CASA and the Coronavirus
By Kerry Bishop
Southern Gables Neighborhood Association has contributed to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for the last several years. Our neighbors have been involved in CASA leadership and have participated as court-appointed advocates for abused and neglected children.
CASA of Jefferson and Gilpin Counties (casajeffcogilpin.com) gives abused and neglected children in Jefferson and Gilpin Counties a chance at the best possible future through awareness, advocacy, and support. We are proud to have provided CASA volunteers to more than 3,900 abused and neglected children since 2001. CASA volunteers offer a consistent and caring adult presence in the lives of the children they serve. Children are our future, but they can be the most vulnerable.
With the Stay-at-Home order earlier in the year, we made the difficult, but necessary, change to have only virtual meetups. Our incredible CASA volunteers found great ways to keep eyes on their CASA children during the pandemic, everything from virtual book clubs, dance parties, workouts, and arts & crafts. Our volunteers are now allowed to meet their CASA children in person, as long as social distancing guidelines and masks are used. Since Mandatory Reporters (teachers, doctors, childcare workers) are not seeing children in our area due to Covid-19, we must be prepared for a rise in child abuse cases once they do. These children need us more than ever. You can help to change a child’s story.
CASA Jeffco/Gilpin is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on donations and support from people like you.
Kerry Bishop is a CASA staff member and a Southern Gables neighbor. CASA manages their work with more than 93,000 volunteers nationwide. Each year more than a quarter of a million children are assisted through CASA services. Southern Gables Neighborhood Association is proud to support this vital work that impacts all of us directly and indirectly.
Several Southern Gables Association members have asked about important activities for which they could volunteer their time, contribute money, or maybe just be aware. We have compiled a list of places where your contributions of time and talent can be applied. If you have some ideas to add to the list from your own experience, please provide descriptions and links about your recommended volunteer activities through our “Contact Us” page.
Organizations in the Southern Gables Neighborhood
- Green Gables Elementary School needs crossing guards in the morning and afternoon. Call the school at 303-982-8314 to learn more and to volunteer.
- Green Gables Elementary School also needs volunteers with greeting students in the hallways, helping students with homework and reading, other tutoring, library assistants, leading school clubs. Call the school office or contact Principal Suanne Hawley directly at email@example.com if you would like to help in any way.
Organizations in Lakewood and Jefferson County
- CASA of Jefferson and Gilpin County supports volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected children. Volunteers, who are assigned a case by the court, are always needed. These cases require a lot of effort. But there are many other ways to support CASA. More information at:
- The Action Center provides a wide range of services to the homeless and others who are struggling. More at:
- Carmody Middle School has a need for volunteers to be “Watchdogs.” Watchdogs help with outside visibility and traffic issues before and after each school day. Additional Watchdogs will be especially useful starting in August 2018 as the 8th Grade is added. Library assistance and tutoring is always welcome. Call the school at 303-982-8930.
- The Severe Weather Shelter Network has a Lakewood presence. They provide refuge on life-threatening winter nights for those living on the streets, and they help find permanent housing.
- The Oasis Institute has a partnership with Jefferson County Schools, including Green Gables Elementary, to pair volunteer tutors with children in grades K-3 who teachers feel would benefit from a caring, one-on-one mentoring relationship. One child, one tutor, one school year.
Organizations in the Denver Metro Area
- Habitat for Humanity has many volunteer opportunities with some projects near our neighborhood.
- The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has more volunteers than any museum in the country. There are many different interesting volunteer opportunities available.
- The African Community Center helps refugees rebuild safe, sustainable lives in the Denver Metro area.
- Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains is a faith-based, non-profit human service agency providing adoption, foster care, older adult caregiving, prevention, and refugee services.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Colorado is always looking for adult volunteers to be matched up with at-risk kids. In addition, a new school-based program has been set up to match entire classrooms of students with one-on-one mentors interacting through monthly group meetings supplemented with electronic communications, with a structured curriculum. They pioneered “Mentor2.0” at our nearby Sheridan High School, and summertime is when they are looking for new volunteers for the coming school year.
BigLittleColorado.org (All Programs)