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  

Excerpt from
Part 12 of our 12 part-series: A Year in the Life of CASA See this entire entry and previous entries in my
Executive Director Blog

Spread the Word:
Share our message, help us find more volunteers and help more children in 2018.

     This has truly been a great year for CASA! Thanks to our 230 volunteers, we served 557 children! That is 60 more children than in 2016. I hope that through this series, you have seen the value of a CASA volunteer and why each additional child we serve, we see as an accomplishment.
     But the reality is, we still did not serve every child in State care. There were children who went through foster care and the court system without the additional voice and support of a CASA volunteer; children without a screened, trained adult advocat ing both inside and out of the courtroom. Although 230 volunteers is more volunteers than we had last year, it still isn't enough to help every child who needs CASA .
     So how can you help in 2018? Spread the word that more CASA volunteers are needed in our community. Invite CASA to come speak at your community meetings. Follow CASA on social media and share our posts so your friends see the work our volunteers are doing. Attend one of CASA's monthly information sessions and invite a friend to come with you. And of course, you can become a CASA volunteer!
     I have always said that I know there are enough caring, giving people in our community to reach the goal of serving 100 percent of the children in care, they just don't all know about CASA yet - and that is how you can help.
I hope you have enjoyed "A Year in the Life of CASA . " It has been a privilege to share my perspective about this important work.  If you missed a month or would like to share this series with others, you can see the complete blogs here.
       Thank you again to everyone who helped make 2017 a great year for CASA and our children. I look forward to what 2018 will bring!
Thank you,  
Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director  
Appreciating our Advocates  

    CASA Volunteers were thanked and new volunteers were welcomed at the annual Advocate Appreciation on December 5th at Miltown in New Braunfels.

   Everyone enjoyed great food, great music and great company, and even some ugly sweaters.

     CASA of Central Texas thanks all of our volunteers who worked so hard for the children in our community in 2017, and we look forward to the new year with you!
Welcome New CASA Volunteers  
     The last class of 2017 CASA Volunteeers was sworn in at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Mixer on December 5th.
Back row l-r: - Lindsey Morin of Hays County, Denise Hinds of Comal County, Bob Hasbrouck of Comal County, Brittany Keeble of Hays County, Jason Ellington of Guadalupe County , Melanie Pietrazak of Guadalupe County, Lainey Holland of Hays County, Paulina de la Fuente Gual of Hays County, Jane Ramirez of Hays County, Susan Sutton Pool of Hays County, William Pool of Hays County, Mary Hubbard of Hays County, Angela Espindola of Guadalupe County , Tara Newman of Hays County, and Nicole Holliman of Hays County.
Front Row l-r: Melissa Bohrer of Hays County,  Carolyn Edwards of Guadalupe County and  Leslie Scibienski of Guadalupe County.
Become a CASA Volunteer in 2018 

Training courses are ready for you!

San Marcos   
January 10 - February 7 
1 to 5 p.m.    
New Braunfels
January 11 - February 8 
4:40 to 8:30 p.m.
San Marcos
January 22 - February 10
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Check out our calendar for dates and times for the rest of the year 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.

Training is required for all new Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers.
Our weekday Volunteer Training Course is a 5-class series.
Thank You     
Kyle United Methodist Church 

     Because of you, we filled all 309 gift requests from our children for the Holiday Toy and Gift drive, a record number!
     Thank you to everyone who participated and helped us get the word out.  
"I wish I knew the people who donated to my kiddos because this is beyond awesome! I was really touched by the personalized stockings, so sweet and special to know people genuinely care about these kids that they don't even know. I know that it will touch their heart that "non blood" care about them.So thank you for everything and if you know who helped my CASA kids have a very merry Christmas please let them know how appreciated they are."

~CASA of Central Texas Volunteer Christi Day 
Pan American Golf Association 
Norma is Citizen of the Year
Norma with CASA Board Member Frank Pereira (left) who nominated her for the award, and Patrick Rose, long-time supporter of CASA and who introduced her at the awards ceremony.
      Congratulation to our Executive Director, Norma Castilla-Blackwell.On December 13th, not only was she recognized as one of seven Unsung Heroes by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, but she was also surprised with being selected as the Citizen of the Year!
     We are proud of our CASA Volunteer, Bob Williams, who was also recognized as an Unsung Hero for his volunteer work with CASA and other organizations.  
     What a proud night for CASA of Central Texas!
"Voices" 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.  

New Braunfels 
Wednesday, January 3rd, noon 
CASA office

San Marcos 
Wednesday, January 17th,  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 session in your town? Please contact us.
Lunch provided by Fox's Pizza Den in New Braunfels and Chick-fil-A in San Marcos. 
Year-End Donation      red_gift_box_timer.jpg
     Wishing you good times, good cheer, and a memorable new year. 

     Thank you to the many volunteers, community members, organizations and businesses that supported our work in 2017.  Have a wonderful new year!   
Be sure and make your 2017 gift to CASA of Central Texas before midnight!
Click here to make your year-end gift 
Have A Ball with Your CASA Child   

     The U.S. Army All-American Bowl coordinators are once again offering free tickets to CASA of Central Texas. This is a great opportunity for advocates to have an outing with the children on your cases or request tickets for their placement so they may attend together.
      CASA of Central Texas was provided with general admission ticket vouchers, available on a first come, first serve basis. They can be picked up at the CASA office in New Braunfels .
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: January 6th, 2018, noon 
Where: Alamodome, Downtown San Antonio 
Your Input is Needed     
     National CASA is asking for nationwide support of H.R. 4461/ S. 2173, the Continuation of Useful Resources to States or "COURTS" Act.

     This legislation reauthorizes the Court Improvement Program (CIP), a critical bipartisan initiative that improves legal processes in the child welfare system and provides the only direct federal funds to child welfare courts throughout the country. We understand that there is an effort to include the CIP reauthorization bills in a package this week.

     Please use this link to read more and follow the easy steps to reach out to your members of Congress expressing the importance of passing the COURTS Act and reauthorizing the Court Improvement Program in support of the abused and neglected children served by the CASA/GAL network.
Viva Olé! 
     Mark your calendars for April 20th, 2018, at the Chandelier of Gruene in New Braunfels! 
     You are invited to CASA and Los Compadres, "Viva Olé!", CASA's annual fundraising celebration. We truly appreciate your support and hope you join us for this evening to benefit the children in our communities.
     CASA will honor long-time supporters the San Marcos Lions Club and Comal County Commissioner Eccleston. 
Online tickets and more information will be available on our website soon!
     Get in early on the great sponsor benefits and recognition!
Community Support
Baptist Health Foundation 
San Marcos Lions Club 
December 2017
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Upcoming Events

Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office
More info click here

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office

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

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101


Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office
More info click here

Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse
room 101
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1 - 5 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office
More info click here


Amplify Austin  
6 p.m. 
Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office
Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse
room 101
Big Give SA  
More info here  

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office
CASA Of Central Texas Inc.