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Richmond CASA swore in a new class of volunteers on November 7. Each of the 22 volunteers went through an intensive 35-hours of training and court observations to advocate on behalf of children involved in cases of abuse or neglect in the Richmond City Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
“I think this class has risen to the great needs of Richmond’s most vulnerable children by readily jumping into the cases they were assigned,” Program Director Peg Ruggiero said. “The new volunteers were sworn in on a Thursday evening and the next week, when they came to pick up their assigned cases, they left our office excited and eager to get to work. That is always what amazes me about the people who become CASA volunteers.”
The group of 22 was the largest class Richmond CASA had ever trained and sworn in. Volunteer Coordinator Jana Blue said that they came from many different backgrounds and areas of Richmond.
“They have one common quest – to make a difference in the lives of children,” Jana said. “We have enjoyed getting to know them and look forward to supporting them in their advocacy.”
Last fiscal year, Richmond CASA volunteers served more than 200 children. Volunteers dedicate 12 to 15 hours each month to learning about and advocating for children in the cases appointed to them. Last fiscal year, Richmond CASA volunteers provided 4,214 hours of service.
Below are quotes from some of our new volunteers, whom we are fortunate to have working with us to keep children safe!
“Growing up in a disadvantaged area where I saw a dire need for people to help children that were abused, I feel very privileged to be able to be one of those individuals that will do my best to advocate for the best interest of a child. I hope to make a big impact and a difference in many children’s lives, one at a time!” – Anna Rauda, CASA Volunteer
“I found the training to be very informative in that it allowed for us to be interactive with one another beyond traditional lecture style. We were able to voice our opinions openly and honestly while maintaining respect for our fellow classmates.” – Shanequa Lewis, CASA Volunteer
“It is a privilege to be a part of the CASA program and serve as an advocate for children who don’t really have a voice.” Elaine Minor, CASA Volunteer