On another trip to Wellsburg I visited the CASA Holiday Open House, held in the Wellsburg CASA Offices. This was a nice get-together for the volunteers and CASA staff, as well as the general public. There were 10+ vendors that were showing and selling their inventory for Christmas presents. The items on display ranged from Pampered Chef to fashion jewelry. There was a silent auction as well that featured a children’s basked full of various different items, men’s basked, women’s basket, Pampered Chef baking pan, and an overnight stay at a resort nearby. I ended up winning the children’s basket and plan to auction it off at the Miss West Virginia Scholarship Pageant silent auction in June.
I was able to get to know the volunteers and Executive Director, Michelle Bush, on a more personal level as we shared stories from the past and talked about the need for CASA and how each area in West Virginia was somehow affected by child abuse and neglect. The volunteers, staff members and interns were all so fun to be around. I met a new girl there that was participating in the VISA government program at Bethany College and volunteering with CASA as well. She has such a kind spirit that I would have stayed there all night to visit. The interns were also special ladies. They too attended Bethany College and we majoring in social work. The looked forward to serving as CASA volunteers while finishing college, but longed to serve as Child Protective Service Workers.
The Wellsburg CASA has served 120+ children throughout 10 years of service. Right now they have 40 children that they are advocating for and have 14 on a waiting list. That tells you what kind of epidemic we are in and why CASA volunteers are so appreciated and needed here.