CASA Up Close
CASA of Central Texas advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system by recruiting, training and supporting community volunteers.

     Welcome to another edition of CASA Up Close Monthly. Please feel free to contact CASA for more information about anything you read. And, as always, thank you for your continued support.
Letter from the Executive Director  
A Special Holiday Season 

     As Adoption Month comes to an end and the Holidays begin, I can not think of a more perfect transition then last week's Adoption Day.

     On November 21st, CASA of Central Texas had the privilege of participating in the annual Central Texas Adoption Day and witnessed 19 new families being created. Included in those were 16 children CASA had helped on their journey to their forever homes. 

     Two of the adopted children spent 1,256 days in foster care. That time
A balloon release was a beautiful symbol for the joy felt by everyone at Adoption Day 
adds up to 1/2 of the younger child's life, and 1/3 of the older child's life. How special this day must have been for them! And last week they spen t their first Thanksgiving as an official "forever" family.

      I am thankful for my own family, and I am also thankful for you, our supporters and advocates, who work hard to make these forever families possible. The holidays are better when they are spent with family, especially for children.

Thank you,  
Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director  
Volunteer Voices  

"Open your hearts to our little ones! They need someone to help them make better choices when their own parents are not able or willing."

~ Rosa Hernandez, Caldwell County, CASA of Central Texas Volunteer since 1997.
Become a CASA Volunteer training
Bill Raissle, CASA of Central Texas Volunteer since 2012.

2017 training courses are ready for you!

Check out our calendar for dates and times and for information on how to get enrolled.

For more information on training courses contact Volunteer Coordinator Samantha Mundine Coleman at 512-392-3578, 830-626-2272 or by email, or click here to visit our website.

Training is required for all new Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers. 
The Volunteer Training Course is a 6-class series.  
Welcome New CASA Volunteers  

Our newest CASA Volunteers were sworn in on November 8.
Pictured are:
Christi Day (left) and Rachel Arredondo (right).

Trainings for 2017 have been set. Check our calendar for dates. 
Voices Tour Information Sessions Voices 

Want to learn more about the role of a CASA Volunteer?

Come to
ribbon our one-hour information session and hear how our volunteers advocate for children who have been abused and neglected.   
CASA staff and
volunteers will be on hand to share their stories and answer your questions.  
Voices Tours
New Braunfels 
Wednesday, December 7th, noon
CASA office


New Braunfels 
Wednesday, January 4th, noon
CASA office

San Marcos 
Wednesday, January 18th,  noon  
Historic County Courthouse, 1st floor conference room

Please RSVP to Eloise Hudson by email or at 830-626-2272. 
Would you like to host a CASA Voices Tour in your town? Please contact us.
Lunch provided by Fox's Pizza Den in New Braunfels and Chick-fil-A in San Marcos. 
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday - Tomorrow is the Day 

     November 29 is the fifth annual #GivingTuesday worldwide. It is a day to inspire personal philanthropy and encourage bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during the holiday season.
     If you shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, please consider kicking off the holiday giving season with an end-of-year charitable gift to CASA of Central Texas ! Click here to donate. 
Cultural Trends in Human Trafficking
     On November 16th, Dottie Laster, Executive Director of the Heidi Search Centers, taught CASA volunteers about Cultural Trends in Human Trafficking in the Central Texas area. Citing local cases, she debunked myths surrounding the demographics of "Romeos" - men who lure girls into the sex trade - as well as their victims.

   "One major myth is that human trafficking discriminates - it doesn't," Dottie said.  "Romeos don't discriminate. They traffic girls with disabilities. They traffic all races and all shapes and sizes.  The only pattern we see is that it is men doing the trafficking - rarely women. Women typically don't buy sex so it is not marketed to them." 

      The Heidi Search Center serves as a resource for families and communities by providing educational programs, referrals, advocacy, and assistance to law enforcement in search efforts for missing children and adults in San Antonio, Texas and beyond. 

    According to the Heidi Search Center, 20% of youth run away twice before reaching 18 years of age. 33% are lured into sex trafficking 48 hours from leaving home.

