CASA of Central Texas invites you to be a part of a very special, yet limited, commemorative opportunity. As many of you know, this is a very exciting time at CASA as we expand to accommodate a growing need to help children who have been abused, neglected and abandoned. The new Training & Support Center will increase CASA’s facility space and give CASA its first permanent home in Hays County after 30 years. This is an investment in the future of our children and community.
Engraved brick pavers will be installed along the entranceway and courtyard of the new facility. Personalized pavers are a great way to honor a friend, volunteer, staff member or group; memorialize a loved one; encourage your favorite CASA volunteer; or show your family’s appreciation for CASA and our children, while leaving a lasting tribute in your name.
We hope each and every CASA supporter will buy in to this unique opportunity and pave the way for impact! Click HERE for complete details
The journey to a new, permanent office located in San Marcos has begun for the child advocacy organization Court Appointed Special Advocates of Central Texas.
The non-profit broke ground on the new 6,000 square-foot Training and Support Center on January 31 with help from local officials, community supporters and donors. It was the next step in the program’s Capital Campaign that kicked off in 2014.
Long-time CASA supporter Patrick Rose, former State Representative and founder of Central-Texas based Corridor Title, served as the Master of Ceremony for the event.
“I am talking about ordinary, everyday people, like us, who are trying to work hard and make the country, the world, the community a better place. There is no better example of that than CASA,” he said. “We have benefitted in Central Texas over the last 34 years from this branch, this chapter of CASA, specifically CASA of Central Texas.”
Rose said every day in this region, three children become victims of abuse and neglect for the first time.
“These children need a voice, they need an independent spokesperson to protect their wellbeing, they need someone to help prevent re-abuse, they need someone who is a trained advocate who can help get them into a permanent home…for an opportunity rich future. They need, specifically, in short, they need a CASA in their life.”
CASA of Central Texas advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system by recruiting, training and supporting community volunteers. CASA volunteers are appointed to children who are confirmed victims of abuse or neglect to independently investigate the case and provide recommendations to the family court judge, what is in the best interest of the child. CASA volunteers often serve as the only consistent adult in the child’s life.
“CASA volunteers explain to the child the events that are happening, why they are in foster care, and the roles the judge, attorneys, and caseworkers play. Advocates offer the children what no one else can: consistency and continuity in the midst of all the chaos the children are experiencing.” Executive Director Norma Castilla-Blackwell said. “In the course of a typical case, the child will experience several foster placements, new schools, caseworker turnover and one Advocate. The trust that is built allows the CASA to encourage the children to express their feelings and to feel safe. All the while the advocates remain objective observers.”
The organization is currently housed in the Hays County Historic Courthouse in downtown San Marcos with support from the County Commissioners. Lon Shell, Hays County Commissioner Pct. 3, said they are excited about the building being completed.
“It’s unfortunate that we need a building like this…We have to deal with reality, and I know that disturbs many of us, but I think what should warm our hearts is that there are advocates for these children and that we are supporting them and that they will love them and make sure that they have their voices heard,” Shell said. “Let’s remember to think of all those volunteers and what the importance of what this building means, because without this, there would be children in need.”
The campaign received a jump in January when local supporter Miriam McCoy presented the organization with a $500,000 donation. Brenda McCoy Remme spoke Thursday on behalf of her mother Miriam McCoy and her family.
“My brothers and I were especially inspired to contribute to this program because we all know CASA volunteers” she said. “The CASA volunteers that I know are so dedicated. I would say they are the ones who inspired us the most.”
Rose said supporting CASA is a way to support the community.
“CASA is a wise investment. Volunteer resources and charitable donations are leveraged so that overhead in administration is minimized and direct services are maximized to benefit children,” he said. “It is terrifically purposeful work, it is fiscally impactful work the public dollar.”
In 2018, CASA of Central Texas served nearly 600 children in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties but there were an estimated 600 additional children who did not have the voice of a CASA volunteer.
“We believe that every child deserves a CASA volunteer,” Castilla-Blackwell said. “To accomplish this, the first step is to make sure we are equipped to properly train and support those volunteers. This new facility will allow us to do that, and I hope everyone will come join us as we begin this new venture.”
Project Partners: ECM International Inc., Balfour Beatty, Fuse Architecture Studio, Doucet & Associates, X5 Engineering, Wood & Thomason Construction, McKenna Foundation, Coleman & Associates, Dunaway, Cemex, Ingram Readymix Inc.
Campaign Donors: Hays County, City of San Marcos, Miriam McCoy, The JE & LE Mabee Foundation, the Meadows Foundation, Texas Pioneer Foundation, Burdine Johnson Foundation, Comal Cops for Kids Foundation, San Marcos Lions Club, Tomblin Family Foundation, Walton International, Hobby Family Foundation, Hays Energy LLC, Union Pacific Foundation, Grande Community Chest, Joan Bancroft, Mary Alice Bethancourt, Carol Bisset, Norma & Chris Blackwell, Nancy Deckard, Kathy Dial, Donna & Archie Dishman, Linda & Stanley Finch, Belinda & Ron Frisk, JoAnne Germer, Teresa & David Junkin, Chloe & John Navarrette, Tricia & Mike Schneider, Robert Williams and many more.
Ceremony Donors: Kissing Tree Golf Club, Dos Gatos, Mochas & Javas, Comal Event Rental, Jim Flynn Photography, Sean Williams, Juan Carlos Cavasos & SMHS Mariachi Nuevo Cascabel
The $1.6 million project is expected to reach completion by the end of 2019.
