CASA Up Close | December 2019
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! Use these quick links to get involved.
In this Issue

  • Welcome New CASA Volunteers
  • Training Dates
  • CASA Training & Support Center Update
  • Information Sessions
  • Giving Tuesday
  • Advocate Continuing Education
  • Champions Fore Charity
  • Payroll Deductions
  • Gift CASA Your IRA
  • Events Benefiting CASA
  • Community Support
Letter from the Executive Director
As National Adoption Month comes to an end and the Holidays begin, I can not think of a more perfect transition than last week's Adoption Day.

On November 25th, CASA of Central Texas was privileged to participate in the annual Central Texas Adoption Day and witnessed 12 new families being created. Included in those were 9 children CASA helped along their journeys to their forever homes.

How special this day was for them! Last week they spent their first Thanksgiving as a "forever" family, and now they look forward to the December holidays together.

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
Become a CASA Volunteer

Get ready for CASA Training
in 2020


January 8 - February 5
5 - 9 p.m.

January 9 - February 6
1 -5 p.m.

January 25 - February 8
9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Seguin Public Library
Application deadline prior to each cycle is two weeks before start of training. Submit your volunteer application here .
For more information on training courses, contact Layla Coleman at 512-392-3578, 830-626-2272, or by email.

One-hour pre-training interview to occur at least one week before start of each training cycle. Mandatory 10-hour online class to be completed during the training cycle. 
Gift Cards for CASA
Volunteers will be appointed to more children in December, and there will be additional needs for children throughout the coming year.

If you would like to help us prepare for these needs, we are asking for $20 gift cards from:
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Academy
  • Best Buy
  • Movie theaters

Gift cards may also be used throughout the year to support our volunteers.

Gift cards may be dropped off at either CASA office, or mailed to our office in New Braunfels.
Thanks to generous community members and organizations, the Holiday Wishlists of more than 200 children have been fulfilled!

Throughout December, CASA volunteers will visit the children on their cases and deliver personalized gifts that are provided through our Holiday Toy and Gift Drive.
Still needed: Gift Bags! If you would like to donate gift bags - medium to large size - please drop them off at either CASA office.
Training & Support Center - Project Update
The walls are up and the roof is next! Windows and doors are coming soon and the building should be dried-in by the end of December!

Engraved brick pavers will be installed near the main entrance of the new facility.

Personalized pavers are a great way to honor a friend, volunteer, staff member or group; memorialize a loved one; encourage your favorite CASA volunteer; or show your family’s appreciation for CASA and our children, while leaving a lasting tribute in your name.
We hope each and every CASA supporter will buy in to this unique opportunity and pave the way for impact!
Click HERE  for complete details.
Deadline for order forms: January 15th
Thank you to our project partners
"Voices" Information Sessions

Learn more about CASA at one of our upcoming Information Sessions

Schertz
Monday, December 2nd, 6:30 p.m.
Schertz United Methodist Church

Lockhart
Tuesday, December 3rd, 6 p.m.
Lockhart Public Library

Wimberley
Wednesday, December 4th, 9:15 a.m.
Wimberley Café

New Braunfels
Wednesday, December 4th, noon
CASA office

Seguin
Monday, December 9th, noon
Seguin Public Library

Buda
Monday, December 9th, 6:30 p.m.
Buda Public Library

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

Bulverde
Monday, December 23rd, 6:30 p.m.
Mammen Family Public Library
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. 
Please RSVP by email
 or at 830-626-2272 
Giving Tuesday
Tomorrow is the 8th annual #GivingTuesday worldwide. Kick off the holiday giving season with an end-of-year charitable gift to CASA of Central Texas!

Be part of the global giving movement that champions causes in communities all over the world, like providing the voice of a trained CASA volunteer for children who have been abused or neglected.

Make your donation HERE or text CASACENTEX to 1-888-364-GIVE (4483)
Advocate Continuing Education
November 7th

Meredith Parekh, Senior attorney specializing in foster care with Disability Rights Texas (DRTX), provided an informative and engaging session on what services DRTX offers to our youth in foster care.

