CASA Up Close | September 2020
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
  • Information Sessions - by Zoom!
  • Training Dates - by Zoom!
  • CASA Golf Classic
  • Training & Support Center Update
  • New Accomplishments
  • The Big Give
  • CASA Superhero Run
  • Payroll Deductions for CASA
  • Help Make the Holidays Special
  • Hit the Road with CASA
  • Review CASA
  • Shop for CASA
  • Events Benefiting CASA
Letter from the Executive Director
September 15 marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize and honor the history, culture and contributions of the Hispanic community. For many Hispanic children in the foster care system, however, it can be challenging for them to identify with their culture. That is why CASA of Central Texas is asking for more Hispanic and bilingual members of the community to become CASA volunteers and advocate for Hispanic children in the foster care system and their families.

We are always seeking volunteers of all demographics, but Hispanic and bilingual volunteers are urgently needed due to the large number of Hispanic children in the foster care system. In 2019
of the about 1,300 confirmed victims of child abuse in our service area of Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays County, more than 60% of children in foster care were Hispanic. There is a crucial need for more Hispanic and bilingual volunteers for these children.

When children are placed in foster care, they are often not only separated from their families, but also from every other part of their lives like their church, school and community. What’s more, their foster families may have different cultural values, which can further deter them from learning about and celebrating their heritage.

It is not uncommon that a child in foster care will be placed in a home that does not speak their primary language or hold their same cultural beliefs. They need someone they can relate to; someone who can comfortably and effectively communicate with them and advocate for their best interests.

While all of our volunteers are prepared to advocate for any child, it’s ideal for our volunteers to reflect the children they serve because they and their family may be better able to trust and open up to someone who shares similar customs and experiences. We hope it will allow them to form a bond that will result in better advocacy for children’s unique needs in court, school and other settings.

It is our goal, and the goal of the greater CASA community, to grow to provide a CASA volunteer for every child in the foster care system.
Our volunteers are extraordinary people who speak up for children and families in crisis. This Hispanic Heritage Month, we hope you will consider making a difference for them by becoming a CASA volunteer.
Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director
CASA of Central Texas
Welcome New CASA Volunteers
We welcomed 9 new CASA Volunteers in August! Thank you to these wonderful community members who completed an intensive 42-hour training and stepped up to be a voice for children in the court system.
CASA is now enrolling for our next cycle of training courses. See dates below.
Welcome Sarah Hill of Hays County, Mireya Moya of Guadalupe County, Stephanie Cubero of Comal County, Daniel Guerrero of Hays County, Ethan Stokes of Guadalupe County, and Bethany Thorsteinson of Guadalupe County.
"Voices" Information Sessions Online
Meeting times:

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
9 a.m.
Host: Joyce

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
5 p.m.
Host: Nick

Tuesdays and Thursdays
10 a.m.
Host: Eloise

10 a.m.
Host: Rotating

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

Join our 30-minute information session and hear how our volunteers advocate for children who have been abused and neglected.

Just pick a time that works for you and use the links below to join us on Zoom!
If these times don't work for you, contact Eloise Hudson and she can do a 1-1 with you at your convenience!
Become a CASA Volunteer
Upcoming Training Sessions

September 16 - October 14
5 - 8 p.m.

September 19 - October 17
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
*Last Saturday training session of the year!

October 21 - November 18
1 - 4 p.m.
*Last training session of the year!
For more information on training courses, contact Brandi Raschke at 512-392-3578, 830-626-2272, or by email.
Trainings held online and via Zoom.

Application deadline prior to each cycle is two weeks before start of training.

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.
CASA Golf Classic
We have a very special announcement! In order to protect the health and safety of our community – starting with our friends participating in the golf tournament and extending to the children in foster care – we are reducing the number of players per day and adding a second day to the 2020 Corridor Title – CASA Classic Golf Tournament.

This year’s tournament will now be held on Monday, October 26 AND Tuesday, October 27. Many thanks to our extremely gracious partner, Kissing Tree Golf Club in San Marcos, for agreeing to host the tournament on both days!

In other exciting news, team spots for Monday, October 26 are now sold out! New registration is now open for Tuesday, October 27. With only 12 team spots available, we strongly encourage you to register within the next couple of weeks!

Lastly, the Awards Reception will now be held as a virtual event. The fun will last all week long! Save the date and time, Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 7:00 p.m., to join in to recognize the tournament’s winners and give away amazing prizes!

Register as a sponsor, underwriter, team or individual here to ensure the most vulnerable in our community are not left alone to make sense of the world around them.
Player Opportunities
Team of 4- $800
Individual - $250
Ace - $10,000 (3 teams plus benefits)
19th Hole - $7,500 (2 teams plus benefits)
Front Nine – SOLD OUT
Back Nine - SOLD OUT  
Eagle - $2,500 (2 team plus benefits)
Birdie - $1,750 (1 team plus benefits)
Lunch - $2,500
Driving Range - $2,500
Media - $2,500
Golf Gift - SOLD OUT
Hole-in-One - SOLD OUT
Golf Cart - $1,000
Golf Ball Launcher - $1,000
Printing - SOLD OUT
Beverage Cart - $1,000
Refreshments – SOLD OUT
Breakfast - $750
Hole Underwriters - $500

2020 Sponsors
Front Nine
Back Nine
Golf Gift Underwriter
Printing Underwriter
Refreshment Underwriter
Hole Underwriter
It's Almost Time to Give Big

CASA Volunteers can’t be summed up in one word…advocate, ally, uplifter, cheerleader, champion. And, neither can CASA Donors – defender, promoter, magnificent magnifier!