Thanks to the following donors
Hays County — City of San Marcos — Miriam McCoy — The JE & LE Mabee Foundation – Texas Pioneer FoundATION — bURDINE jOHNSON Foundation — cOMAL cOPS FOR kIDS fOUNDATIOn — sAN mARCOS lIONS cLUB — tOMBLIN fAMILY fOUNDATION — wALTON iNTERNATIONAL — hOBBY fAMILY fOUNDATIOn — hAYS eNERGY, llc — uNION pACIFIC fOUNDATION — gRANDE cOMMUNITY cHEST
Joan Bancroft — Mary Alice Bethancourt — Carol Bisset — Norma & Chris Blackwell — Nancy Deckard — Kathy Dial — Donna & Archie Dishman — Linda & Stanley Finch — Belinda & Ron Frisk — JoAnne Germer — Teresa & David Junkin — Chloe & John Navarrette — Tricia & Mike Schneider — Robert Williams
To read our Capital Campaign e-package including site plan, floor plan, renderings, press releases and naming opportunities, click the Capital Campain Superhero Packet.
Thanks to project partners
CASA of Central Texas Superhero Capital Campaign News
MCCOY GIFT TO CASA
“I’m so pleased to be able to make this gift to help children in need. I am also so grateful to the CASA Board, leadership, administration and volunteers that work so hard, ”said Mrs. McCoy at the check presentation, which took place at the McCoy’s Building Supply corporate office. “The work you do is emotional and important. I thank you for all you do to help the children.”
The donation was made to the organization’s Capital Campaign to build a volunteer training and support center on Hunter Road in San Marcos. CASA of Central Texas has been in the area for 33 years, but this will be the first time to build and own a facility in Hays County. Miriam McCoy’s generous donation will ensure the project moves along the planned timeline with groundbreaking scheduled this July.
“We plan to nearly double the number of children CASA serves each year by building this new volunteer training center and headquarters in the heart of our community,” CASA of Central Texas Board President JoAnn Germer said. “This facility will vastly increase the number of volunteers we can train and support both now and into the future, and we greatly appreciate Mrs. McCoy’s gift that moves us toward our goal.”
When a child is removed from an unsafe home environment a judge may appoint a committed volunteer to help. That volunteer is called a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA. CASA volunteers are screened, highly trained and then appointed by judges to represent and advocate for a child’s best interest in the child protection system.
San Marcos resident John Barthel spotted a newspaper article about CASA and decided to learn more about the program. He was sworn in as a volunteer in 2011.
“I have learned the value to a child of having an adult just ‘be there’ consistently over the long haul,” Barthel said about his time as a CASA volunteer. “Both in good times and bad, it seems that having a loyal, consistent, non-judging adult can reduce some of the anxiety in a foster child’s life, and provide some much needed stability.”
CASA volunteers are each assigned to help one child or set of siblings at a time, so they can focus on giving that child or sibling group the individualized advocacy and attention that they need. But, as CASA of Central Texas Executive Director Norma Blackwell said, this leaves more than half of the children in state care without the advantage of a CASA at their side
“Right now CASA has about 250 volunteers, and each year we see more than 800 children in our community who need our services,” Blackwell said. “Because we aim to advocate for every child who needs us, our focus right now is to dramatically increase the number of CASA volunteers we recruit, train and support.”
Mrs. McCoy’s daughter Brenda McCoy Remme and sons Brian McCoy and Mike McCoy are very excited about CASA’s building plans, and spoke about the tireless dedication of CASA’s volunteer advocates, a few of whom they know personally. They are aware of the hope CASA volunteers give to children who have suffered from unimaginable abuse and neglect.
“Great things get done because of the wonderful work of volunteers,” Brian McCoy said. “When mom and dad get the opportunity to connect to causes close to home, they are very pleased to give support. It’s amazing what people can overcome when they have a little help.”
The facility site is located at the corner of Hunter Road and Reimer Avenue in San Marcos and building plans are underway.
“We have an excellent team lined up to build CASA’s training and support center,” said Blackwell. “CASA is pleased to be working with local firms including Wood & Thomason Construction, Fuse Architecture, Alpha Associates, Doucet & Associates, Dunaway Associates, ECM International, Coleman & Associates, and X5 Engineering.”
CASA welcomes additional donations to support their campaign to expand CASA’s program services to help more abused and neglected children from Central Texas. Donations may be mailed to CASA of Central Texas, attn: Capital Campaign, P.O. Box 1267, San Marcos, TX 78667.
To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer, visit www.casacentex.org.
Capital Campaign Kickoff
CASA held a kickoff for their Capital Campaign November 13, 2014 at the Hays County Government Center in San Marcos, where supporters saw plans for the facility and heard from local elected officials.
“We support you fully at the county court, we support what you do,” said Hays County Judge Bert Cobb. “You get more than you give when you work with CASA, I guarantee you that.”
The campaign aims to raise $2.6 million for capacity building including a 6,000 square-foot training and support center for the program in 2016.
“This area is growing, and so is the need for our services,” said JoAnne Germer, CASA of Central Texas Board of Directors President. “San Marcos is the fastest growing city in the U.S. and as the population increases, so does the number of children who are being abused – we’ve seen an average increase of 5-10 percent every year in the number of children who are in the state’s protective custody. We need this new facility to train and support more advocates for the community’s children.”
The new facility will allow CASA to work toward the goal of providing a CASA volunteer to all of the children in State Care.
“We believe that every child deserves a CASA volunteer,” said CASA of Central Texas Executive Director Norma Castilla-Blackwell. “To accomplish this, the first step is to make sure we are equipped to properly train and support those volunteers. This new facility will allow us to do that, and I hope everyone will come join us as we begin this new venture.”
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