DRTX is the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy Organization for people with disabilities in the state of Texas. They are appointed as the co-Attorney ad Litem for any foster child with a disability to help with disability-related concerns. Typical examples include special education, child without placement (CWOP) due to disabilities, Medicaid waivers, Medicaid refusing to pay for services, and a child with criminal justice involvement.

Ms. Parekh advised CASAs to view DRTX as a partner and resource and to communicate with them regularly. In speaking for a child’s best interest, know when a surrogate parent needs to be appointed (and take the 1-hour training on CASA College) and know the warning signs of childfind violations since it is the school’s obligation to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities.

Volunteers were also informed that if there are medical concerns, GAL can petition the court for any order related to medical care that would be in the best interest of the child.

Additionally, volunteers should ensure that any child with an IQ below 70 or a 75 and related conditions be referred to the Developmental Disability specialist with the Department and that the child is placed on all long-term care waiting lists, such as Home and Community-Based Services, Intermediate Care Facilities, and Community Living Assistance and Support Services.
All CASA volunteers are required 12 hours of continuing education annually
12 Days of Giving
As a Champions fore Charity participating organization, CASA receives $10 from each Valero Texas Open tournament ticket purchased online at www.ValeroTexasOpen.com/tickets  between December 1-12.

This is your chance to purchase tickets early to benefit CASA now – plus, a chance to help us earn $20,000 when you attend the Valero Texas Open and check in at the Donation Stations.
The Valero Texas Open will also match up to an additional
$500! Buy your VTO tickets now!
Payroll Deductions for CASA
SECC logo
CFC logo
State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC)
CASA of Central Texas Code: 
#475017 (Capital Area)
#475030 (San Antonio Area)
Combined Federal Campaign
(CFC)
CASA of Central Texas Code:
#60661
Plan a Gift for CASA
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DID YOU KNOW THAT YOUR IRA IS WORTH MORE AS A CHARITABLE GIFT?

An IRA is an excellent vehicle for accumulating assets to use during your retirement – it is not a tax-wise approach for passing down an inheritance. There is a way, however, to use such accounts to their full advantage.

If you are between 59-1/2 and 70-1/2, you can make a charitable gift from an IRA during your lifetime without penalty. If you take distributions from your IRA – even if paid directly to CASA of Central Texas, Inc. – you will report the distribution as taxable income on your tax return in the year of distribution. The advantage of making a gift to CASA of Central Texas is that you will be eligible for a charitable income tax deduction , which may offset the income tax triggered by the distribution.
 
IRA CHARITABLE ROLLOVER
If you are 70-1/2 years old or older, you can take advantage of a simple way to benefit CASA of Central Texas and receive tax benefits in return. You can give up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to CASA of Central Texas. Funds must be transferred directly from your financial institution to CASA of Central Texas: the transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction.  If you have not yet taken your required minimum distribution (RMD) in 2019, why not consider a percentage directly to CASA of Central Texas?
 
STOCK MAKES A GREAT GIFT!
With recent stock market gains, many of your investments are likely worth more today than what you originally paid for them. Time to sell? If you do, you might have to pay capital gains taxes. There’s a better option that provides you with valuable tax incentives as well as the satisfaction of supporting a cause close to your heart:  gift your stock to CASA of Central Texas!  
 
For more information, contact Development Director Tricia Schneider at 830.626.2272 x120. As always, we advise that you speak with your family and your tax/financial advisor(s) before implementing any gift plan.
Events Benefiting CASA

CASA of Central Texas welcomes community initiatives to help promote awareness and funding for our program. By taking on this type of project, event organizers assume the responsibility of creating a successful event without a significant level of assistance from CASA. All special events and fundraising efforts conducted to benefit CASA are run by financially responsible and reputable organizations and individuals motivated by a genuine desire to help CASA. If you are interested in hosting a third-party fundraiser to benefit CASA, please review these guidelines .
Community Support
Rotary of New Braunfels
New Braunfels Jaycees
CASA of Central Texas, Inc. | 830-626-2272 | info@casacentex.org | www.casacentex.org