The Twelve Days of CASA may have ended, but donations are still pouring in, exceeding the organization’s Christmas wish.
CASA officials said Thursday they had exceeded the $12,000 fundraising goal by more than $5,000, with gifts continuing to come in. Approximately 150 individuals and businesses have made pledges of support to the organization to date.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. The event raises money for CASA’s mission, acting as advocates for abused and neglected children in the foster care system. CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over abused and neglected children and monitor their interactions with the legal and social service system. Volunteers also become familiar with a child’s educational progress, medical issues and court appearances.
“It’s been a huge success,” said Carol Adams, CASA director. “We are over $17,000, with donations still coming in,” she said. “We are very excited. It’s something we hope to do every year.
“We feel we have raised awareness, not just money. We have several people who want to go through our spring training and become case workers. We actually have seen a lot of people who have not supported CASA in the past that are now aware of our mission.
“Raising awareness has been just as important as raising money,” she said. “We attribute that to our social media.”
CASA recently launched a new Facebook page and a website. Adams said the agency plans to continue to update them “so that people can continue to learn more now that they have been introduced to CASA. We want to continue to nurture our relationship now that they have been introduced to us.”
Adams said new donors and supporters have been added to the newsletter mailing list, and are “friends” on Facebook.
In addition to monetary needs, CASA is always looking for caseworkers and those who are interested in joining the board of directors or partnering to plan additional events.
The latest event, she said, “has fulfilled several of our missions. It took a collaborative effort to accomplish it.”
Adams reported board members, staff, community members, businesses, restaurants and local media “truly pulled together. I really want to acknowledge them. It sets us off on a good tone for the new year.”
Funds will stay in the community and be used for training and advocacy work for children, she said.
The fundraising isn’t over yet either.
The Ashland Area YMCA will be hosting a Zumbathon Charity on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door and the public is invited.
CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2653.