It goes like this…
One afternoon while watching the 85th youth baseball game of my life… I was "complaining" about something other than baseball the FACT that I wasn't doing much with my life… helping anyone… and I was so used to volunteering my time, non stop… and I basically felt like a loser in this area.
Well, I was "complaining" to the wrong right person!
She told me about her volunteer years as a CASA.
I had never heard of this acronym. In fact, not until I was into my 4th hour of who knows how many hours of training, was I actually able to let it roll off my tongue.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate.
Being a voice for children who have been abused/neglected, etc. (and are now in DFCS custody, living with a foster) and helping them find the BEST placement ever… if that means going back to their parent(s) or living with a relative or being adopted. I will get one case at a time and go to court hearings and meet with the child and also, I will get to be that detective I've always wanted to be… finding out information and truth that will help the child not ever get abused, ever again.
Man… it was a long, hard, much needed training. I don't think I've ever learned so much in 30 hours, ever. And, I definitely have never had my emotions rocked (besides being trained to speak up against sex trafficking, which I never even pursued because I just thought I would cry the entire time and never accomplish anything).
It's amazing how passionate you become about something, once you learn what it's all about and you realize it involves children. MY GOD PEOPLE… PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILDREN.
This volunteer job will be hard. It will be one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. It will use up a lot of my energy and emotions. It will piss me off and make me love… more than I even know at this moment. It was one of those things, in the midst of all our Saturday morning trainings, where I considered at times, dropping out. It would be SO easy to just quit. And, I felt like God was giving me the option, either way. I'm such a baby. I've had the easiest life of anyone I know. And, I just knew this was something I had to do! So, I stuck with it. Because, even if it's one life that I'll influence for the better… I just have to!
Yesterday, I got sworn in. We all raised our right hand… said SO HELP ME GOD (literally… and I said it twice) at the end… signed the document and got assigned a case.
Someone told us that we could stay and hear the next case… which, without going into detail (because I never can), is an example of what I'm talking about… a 2 year old, walking the streets, naked, at night time, in some neighborhood that no one knows who the 2 year old is, they don't know name, age, nothing. Yeah, that was up on the docket.
Then, we had cake.
And that, my friends, is life. It sucks at times and then you eat cake.
My CASA volunteer friends… before eating cake.