A portion of every home sale will go towards CASA of the Pikes Peak Region, and here’s my story why…
I initially found CASA by random. My mentor at the time was in a lot of charities and clubs that benefited others. Through him I saw how much caring for others could make so much of a difference in people’s lives. Seeing my mentor day after day taking time out of his way too busy of a schedule just to help and be there for others in need, really encouraged me to follow in those same foot steps. I searched online for weeks just to find a volunteer position where I too could “pay it forward,” and make a difference. I eventually found CASA and after reading a few stories and seeing what they were all about, I fell in love almost immediately. This sounded like just the way I wanted make an impact, even if it was by one child at a time.
After being interviewed, put through a background check, then going through several weeks of training and case studies. I was sworn in by the court system here in Colorado Springs. At this time, not going to lie, I did feel some what nervous that the case given to me would be too much for me to handle, but I was already in too deep. During the swearing in ceremony in the downtown Colorado Springs court house, a lady read a poem to us that was written by Richards Partners, that really resonated and motivated me. The poem goes like this:
“To a child silenced by injustice, I am a voice.
To a child with whom the world has broken faith,
I am someone to believe in.
To a child who know only rejection, I am unconditional acceptance.
To a child lost in a nightmare, I am permission to dream.
Amid confusion, I am certainty; amid instability, constancy.
Amid cynicism and shame, I am innocence restored.
In a dark labyrinth of bureaucracy, I am a way through—a steady arm around the shoulder, a calming voice in the ear.
Where others are moved to pity, I am moved to action.
I am as quick to confront the powerful as I am to comfort the powerless.
Though I may be visited by discouragement, I do not play host to despair.
I do not relent;
I do not back down;
I do not give up.
In a system of shifting loyalties, my loyalty never wavers.
For while my appointment may come from a court,
My calling comes from within.
To the child neglected, the child abused, the child cast upon the mercy of an often merciless system, I am heart and caring and courage personified.
I am a CASA volunteer.”
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My first case didn’t last very long, but I never felt comfortable with that case closing. It’s crazy how parents can do the bare minimum in order to get the state off their back. I visited my 6 year old CASA kiddo weekly, checking in on him at school and at his house here in the springs. There were always red flags of abuse, such as a belt buckle imprint on the side of this kiddo’s leg, and bruises all over his legs just to name a couple incidents. Yet, some how, after a mere few months of this case opening, it closed. Never really knowing what became of that house situation.
My second case was my longest case, and I was on it for almost 3 years. He was 14 when we first met. A boy who has been in the group home system since he was two years old. He was born with meth in his system, and his parents never stopped doing drugs so heavily. The father wasn’t around much and the mother ended up going to prison for selling and manufacturing meth. Fast forwarding to when I first met my CASA kid. I remember the long car ride from Colorado Springs down to Pueblo when another CASA that was very familiar with this case, and that drove me down there, warned me that this kid can and will throw up on anyone on command. My first reaction was, that is kinda of impressive, then immediately to hoping this kid even likes me. I got to the boy’s center and I saw him outside the window trying so hard to catch a rabbit. Which then, I immediately felt like this was a good kid. Even though he had issues with running away and stealing from stores, I could tell that he just needed a way to feel in control of his own life. We got off to a great start that first day just throwing a football back and forth and him also showing me how far he could run and jump. We had so much fun that day, and I could tell he was very happy in that moment. The video of the first day, I will be something that I always cherish.
Over the near three years I was checking in on my CASA kid twice a month and got to learn a lot. It was sad to see that his adoptive mom was the one that just didn’t want him back, no matter what. This was a complicated situation because my kiddo had a brother that was a couple years younger than him and got the opportunity to live with their adoptive mom. Even though the little boy had no clue that this lady wasn’t their real mom. My CASA kid knew the truth and wasn’t afraid to share his mind. This was the main issue that made everyone working on this case feel that this may be a reason she doesn’t want this kid back. She fear’d that My kiddo and his brother would one day seek out their real mom and want to live with her again. This most recent year, 2019, we were finally able to find and communicate with this child’s mom that lives way out in Texas. She seemed to be doing a lot better and even had another child of her own. Through a lot of therapy sessions we were able to build up to the point where my CASA kiddo gets to talk to his real mom regularly and even got her to come out and visit her son in person for the first time after sooo many years. This truly felt like the biggest accomplishment since this case first opened.
My life had changed a lot in the years after I joined CASA. From having two to three jobs at a time to pay off my own debts. To having my first baby boy. Then on to finding out I’m about to have a baby girl this coming January. I’m glad I am having my kids close and age, but my worry was, when will I ever have time to spend with my family? While working hard to make sure they have everything they want a need? I was in the insurance industry while also trying to create a better life for us through selling real estate. Two careers that require a lot of time and effort. On top of that driving a little over an hour down to pueblo every so often, my life became too stressful and hectic I had to find ways to be more in control over my own time. It was a painful decision, but I had to stop seeing my CASA kiddo. I felt like I couldn’t give him the time and attention he deserved. I wasn’t able to go to a lot of the staffings, family care meetings, or even to court. I had just enough time to spend with him, and that means I wasn’t able to give my all as a CASA. Supposed to be his voice in court. This is a decision I still feel horrible about, but I believe it was for the best. I still stay in contact with this kid every so often, and one day I will have the time and resources to pick up another case and help another child whose in a messed up situation.
This is why SonRey Properties at Keller Williams will be donating a portion of every home sale to CASA of the Pikes Peak Region. All funds will be donated twice a year during CASA’s Light of Hope fund raiser. You can help us donate by buying or selling a house through us, or help us donate by clicking here.
CASA is in desperate need of more volunteers, especially men! The majority of CASA volunteers are women, and they don’t have the same type of influence that a man would have on a little boy. Not saying women don’t have a good influence, because they definitely do. I’m saying that their are some things a boy should learn from a man, on how to be a man. Feel free to Click Here and see how you can become a CASA volunteer. You can also visit their website at https://www.casappr.org