Make a difference with a donation to CASA during the Big Give between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, September 10.

Enter your gift exactly at 3:15 p.m. for a dollar-for-dollar “minute match” up to $100! Additionally, donations entered 2 – 4 p.m. will make CASA eligible to win $2,000 in prize money from the McKenna Foundation!
Help CASA in our efforts to train 100 new volunteers in 2020. When the child protection courts appoint CASA, children receive so much more.
Training and Support Center Update
Engraved brick pavers arrived in pristine condition and were recently installed on the walkway leading up to CASA’s new Training & Support Center in San Marcos. Although the center is currently closed to the public, your support and commitment to our children and youth is on display for future visitors to see for many years to come.

Since they are located outside, you are welcome to stop by to see them in person any time at 2725 Hunter Road. A building dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony will be scheduled at a later date and we will be in touch once those plans are made (unfortunately, we don’t anticipate it being very soon due to COVID19).

On behalf of all of us at CASA of Central Texas, thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do this work without you. Because of you, more children will thrive in safe, permanent, and loving homes! 
Thank you to our project partners
New Accomplishments

Layla Coleman, our Recruiting and Training Director, was selected as a National CASA professional development grant recipient for Loyola University’s Children’s Law and Policy Executive Program.

She began the program in January and completed three courses: Introduction to the Study of the Law and Legal System, Child Welfare Law and Policy, and Leadership Development. Layla is extremely grateful for this opportunity and believes it is a valuable investment into her career, our program, and the children we serve.
After a five-month series of nine focused, in-depth sessions, our Executive Director Norma Blackwell has earned her Supervisory and Management Certificate.

The San Antonio Area Foundation, in partnership with the H-E-B School of Business Administration a the University of the Incarnate Word, offers a professional, non-academic certificate for nonprofit managers. This 30-hour program is designed to equip nonprofit staff with the management and supervisory skills needed to successfully lead a team of people.

Workshops are held at the San Antonio Area Foundation office, and classes are led by the University of the Incarnate Word faculty.
Calling All Superheroes!
Super September is upon us! CASA of Central Texas is teaming up again with our trusty sidekicks, CASA of Travis County and CASA of Williamson County, for the virtual 2020 Superhero Run! There are numerous ways in which you can be a hero and save the day for abused and neglected children:

·        Run to the rescue of the most vulnerable in our community! Complete a 5K or participate in at-home virtual racing challenges, sponsored by Baylor Scott & White Health. There are a variety of exciting prizes for racing participants, such as medals for the top 3 kids who practice their running skills the most days this month and a trophy for the most miles on wheels during this month! Check out the full list and register here.

·        Enter the Creel Law Group Superhero Costume Contest! Raise or donate at least $50 to enter and then you can upload your live-action video or photo to your fundraising page. There is a costume category for everyone! Make sure to upload your entry by Sunday, September 13th to enter the contest to win one of the jury prize categories, or to win "people's choice" by getting the largest number of friends and family to donate. Our very own stellar CASA Volunteer Barrie Breed from San Marcos is serving on the judges panel! Register here

·        Use your fundraising superpowers for the benefit of foster children! Super Fundraisers empower trained Court Appointed Special Advocates to speak up on behalf of children. Exciting prizes are available for fundraisers as well! Kids 12 and under are encouraged to participate and are eligible to win an incredible prize of their own. Get started here.

Activate your superpowers by choosing one or all of these opportunities to join the fight against child abuse and neglect. Together, we can provide a brighter future for children. Don’t forget to also tune in every “Super Saturday” this month for fun activities featured on Facebook Live!
Check out our amazing sponsors and join them here
Payroll Deductions for CASA

State employees may give to CASA of Central Texas through payroll deductions under the State Employee Charitable Campaign.

Watch for Campaign drives at your office, or talk to your Human Resources Representative for information.
SECC logo
State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC)
CASA of Central Texas Code  
#475017 (Capital Area)
#475030 (San Antonio Area)
Make the Holidays Special

We are preparing now to make our Holiday Gift Drive 100% contact-free in October/November. We need your support to purchase new technology to do this.

Please contact us at if you are interested in being a lead underwriter of this year's project to share the holiday spirit with our children.
Hit the Road with CASA

Did you know that CASA participates in the Specialty License Plate Program? You can order a custom license plate for your car with the phrase “Big Voices for Little Texans”.

Proceeds benefit Texas CASA and your local CASA program.
Help CASA with Your Review

If you love our work then tell the world!
Stories from people like you will help us make an even bigger impact in our community. GreatNonprofits – the #1 source of nonprofit stories and feedback – is honoring highly regarded nonprofits with their 2020 Top-Rated List. Won’t you help us raise visibility for our work by posting a brief story of your experience with us? All content will be visible to potential donors and volunteers. It’s easy and only takes 3 minutes!
Shop for CASA
Still doing most of your shopping online? AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support CASA of Central Texas every time you shop, at no cost to you.

When you shop at , you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.
Just go to, log on to your existing 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!

To date, CASA of Central Texas has received almost $650, from your shopping!
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.
CASA of Central Texas, Inc. | 830-626-2272 | |