By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – CASA of Oklahoma County invites the public to the CASA on the Move: Picnic in the Park at Myriad Gardens on Wednesday, August 5, near the amphitheater area. CASA is partnering with the Police Athletic League and the OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation to host a bring-your-own-lunch, social distance Info Session and PPE (person protection equipment) mask giveaway from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
During the come-and-go event, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the collaborating groups and grab a gift bag with goodies and a protective hand-made mask, while supplies last.
A proud United Way Partner Agency, CASA of Oklahoma County, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, each year serving more than a third of the children in foster care in Oklahoma County.
“CASA volunteers are still out and still serving foster youth from our county,” said Kathy North, CASA’s Director of Recruitment. “The pandemic has not stopped child abuse or neglect. And it has certainly not stopped CASA volunteers from safely advocating for the best interests of foster youth who are involved in our child welfare system.
“The picnic event is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while learning more about organizations serving the Oklahoma County community,” North said.
Recently, CASA solicited cloth mask donations from the community and was overwhelmed with an outpouring of support.
North said CASA is using the opportunity to make sure their surplus of child- and adult-sized masks are put to use.
“With schools about to reopen, protecting the health of foster children means protecting the health of all children and their families,” she said. “We hope anyone with children will come down and pick out their protective masks while we have some extras available.”
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Oklahoma County provides trained volunteers to be champions for the individualized best interests of children in foster care.
As the website states, CASA volunteers get to know the children and communicate with all parties in the case and people in the child’s life in order to provide complete information and sound recommendations to the court. As “the eyes and ears” of the judge, the CASA volunteer offers a neutral, third-party opinion to the court, one that is unbiased and child-focused.
Annually, there are over 9,000 Oklahoma children in foster care. CASA serves the most difficult of the abuse and neglect cases in Oklahoma County. To become a volunteer, visit okcountycasa.org/volunteer.
For more information, contact CASA at 405-900-5100. To learn more about other CASA programs around the state, visit the Oklahoma CASA Association website at oklahomacasa.org.