November 2014   

CASA Up Close

Welcome to another edition of CASA Up Close Monthly. Below you will find information about our supporters, upcoming events, training opportunities and more. Please feel free to contact CASA for more information about anything you read. And, as always, thank you for your continued support.

CASA of Central Texas


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

Every child has the right to a safe, nurturing, permanent home.
Letter from the Executive Director


 The Season of Giving

     Gathering with friends and family during the holidays is a tradition most of us take for granted. But for so many of the children served by CASA, the holidays provide a painful reminder that they are different from their peers - separated from parents, siblings, pets and close friends as they reside in foster care and other safe placements to shield them from further abuse and/or neglect. 


     While you and I decide where we will spend our holidays, these children and youth wait for safe, permanent homes. The holidays can be a lonely time.


     Fortunately, this is often a time when many caring members of our community step forward to offer their help. It is this outpouring of concern and generosity that makes me particularly thankful during this holiday season. Just when our volunteers and staff are overwhelmed by the tragic reality of new abuse and neglect cases in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties, the phone rings or my email inbox reveals a caring individual or group ready to extend a helping hand.


     This meaningful support is what makes our community special. Your financial donations to CASA, your in-kind contributions, your volunteer hours, and your creative and meaningful offers to share your time and resources truly make a difference. 


     With your help, we are making a difference one child at a time. As you gather with your loved ones this holiday season, please know that your generosity is truly appreciated, and your gifts are providing hope for the children served by our dedicated CASA volunteers. Your contributions exemplify the heart of giving, and we are thankful.


Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season,




Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director 

Upcoming Volunteer Trainings
Make a Difference in the life of a child,
become a CASA Volunteer

Classes are set for 2015!
If you know someone who would make a great
CASA volunteer, please share these training dates.

Karin Crane, CASA of Central Texas Advocate since 2007


4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Jan. 14th through Feb. 18th

San Marcos office 


1 to 5 p.m.
Jan. 15th through Feb. 19th

New Braunfels office 

8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Feb. 28th through March 28th
New Braunfels office

Training sessions will also begin the following weeks.
Times and locations TBA.

Week of March 2

Week of April 26

Week of June 21

Week of August 9

  To learn more about training sessions, contact Training Coordinator Debbie Haynes at 512-392-3578 or by email.


For more information on becoming a volunteer, click here.
Volunteer Voices
Leslie Allen, CASA of Central Texas Advocate since 2012
You Can Make the Difference 

  "I feel a very strong desire to serve others and make a difference in the world. I knew in my heart that helping children, the ones who often get overlooked, was where I could do the most good. CASA was a perfect fit."


  "I have learned that ALL children just want to be loved...they want to be heard...they need to KNOW there is at least one person in this world on their side who will be there for them, always.  For many of these kids, without CASA, they would not have anyone."


   "To someone considering becoming a CASA, I would say that no matter how difficult it can be to watch the struggles these kids go through, there is nothing like knowing you helped to ease their burden, even just a little.  You absolutely CAN make a difference in someone's life by becoming a CASA."
Upcoming Information Sessions
Bob Williams, CASA of Central Texas Advocate since 2010

Open to everyone, bring your friends, family and colleagues and we will provide lunch!

CASA can also
bring these information
sessions to you,
just give us a call!   

VoicesYou are Invited
to a CASA Voices Tour

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


New Braunfels  
CASA office
Wednesday, December 3rd - Noon  


 San Marcos 

CASA office 
Wednesday, December 10th - Noon

Please RSVP to Eloise Hudson 
by email or at 830-626-2272.

Lunch provided by Fox's Pizza Den in New Braunfels and Chick-fil-A in San Marcos.  
Endowment Challenge

Headed for the Finish Line

     Less than a week to go before our endowment campaign closes! We are very close to achieving our goal of raising $25,000 to meet the challenge put before us by the McKenna Foundation.

Make a donation designated to CASA's endowment fund by December 1st:

Donate online: here 

Or deliver to: CASA of Central Texas, 1619 E. Common St., Suite 301, New Braunfels, TX 78130

     Endowment donations received after Dec. 1 will be directed to the fund but will not be eligible for a matching contribution from the McKenna Foundation.

     Please call CASA Development Director Tricia Schneider, 830-626-2272, for more information/questions.

A Growing Program


CASA is Getting a New Casa

     CASA officially began the journey to a permanent office in San Marcos on November 13th at the Capital Campaign Kickoff Reception.


     CASA supporters attended the event and local elected officials spoke of the need and pledged their support.


