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News Release
National CASA grant boosts local fundraising campaign - 07/24/19

CLARK COUNTY, WA--With the support of a grant from the National CASA Association, Clark County CASA/YWCA of Clark County’s “Change a Child’s Story” fundraising campaign has almost reached the half-way point to its goal of $120,000.

“Change a Child’s Story!” is a Call to Action for all of Clark County to financially and socially support CASA, an incredibly effective and much-needed service that helps abused and neglected children in our community. The loss of a key funder in July meant CASA and the YWCA had to seek new sources of support. Since the campaign launched in July, the community has stepped up with nearly $20,000 in donations.

Last week, CASA Clark County and YWCA learned that National CASA had approved their grant request for $29,000 toward the creation of a new volunteer recruitment position. (It also approved $29,000 for a second year for the position.) That grant puts their campaign total just under $50,000. The target date for the remaining $70,000 is Aug. 31.

CASA — which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate — has been part of YWCA Clark County for 35 years. The CASA Program addresses a critical need in Clark County. CASAs are highly trained community volunteers appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of

children who have experienced abuse or neglect.

“The expiration of a federal grant this summer left a critical gap in our ability to recruit and support volunteers, who are the lifeblood of CASA’s mission,” said Sheryl Thierry, director, Clark County CASA. “YWCA and CASA have developed a strategy and revised budget for the program that will greatly strengthen Clark County CASA in the future, enabling it to better serve our most vulnerable children. But we need to fill that funding gap before we can set our new direction. The National CASA grant moves us much closer to our goal.”

CASA’s role and community impact

Information and recommendations provided by the CASA volunteer assist the court in making crucial decisions about the child’s immediate needs and long-term permanency. In 2018 alone, the Clark County CASA Program served 835 children.

Nationally, CASA programs work with more than a quarter of a million at-risk children and their families to ensure the safety of the children and to find the best home for them. Nearly 1,000 CASA programs can be found throughout the U.S., supporting the work of 85,000 volunteers who log nearly six million volunteer hours annually. The CASA is often a child’s only consistent adult advocate as they navigate the system seeking a permanent home.

Clark County resident Louise Liston, a CASA volunteer, knows how powerful the CASA role can be. “As a CASA I work together with a team of  professionals  to ensure that the best interest of our communities most vulnerable children is served. I feel fortunate to have been given this opportunity to work directly with the child and their families.”

YWCA’s Board of Directors is 100% committed to the campaign. Along with other key donors, they have agreed to match the $15,000 raised through community donations. Currently, $9,995 remains of the match. “We would love to see the community fulfill the remaining match through online donations,” said Board President Sherri Falkner.

To contribute to “Change a Child’s Story!” please visit our website at https://ywcaclarkcounty.org/change-a-childs-story/. You may also contact Brittini Lasseigne, YWCA Director of Philanthropy, at blasseigne@ywcaclarkcounty.org or 360-906-9123.

About YWCA of Clark County and Clark County CASA

YWCA of Clark County’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Clark County CASA serves Southwest Washington children and families and is a program of the YWCA of Clark County. Part of the national CASA organization, it is composed of community volunteer advocates who are appointed by the court to advocate for the best interest of children who have experienced abuse or neglect.