Superheroes will not be leaping over tall buildings, but they will be out in the open, running for a good cause and having fun in the process. You can see them in their Superhero regalia at the Superhero Fun Run in Chico’s Bidwell Park, September 17th and Redding’s Civic Auditorium, November 5th. They are raising eyebrows, money, and awareness; sprinting towards the finish line of the 10K, 5K and Little Heroes Dash. All running for the benefit of CASA, volunteer powered program.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a program that matches trained community volunteers with children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. The CASA volunteers must pass an extensive background investigation and complete a structured 40-hour training program. They are sworn Officers of the Court and are assigned as an advocate for a child or sibling groups in the court system.
A child assigned to a CASA has a stable, committed adult in his or her life. Often, the one-on-one relationship between a CASA volunteer and child is the most positive relationship this youth has. In a way, it is like having his or her very own Superhero!
These are some of the most at-risk children in our community who are not faring well in the foster care system. The CASAs will stay as advocates with their youth from placement to placement, between school changes, social worker changes, and throughout the court process. They are there championing, advocating, mentoring, and making sure big things and little things do not fall through the cracks. While the often overburdened social worker is required to divide attention between as many as 100 children in a case load, the CASA volunteer can give a child his or her full attention.
Tracy Hunsicker, a CASA volunteer, notes: “Within a few months, I was the one person that knew my thirteen year old CASA youth best. This youth had changed homes, schools, and social workers and I was the one consistent adult that knew the back ground, the behind the scenes dramas, the small slights- the real story. I could report to the Judge what truly was happening.”
So you are thinking of being a Superhero? There is a CASA volunteer information meeting August 3rd or September 7th, at 5:30. Or call Lisa Michels at 530-345-1600 ext 2130 for details, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The new training begins September 19th. Capes will be provided!!
There are many ways to support children in the dependency system. Come join the fun at the fourth annual Super Hero Run. CASA volunteers and supporters will don their finest superhero costumes and take part in 5K and 10K races, while younger attendees get their own capes and take part in the Little Heroes Dash. Afterwards, partake in a delicious pancake breakfast, included in your entrance fee. You can also purchase Pancake Breakfast tickets the day of the race. Lower Bidwell Park in Chico’s run is September 17th, and November 5th is at the Redding Civic Auditorium. For more information, including registration instructions, visit www.run4casa.com or call (530) 345-1600 ext 2130.
However the heroes are dressed, there are about 1,500 at-risk kids who can benefit from the money generated by run participants. ‘All children need a hero, but abused and neglected children need a Superhero,’ Money raised during the CASA Superhero Run stays in the North State to train, assign and support CASA volunteers.
You can wear a cape and run 10 kilometers to be a hero, or you can step in and volunteer your time as a CASA to a child in need. These children are in a difficult situation through no fault of their own. You can help these kiddos. It is ordinary people doing something extraordinary for children. It takes a few very simple things: spending time, being consistent and a being positive influence.