      Participants accessed the "Digital DNA" kit which is also available on the Heidi Search Center website to help protect kids online.
Have a Ball With Your CASA Child   

CASA of Central Texas has been invited to be special guests at two upcoming ball games. Volunteers can enjoy the games with their CASA children, their own families, or request tickets for the placement of their CASA children.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl nutting

What: The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is an East versus West showdown that features the top 90 high school football players from across the country and the nation's top 125 high school marching musicians who perform during half-time.
When: Saturday, January 7, 2017, noon 
Where: Alamodome, Downtown San Antonio 
More info:

For Tickets: Pick up free general admission tickets at either CASA office.
St. Edward's University Women's Basketball

What: St. Edward's vs. Texas A&M - International University Women's Basketball Game.

"CASA Day": Special recognition of CASA during halftime. CASA Meet and Greet with the team after the game. Then stay to watch the men's team play!

When: Saturday, January 7, 2017, 1 p.m.

Where: 3002 S. Congress Avenue, Austin

For Tickets: RSVP to Eloise Hudson by email by January 2, 2017 to receive free admission (or call 830-626-2272)
Painting with a Purpose  
     Join us for a night of fun and express your creative side as you Paint with a Purpose. The host company, Painting with a Twist, is generously donating 50% of the proceeds to CASA of Central Texas.

 Participants will paint the above piece of art with the help of an instructor.
December 4th
2 - 4 p.m.
1551 N Walnut Ave #20, New Braunfels 
$35 Includes supplies and snacks and 50% goes to CASA!
Register here and share with your friends, family and neighbors!  
Christmas at the Courthouse  

Stop by the Hays County Historic Courthouse to meet Santa!
Open to the public. 
10:00a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Hays County Historical Courthouse 
111 East San Antonio St
San Marcos

December 3rd
Donuts and Hot Cocoa courtesy of Dixie Cream Donuts

December 10th
Art Squared with children's crafts provided by 
Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos

December 17th
Children's Puppet Show presented by the San Marcos Public Library
Arts and crafts hosted by CASA of Central Texas 

Presented by the Hays County Historical Commission
Shop for CASA on Cyber Monday 

     Have you started your holiday shopping? Here are easy ways to raise money for CASA of Central Texas while you search and shop online. Try them once to learn how easy it is, keep using them through the year to earn more for CASA!
     When you shop on Amazon, at no extra cost to you a portion of your eligible purchases can be donated to CASA! Just go to, log on to your Amazon account, type CASA of Central Texas in the search box, select us and start shopping! CASA will receive .5% of all eligible purchases when you buy from Amazon!
    Use GoodSearch, a search engine just like Google, but for every search you do, CASA of Central Texas receives 1 cent. Go to , type in CASA of Central Texas as the beneficiary, and start searching! In addition, do all of your shopping through their online shopping mall,, where you can shop at more than 2,400 top online retailers and a percentage of your purchases will go to CASA of Central Texas. You pay the same price as you normally would, but a donation goes to CASA!  
Get Your Holiday Hams  

     Perfect for the Holidays! The Wing Society has partnered with the HoneyBaked Hams Company in the sale of gift cards. The Wing Society will receive 20% of each sale. 

     The Wing Society is a CASA of Central Texas auxiliary group whose mission is to provide positive support to sustain and revitalize the commitment of volunteer CASA Advocates in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties. Their funding provides get-togethers for the volunteers, welcome receptions for new volunte ers, scholarships to conferences and more.

     HoneyBaked Gift Cards can be used at HoneyBaked stores nationwide, to shop online, or to order from the HoneyBaked catalog. So don't hesitate to order gift cards for friends and relatives in other cities (as well as yourself, of course)!

Use this website to order.
Gift Your Car to CASA on Giving Tuesday  
     On a day that revolves around  giving back,CASA is grateful for supporters like you. Vehicle donations are a great way to help contribute to recruiting, training and supporting advocaters. Show your support on this #GivingTuesday by gifting your unneeded vehicle to CASA.

     The process is simple, the cause is important.
Visit the donation site online to schedule your donation or for more information. 
Community Support

Texas State University
 A previous CASA intern and her Social Work classmates from Texas State University held a bake sale on campus and used the proceeds to provide 20 hygiene kits for CASA children. 
San Marcos Pan American Golf Association
Their annual golf tournament on November 27 raised funds and holiday gifts for CASA children. They collected more than $1,000 worth of toys!
November 2016
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Upcoming Events


Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office

Advocate Appreciation Mixer 
6:30 - 9:30 p.m.  
Milltown, New Braunfels 
Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office

Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse
room 101

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1 - 5 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101

Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office

Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse room 101
CASA Of Central Texas Inc.