GayleGayle Holland
Volunteer Since August 2016

What do you do when you aren’t volunteering for CASA? I have been a RN for 40 years. I moved to Richmond 3 years ago to be closer to my children and grandchildren and currently my husband, Norm, (who is also a CASA) and I take care of our 2 year old grandson (pictured) who has a sibling on the way next month. We also love to spend time with our other grandchildren in Charlottesville.

Why do you CASA? As a public health nurse in Maryland, I got to know CASAs who were visiting some of the same families I was. I loved hearing about their opportunities for advocacy. My daughter is a professor at VCU and on the Board of Young Professionals for SCAN. When my husband and I moved to Richmond, she asked us to help out at the Santa Shop event and we learned that there were many children waiting for CASA’s. We decided right away that I would go through training and my husband decided to get trained with me.

I am overwhelmed by the wonderful work CASA volunteers do, I love the advocacy role we provide for kids and I am so thankful for the guidance and support from the CASA professional staff! I must admit though, my favorite times as a CASA are the times each month interacting with my kids. I’m so in awe of their resiliency and ability to share their love.

Why we think Gayle is awesome: Gayle has been a joy to work with! She has such a big heart, and just wants to help everyone that she can. On her first case, she developed strong relationships with the foster parents, DSS worker, and other professionals. Most importantly, she immediately connected with her CASA kids and it’s clear that they’ve benefited from having her in their lives.

INSPIRATION

A foster parent recently shared with us some kind words about their CASA volunteer. It’s a good reminder of the challenges that foster children (and foster parents) face and why the work we do is so important…

“The experience (of being first time foster parents) was as rich in happiness as it was fraught with unexpected challenges, and it was one that tested the strength of both our marriage and our careers. Our foster child, too, having been placed in a second foster home, carried with him a lot of built-in uncertainties. Yet, amid all of the questioning feelings and insecurity, there was one element that provided consistency, strength, and hope: our foster child’s CASA worker. During our time as foster parents, we came to trust him implicitly because of his resolute compassion, his grace, and his genuine care for our foster child, who looked up to him with greater esteem than we had observed toward anyone else. It is not an overstatement to write that (the CASA) held us together as a family. Having been the most consistent figure in our foster son’s life, (the CASA) provided insight, support, and most importantly a sense of trust amidst the unpredictable transitions of foster care.”

Questions about getting involved in Richmond CASA?

Please contact CASA Volunteer Coordinator, Heather Farber, at heather.farber@richmondgov.com or 804-646-5180. You can also find more information at http://grscan.com/programs/richmond-casa.

 

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