CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) provide a powerful voice for abused and neglected children. In 2016, 178 CASA volunteers served as the voice for 628 children in situations of abuse and neglect in Jackson County. In an overburdened system, these children risk slipping through the cracks and suffering from further abuse. CASA volunteers have the power to prevent this tragic reality. These dedicated, highly-trained community members are legally appointed to a case by a judge. They research the background of each assigned case. They speak for the child in the courtroom, representing the child’s best interests, advocate to make sure medical needs are addressed, meet with teachers in the school and ensure that the children have the appropriate clothing and other seasonal necessities.
CASA of Jackson County has served over 600 children at the present time, and there are nearly 500 on the waiting list for CASA’s to be trained and assigned.
The Giving Tree program is designed to assure that each child receives at least one gift for the holidays. Tags are placed on a tree at local businesses, which can be taken by a customer or employee, who then purchase a gift for the child. It is placed under the tree, unwrapped, with the tag attached. Monetary gifts may also be given if preferred. CASA volunteers then deliver the gifts to the children.
CASA Giving Trees are displayed throughout businesses in Jacksonville. Christian Hamilton of Bella Union will be hosting a CASA Giving Tree again this year. “We have always been supportive of our community and the children in our community. If we can help in some small way, we are more than happy to do it.”
Look for CASA Giving Trees at these businesses in Jacksonville:
- Bella Union
- Blue Door Garden Store
- Chase Bank
- Las Palmas Mexican Cuisine
- Jacksonville Library
- Royal Mobile Estates
- The Paw Spa & Boutique
- Umpqua Bank
- Willowcreek Gifts
If you are interested in hosting a CASA Giving Tree, becoming a CASA or would like to learn more information, please contact CASA of Jackson County at 541-734-2272 or email Erin Carpenter at firstname.lastname@example.org.