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  
As we start 2018, I want to take a moment to say thank you for your support of CASA in 2017. Because of you, 574 children had the powerful voice of a CASA volunteer to speak up for them in the courtroom, in schools and in our community. This is 77 more children than last year! 
     We were blessed with 231 dedicated CASA volunteers who were active last year, 84 of those were sworn in as new volunteers!  
         We will work hard in 2018 to come closer to our goal of providing a CASA to every child in State care. We hope you will support us in this mission.
     Even though we made great achievements in 2017, we must work even harder in 2018 to reach our goal of providing a CASA Volunteer to every child in State care. For every child that has a CASA volunteer, he or she is more likely to find a safe, permanent home, get more help while in the system, and spend less time in state-funded foster care. 
     If you're already a volunteer, please consider joining the Community Outreach Team and help us recruit more volunteers.  Contact Laura Torres for more information 
     If you aren't already a volunteer advocate, consider becoming one. The first step is to complete an application and schedule a pre-training interview. More information can be found here .  
     If becoming a CASA volunteer isn't a fit for you, you can still help by getting the word out about CASA. Invite one of our representatives to speak to your organization or invite your friends to a Voices Tour information session. 
Thank you,  
Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director  
Become a CASA Volunteer in 2018 

Training courses are ready for you!

San Marcos   
February 21 - March 14  
4:30 to 8:30 p.m.    
New Braunfels
February 22 - March 15 
1 to 5 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.
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 Donna Eccleston. Enjoy music from Mariachi Espuelas de Plata from San Antonio!  
Online tickets and more information will be available on our website soon!
     Get in early on the great sponsor benefits and recognition!
Birdies for CASA   
    Over the past 20 years, Valero Texas Open has helped hundreds of local non-profit charities and schools raise money through Birdies for Charity®; a no-cost program that gives 100% of the funds raised back to non-profit organizations.
    Birdies for Charity is like a walk-a-thon, but instead of donating per mile, participants make a pledge for every birdie made at the Valero Texas Open. In 2017, 1,975 birdies were made, so a pledge of $0.01 yielded a donation of $19.75. You are also welcome to make a donation of any dollar amount. 

   Select CASA of Central Texas to receive your pledge for all birdies made from April 16-22. CASA will receive 100% of your donation PLUS be eligible for a 7% match back from Valero! 
   Pick up pledge forms at either CASA office, or use our convenient direct pledge link, here.   
As a donor, you are also eligible for Valero Prizes! 
Continuing Education For CASA Volunteers      

     Did you know that Texas CASA has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mexican Consulate? Representatives from the Mexican Consulate in Austin, Blanca Gavino and Diego Robles of the Protection Department and Legal Affairs, provided an informative CE for our advocates.  
     The Mexican Consulate's main objective is to protect nationals' interests and rights based upon U.S. laws and assist Mexican nationals in accessing resources. While the Consulate focuses on five main areas: criminal, immigration, labor, administrative, and civil/family, CASA of Central Texas can collaborate with the Mexican Consulate when we have CPS cases where a parent is a Mexican national and when the child we represent was born in Mexico.  

Congratulations to door prize winners Rachel Fulk and Bev Hoffman.
     The role of the Consulate is to seek the best interest of Mexican minors or children of Mexican origin in the custody process. They also assist in locating family members, and they facilitate home studies in Mexico of a parent or relative when requested (which takes about 6 weeks). With our MOU in place, we are looking forward to collaborating with the Mexican Consulate in cases where their expertise and assistance will ultimately promote the best interest of the child!
 Amplify Austin and Big Give San Antonio 
No matter where you live, you may choose to give to CASA through one or both of these fun and exciting online giving days. Giving has never been this easy! 
Donor gifts through Amplify Austin and Big Give San Antonio will go toward CASA operations for child advocacy plus an in-kind match of $20,000 will be given by our capital project partner ECM International to help build our new Training & Support Center. 

Amplify Austin is the 6th annual community-wide day of online in Central Texas. Together we raised $9.8 million for nearly 700 nonprofits in 24 hours on Amplify Austin Day in 2017.   
Amplify Austin 
March 1-2
Schedule your gift to CASA today!

The Big Give San Antonio is back for its 5th year and this time is looking to raise $7 million in 24 hours for South Central Texas nonprofit organizations. Are you ready to join us? 
  Interesting in creating your own fundraising page? Contact us here. 
"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, February 7th, noon 
CASA office

San Marcos 
Wednesday, February 21st,  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 Chick-fil-A in San Marcos. 
Saying Goodbye 
CASA of Central Texas will miss one our advocates who passed away this month. Lisa Metzler was an invaluable asset to our program, the community and the children she served. Not only was she a CASA Volunteer and member of the auxiliary team, The Wing Society,  but she often attended events to speak about the need for more volunteers.  Lisa was delighted to spread the word of CASA, and she was always ready and available to help others in need.
"Lisa served three cases as a CASA volunteer. She was very diligent in communicating with not only the children/youth she served, but also all of the providers and parties in each case.  Her concern and compassion was clearly evident. She did not hesitate to give of her time and energy to support and advocate on behalf of the best interests of the children on her cases. I was privileged to be her supervisor for the last two cases and I can honestly say that without her, the resolution on each case would not have been the same.  Her involvement contributed toward positive conclusions for each case."
-Tim Judkins, CASA Casework Supervisor   
Her life will be celebrated on February 4th from 2 to 4 p.m. at the San Marcos VFW Hall, 1701 Hunter Rd
Community Support
Hays County Sheriff's Department 
Rotary Club of New Braunfels 
Miriam McCoy
Photo courtesy of Don Anders 
January 2018
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Upcoming Events


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
Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month 
Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Kyle, location TBA 
Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse
room 101
Viva Ole CASA Fundraiser
6:30 p.m. 
CASA Of Central Texas Inc.