As we approach the end of another challenging but meaningful year, I am filled with gratitude for all those who have given so generously of themselves—as volunteers, as donors, as partners—to provide hope to children who have experienced abuse or neglect in our community. Our volunteer advocates alone have dedicated over 2,000 hours to serving the children of our community.
The holiday season can be a time to make happy memories with family. But it can be a very difficult time of year for the approximately 100 children in Hood River, Wasco, and Sherman Counties who were involved in dependency cases this year. Many of these children are still in the system and have been placed in foster care. They’re attending court hearings, adjusting to new foster homes, and transitioning to new schools. That is a heavy burden for a child to carry alone, especially during the holidays.
I would like to invite you to continue to support our mission and help our nonprofit increase its capacity to serve 100% of children in our region needing an advocate. Our program is currently serving around 70% of those children. Children and youth with an advocate have significantly higher levels of hope. When a child has more hope, they are also more likely to succeed in school and have greater self-control, increased optimism, and a higher overall sense of wellbeing.
Our team of volunteer advocates serve as caring, consistent adults who will be there for a child experiencing the loneliness and uncertainty of foster care this holiday season. Children with a dedicated volunteer by their side have someone who will speak up for their best interests in the courtroom and help them find a safe, permanent home.
We at Columbia Gorge CASA are determined to continue to increase our program’s capacity until we can serve every child who needs an advocate. Jeff and Melissa Rippey have graciously committed to helping CASA work towards this goal through providing a $7,000 match in donations given to this year’s appeal. A gift of just $20 a month can go a long way in helping our program increase its capacity to serve more children.
Please help us reach more children by making a gift today. Together, we can give hope!
Christopher D. Janetzko
Columbia Gorge CASA