CASA for Children needs your help

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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- Each year, WHSV tries to help out an organization that's making a positive impact here in the Valley. This time around, the station is partnering with CASA for Children.

CASA serves kids who are suffering from abuse and neglect. With the help of its dedicated volunteers, CASA provides assistance to those who have been placed in the foster care system.

"Our vision is that for every abused and neglected child, there's a volunteer trained that's advocating for their best interest," said Juan Pablo Molina, executive director at CASA for Children.

A CASA volunteer advocate often serves as the single constant variable during a tough transition in a child's life.

These volunteers play a vital role in CASA's success. Right now, there are 49 volunteers who donate their time; that means they can serve around 100 children.

However, according to the Department of Social Services, 300 children will find themselves in foster care each year in the Valley.

"We do anything and everything we can to support the children," said Jim McAuley, volunteer advocate. "We get to know the children, we get to know the biological children, we get to know foster parents in many cases. We gather information on how they're doing in school."

Through their 5K Walk and Run, the folks at CASA hope to raise $200,000, which will give them enough money to bring on more paid staff who support their volunteers.

That event will be held on April 15 in Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton. You can learn all about it on CASA's webpage at this link or on the event's Facebook page.

The added funding will allow CASA to hire 4 to 5 more advocate managers. One advocate manager is able to support 30 advocates who can serve 60 children.