This article was contributed by CASA of San Benito.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) hosted its annual appreciation event on Aug. 22 honoring the amazing community members advocating on behalf of foster children from San Benito County.
The celebration, hosted at the GardenShoppe, included an evening of recognition and camaraderie, and highlighted the work of the volunteers.
Mark Vivian, board vice chair, kicked off the evening of gratitude by sharing a statement CASA had posted earlier in the week.
“‘This is the time of year where we see an influx of children entering foster care. Having been removed from their homes, our children need a caring adult more than ever… You too can be a beacon of hope for a foster child in need,'” he said. “What a powerful image, to be a beacon of hope. You are a beacon of hope for the children who need it most.”
State Assemblyman Robert Rivas and field representative Vanessa Gonzalez, who attended on behalf of State Senator Anna Caballero, also acknowledged the advocates. They underscored the value of the volunteer work, and provided certificates to advocates in recognition of their dedication and commitment to serving foster children from our community. Tracey Belton, interim director of San Benito County Health and Human Services, was also in attendance and expressed her gratitude.
To date, CASA has served 188 foster children from this community. The need for additional advocates remains great. There is no special background or education required, just the willingness and ability to commit to helping a foster child from San Benito County. The next advocate training session starts this October. To learn more or sign up, please visit casasanbenito.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (831) 637-4992.