lake Tahoe
Do you remember the Angora Fire in summer 2007? more than1,000 people were devastated and more than 250 homes were affected. As a community, we came together to provide support for those families in need. Similarly, we have a crisis going on every day in Tahoe that you may not be aware of, but that is equally impactful. Approximately 50 children are removed from their homes in the South Lake Tahoe side of El Dorado County every year because of abuse and neglect. CASA is here to help those children.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. CASA of El Dorado County was formed in 1994 in South Lake Tahoe, to provide a voice for children in the court system. CASA is a volunteer-based non-profit community organization. CASA’s goal is to help establish safety, permanency and well-being for children who have been displaced from their homes. Children are removed because of unhealthy conditions including substance abuse, domestic violence, criminal activity and/or mental health concerns.
CASA provides caring and consistent one-on-one support to children in need. CASA helps by identifying the children’s unmet basic needs and providing support. For instance, CASA can help provide a warm coat on a cold winter day, or homework help for a child that is struggling in school, or enrolling them in an afterschool activity to help build self-esteem. These are just small samples of the services that CASA provides to help a child in need in our community.
James Duke is a highly-regarded Tahoe resident and community activist. Duke was one of the founding members of the CASA organization in South Lake Tahoe. Recently, he shared his experience with the CASA program. Duke said the community should know about the following about CASA, “it’s hard to accept, that there is a different world out there. It’s the community’s responsibility to reach out to help the kids.” CASA provides the means by which we can do that.
Support CASA at its biggest fundraising event of the year, a free Concert for CASA Kids, on Aug. 14 at Lakeview Commons, from 4:30-8 p.m. This is a family-friendly event that includes live local music, auction and raffle prizes, family activities, food, beer and wine. Learn how to support CASA by becoming a volunteer advocate or donating your time, sponsoring CASA as a business or simply making a monetary or in-kind donation. By attending this event, you are supporting CASA and the children in need in your community.
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