Pictured l-r are: CASA of Central Texas Board President JoAnne Germer, CASA of Central Texas Board Member Kathy Dial, Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler, San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero, CASA of Central Texas Executive Director Norma Castilla-Blackwell, Hays County Judge Bert Cobb and Hays County Commissioner Will Conley.

     "We support you fully at the county court, we support what you do," said Hays County Judge Bert Cobb. "You get more than you give when you work with CASA. I guarantee you that."


     Our goal is to raise $1.2 million to build a 6,000 square-foot office and training facility in 2016.


If you would like to support CASA's Capital Campaign, click here.

We received great coverage of the event! See the stories from KXAN and KVUE.
Help Make the Holidays Special
Participate in CASA's Holiday Toy and Gift Drive  

     This holiday season, CASA of Central Texas is collaborating with local organizations and individuals to provide gifts for abused and neglected children. This annual project is a wonderful opportunity to extend the giving tradition to children in our community.  We hope that you will join us in our goal to provide a gift to all of the abused and neglected children that CASA serves.  


    To participate, visit the Toy and Gift Drive website Here. You will see a list of the children, their ages and wishlists. Follow the directions to select a child and then fulfill their request.




If you have any questions, please contact Eloise Hudson by email or at 830-626-2272. 

Cyber Monday


Support CASA While You Shop Online  

     The Monday following the Thanksgiving shopping spree weekend has in recent years become know as "Cyber Monday", a day when many people do their holiday shopping online.


    When you do your online shopping, you can support CASA at the same time by using websites that give back as you shop.



When you shop hundreds of stores through Goodshop and designate CASA of Central Texas as your charity, not only will you find great
deals, but a percentage of your purchase will be donated to CASA. Just go to, select CASA of Central Texas as your charity, and start shopping! 



When you shop on Amazon, at no extra cost to you a portion of your eligible purchases can be donated to help CASA recruit and train volunteers! 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!



December 2nd is the third 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 spend on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, please consider kicking off the holiday giving season with an end-of-year charitable gift toCASA of Central Texas! Click here to donate. 

Advocate Appreciation Mixer


Winter WONDERland

 All of our WONDERful Advocates are invited to our annual
Advocate Appreciation Mixer.

Friday, December 12th
6:30 p.m.
Price Center, San Marcos
Get Your Tickets


2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Tickets Available 

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl coordinators are once again offering free tickets to CASA of Central Texas. Advocates are encouraged to take their children to the game if they are interested in sports, or request tickets for their placement so they may attend together.


CASA Volunteer John Nutting with his CASA child at a previous U.S. Army All-American Bowl game. 

Game Details:   

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 3rd, 2015, noon   


Where: Alamodome, Downtown San Antonio  




If you are interested in requesting tickets for you and your child or their placement, please contact Eloise Hudson by e-mail or at 830-626-2272


Continuing Education


 Dealing with Grief and Loss 


     CASA volunteers participated in a continuing education workshop focused on grief and loss on November 13th. The class explored how grief affects youth at different stages of development and how to distinguish between healthy and complicated grieving.  Our volunteers left with the knowledge and tools to help support children faced with loss.  Thank you to the facilitator, Erin Spalding, Program Director of The Christi Center in Austin. 


At each C.E. workshop, the training staff raffles off CASA-branded gifts to thank the volunteers for attending the class as well as committing to 12 hours of continuing education every year. Pictured are prize winners Karen Moore and Beverly Hoffman.
Committee Members Needed

Tickets are on sale and sponsors are needed. More information here.
Help Make Our 30th Anniversary a Success

2015 will mark 30 years for our program and we need help planning our April Celebration event, CASA in the Keys.

Volunteers are needed to help with the live and silent auctions, set up, clean up, manning the games and gathering donations.

If you would like to help, please contact Renee' Lehmann by email.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Mariposa at Hunter Road Apartments
McKenna Foundation
Robin and David Pfeifer
Thank You


  Our Community Supporters

Broadway Bank

The Seguin Parrothead Club
Calendar of Events


3rd-       Voices Tour, noon 
              New Braunfels CASA office

10th-      Voices Tour, noon
   San Marcos CASA office 
12th-      Advocate Appreciation Mixer, 6:30
               Price Center, San Marcos 

7th-       Voices Tour, noon 
              New Braunfels CASA office

14th-     Voices Tour , noon
  San Marcos CASA office

14th-     CASA Volunteer Training begins, 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
              San Marcos CASA office

15th-     CASA Volunteer Training begins, 1 - 5 p.m. 
              New Braunfels CASA office




4th-       Voices Tour, noon 
              New Braunfels CASA office
11th-     Voices Tour , noon
San Marcos CASA office

28th-     CASA Volunteer Training Begins, 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
              New Braunfels CASA office 
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