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See how we’re making a difference in our community.

We’ve been working hard to help the abused and neglected youth in our community find safe, permanent homes. Here’s what we’ve been up to lately:

Read along as Executive Director Janet Walden (aka as BB) prepares for the adoption of three very special kids.

"Let your heart guide whispers so listen closely."
-Walt Disney

“One life on this earth is all we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.” -Frederick Buechner

Development Specialist Joy Green talks about the importance of sharing our mission and our story with the community. How are you sharing our story?

“Life is amazing. And then it's awful.” -L.R. Knost
By Tracy L. Verrigni, Volunteer Recruitment and Training Coordinator

“Quiet quitting” is on the rise in the workplace. Development Specialist Joy Green considers whether it is happening in other aspects of our lives.

A trip to the local grocery store and chance encounter with another, has Executive Director Janet Walden reflecting on the power of connection and proximity.

In Part Two of this two-part series, CASA Volunteer Amy describes how her training prepared her for the work and how she has used that training, her resources and life experiences to make a lasting impact on the children she serves.

In Part One of this two-part series, CASA Volunteer Amy shares the experiences in her life that brought her to her decision to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) -- she wanted to find a way to help and support children and young adults who do not have families that provide unconditional love and support.

So often, it is the faces and stories that had the greatest impact in this work, that have helped shape the advocacy for the future of the ones who come next.

We are pleased to announce our 2022 Hall-Dawson CASA Volunteer of the Year, Gail Lombardo. We share here what makes Gail such an amazing advocate for our kids!

“Children remind us to treasure the smallest of gifts, even in the most difficult times.” -Allen Klein

Celebrating her two-year anniversary, Development Specialist Joy Green takes a look back at some of the CASA lessons she’s learned.

Remembering the stories of connections with important adults in her own childhood has helped Executive Director Janet Walden celebrate the connections made between a CASA Volunteer and a child experiencing foster care. Every child is one important adult away from being a success story.

The world can be a noisy place. Executive Director Janet Walden reflects on the timely words of encouragement from a friend, “the world turns, don’t let it spin you.”

June is National Reunification Month. “Children don’t want better families; they want their families better.” Celebrate with us the families in our community who have done the hard work, and are able to reunite as a family!

With the simple handprints adorned on her wall, Executive Director Janet Walden celebrates the seeds planted in the lives of children experiencing foster care. Foster care is complex and can be difficult. Love does hard things.

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

When National Foster Care Month and Mother’s Day are celebrated in the same month, there is an opportunity to be mindful of the need for kindness and love extended to those we encounter.

Hall-Dawson CASA Development Specialist shares the 2021 Annual Impact Report, as well as highlights: successes, milestones and a celebration of the impact made by our CASA Volunteers and supporters.

Guest blogger Erwin K. Bligen shares his story of advocating for children and his recent return to the work he loves.

Executive Director Janet Walden encourages us to remember the important adults in our childhood and consider what our impact will be in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Thriving families depend on strong support systems, which can come from family, friends, neighbors and others in the community. Families need connections to local economic support services, housing assistance and nutritional necessities to help maintain their foundation and reduce child welfare interactions that could be prevented by meeting families’ basic needs.

Newly appointed Advocacy Director Christie Ledlow-Hodges shares her vision for her leadership role at Hall-Dawson CASA.

Zoom won’t go away even when we are allowed to bring “large calendars” back into our small courtrooms and narrow hallway.  We will continue to use Zoom to allow foster parents, children, and CASA volunteers to participate when they just can’t come to the courthouse.  But I am hoping that I’ll have children back in my courtroom to give the occasion hug when needed very soon….

This work we do in child welfare is costly. To pour oneself out, to stand in places that are uncomfortable, chaotic even, and be the calm that a child, a parent, or colleague needs to feel. To be the consistent, the constant in a place in a child’s life, even when they push against you, as they often do. Even when, especially when, the brokenness of a system breaks your heart. Again.

Celebrating those who have made child advocacy a priority in their lives and have helped to transform a child’s chaotic present into a promising future.

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” — Nelson Mandela

As she and her family prepare for a new chapter in their lives, Advocacy Director Natalie Vinzant reflects on her time with Hall-Dawson CASA, and her gratitude for those who have walked alongside her in this work.

“Together we are more than any one person could be. Together we can build across the generations. Together we can renew our hope and faith in the life that is yet to unfold. Together we can heed the call to a ministry of care and justice. We are ever bound in community. May it always be so.” ~Rev. Peter Raible

Janet Walden, Executive Director, shares a video with the voices of some of our amazing CASA Volunteers. She is sure you will agree, there is nothing quite like a CASA Volunteer!

Grief is especially hard to talk about during the holidays, but let’s discuss why it is still important.

“We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there too.” -Kristin Martz

At Hall-Dawson CASA, the work that is being done doesn’t take place inside the walls of our building, The Little House. Because our Advocates serve children who are experiencing foster care, their work is done in many ways and in many places.

In going through life, it makes a difference to use the correct tools in accomplishing any task. Today we’d like to share with you a new tool and invite you to join us in the conversation.

This past week, our CASA program experienced a milestone that many programs are never able to claim – we celebrated a volunteer at her 20-year anniversary of being a CASA! This is an incredible milestone for her, our program, and the nationwide CASA family.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” — William Shakespeare

Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” We each have an opportunity to make a difference in our community – to make it better.

Executive Director Janet Walden shares her appreciation for CASA Volunteers and the importance of the connection each makes with the child or youth for whom they are advocating.

Is there such thing as a “perfect CASA Volunteer?” Come read this week’s blog as we discuss who can be a volunteer.

“Space and stillness is the light that illuminates the beauty of our soul’s being.” -Adyashanti

Perspective (pər-ˈspek-tiv): a way of regarding situations and facts, and judging their relative importance; the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it.

Executive Director Janet Walden shares her experience, adapting to a new role in the child welfare system.

If you have a concern for a child’s safety, would you know how and to whom to report your concerns? Read today’s blog to find out why it is important and how to make a report.

September is National Recovery Month, a time to celebrate the progress made by those in recovery from substance use disorders and mental health diagnoses. Advocate Supervisor Christie Ledlow-Hodges speaks about this celebration and how it impacts the work at Hall-Dawson CASA.

Mar-Jac beautifully models responsible and compassionate corporate citizenship in our community. “We are in the business to be profitable but we must be a good steward with those profits,” says Joel Williams, Mar-Jac Poultry Vice-President of Operations.

Executive Director Janet Walden contemplates what success means in work of our local CASA program, and how a broken heart can lead to a greater capacity for empathy, compassion and care.

Judge Joe R. Diaz reflects on his experiences in the Juvenile Courtroom, and the important role CASA plays for the children involved, and for him.

The world of child welfare is challenging, but knowledge and awareness shift our perspective to empathy and hope.