July 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


 Top 10 Ways to Support CASA 


     CASA of Central Texas is always looking for more advocates to help us reach our goal of serving 100% of children in care. If you do not have time to become an advocate but would like to show your support, there are many ways to get involved. Here are just a few simple ways you can support CASA of Central Texas.  


  1. Shop though AmazonSmile- Just go to www.smile.amazon.com, log on to your Amazon account, type CASA of Central Texas in the search box, select us and start shopping! We will receive .5% of all eligible purchases when you buy from Amazon!
  2. Use GoodSearch and Goodshop- A search engine just like Google, but for every search you do, CASA of Central Texas receives 1 cent. Go to www.goodsearch.com, type in CASA of Central Texas as the beneficiary, and start searching! If you shop online, use the same process through Goodshop and CASA will receive a percentage of your spending.  
  3. Stay connected online- Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all of our events, or visit us online at www.casacentex.org.  
  4. Get a CASA license plate- help us raise funds and awareness by getting our logo on the roads of Central Texas. Order the plate here.   
  5. Help us spread the word- many people do not know CASA even exists. If you belong to a service or civic organization, invite CASA to be a guest speaker.  
  6. Learn more about CASA- Bring a friend and attend a CASA Voices Tour, held Wednesdays at the CASA office. Learn more here
  7. Participate in one of our fundraising events- Attend our upcoming Under the Big Top Fundraiser and CASA Superhero Run. Or host your own CASA fundraiser through your business.   
  8. Join the Wing Society-An auxiliary organization whose mission is to provide support services to help our advocates "soar". Learn more here
  9. Become a Board Member- CASA relies on board members to set the direction of the program and help make local connections in the community. Contact us for more information. 
  10. Participate in our endowment challenge-support CASA financially for the long run. Learn more here.  



Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director 

Endowment Campaign

Keep Your Designated Contributions 
Coming to CASA this Summer
  • For abused and neglected children, summertime can mean increased fear and loneliness. This is no time for us to take a break and forget those children who need us.
  • With every designated dollar you give, it will be matched with another dollar from the McKenna Foundation - your $50 turns into $100, your $250 turns into $500!
  • Your contribution will be held securely so that only the interest on the principal may be withdrawn to support CASA's operational needs.
  • Your contribution will provide stability and longevity for the CASA program so that CASA volunteers can advocate for safety and stability for the children.
  • CASA gives young babies, children and older youth a VOICE in court and HOPE for a successful future.
  • CASA volunteers are the best child and youth advocates in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties! We want to ensure that they can keep doing their valuable work!

You may make your individual or business donation online today by clicking HERE and typing "Endowment" in the designation box. Or, you may mail a check with "Endowment" in the memo to the CASA office: CASA of Central Texas, 1619 E. Common St., Suite 301, New Braunfels, TX 78130.


"I made my contribution to the CASA Endowment Fund in honor of a young girl that I began advocating for when she was just 11 years old. She was the most frightened and, at the same time, the bravest young person that I had ever met. She had strength, resilience and perseverance. I continued to be her CASA while she "grew up" in foster care. She is now an independent, responsible young adult and she still stays in touch with me. I'm looking forward to attending her wedding this October!"


Tricia Schneider

CASA Staff

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

Help us get the word out about our trainings!
If you know someone who would make a great
CASA volunteer, please share these training dates.

Jeannette Sheridan, CASA of Central Texas Advocate since 2003



4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

September 8th through October 6th

San Marcos office 



1 to 5 p.m.
September 10th through October 8th

New Braunfels office 

  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
Sandi Smith, CASA Volunteer since 2007. 
More than Words    

"I became a CASA to happily pay it forward. My 28 year old son was a foster child. I was impressed with how hard his CASA worked."


"I have worked with the same child for almost 7 years. It has been a joy to watch her grow and benefit from the services available to her."   


"To someone thinking about becoming a CASA, I would encourage them to do so. Don't be afraid. The CASA supervisors are always available to help you! The reward of making a difference in the child's life is more rewarding than words can express!"
Welcome to CASA!

New Volunteer Ready to Take on a Case


Sworn in on July 11th

Taylor Jones (left) of Hays County with Judge McClenahan.
Step Right Up

Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased

Under the Big Top 
With CASA 

Friday, September 19, 2014
Texas Agricultural and Heritage Center
Join CASA for an evening of fun, food and drinks, live music and entertainment. Music by Tin Roof.

Honoring Commissioner Greg Seidenberger
and District Attorney Heather McMinn.

Sponsor tables available for $750 and $1,000.
Contact Daysy Silvestre at 830-626-2272 or by email to sponsor this event. 
5K Fun Run for CASA

For more information or to register, click

Be a Superhero for an Abused Child 
The annual CASA Superhero Run, a 5K and Kids 1K race, features masked and caped runners, a superhero costume contest, family-friendly activities and vendors, and much more!

CASA Superhero Run
Sunday, September 21, 2014

  Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park 

CASA volunteers are superheroes, but being a CASA volunteer isn't right for everyone. So, we activate the Bat Signal and encourage everyone to be a superhero for children by participating in the CASA Superhero Run.

This year's event is hosted by CASA of Central Texas, CASA of Travis County, and CASA of Williamson County. Participants will designate which program they would like to support when registering.  Sign up today as an individual or create a super team.

Can't be there that day? You can still register as a virtual runner or team leader!
Upcoming Information Sessions
Lynette Barker, CASA of Central Texas Advocate since 2009

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? Join us for one of our upcoming information sessions and get all your questions answered.  


The one-hour session will provide information about CASA and the process in which our volunteers advocate for children who have been abused and neglected. CASA staff and

volunteers will be on hand to answer questions you may have about our program.


New Braunfels  
CASA office
Wednesday, August 6th - Noon  


 San Marcos 

CASA office 
Wednesday, August 13th - Noon

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

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

CASA Hosts High School Student

New Program Puts Student in the Field     


     CASA of Central Texas was so pleased to participate in a pilot program this month in partnership with Texas State University and Rural Talent Search - an outreach and support program assisting low-income and/or first generation college-bound high school students.


     As one of eight local sponsors, CASA hosted a delightful San Marcos High School student named Danielle. Having worked summer jobs at fast food chains, she wanted to gain experience in an office environment. She volunteered a total of 16 hours helping CASA staff with organizing and filing, completing a supply inventory, preparing event invitations and other general office duties.


     We found Danielle to be smart, pleasant and a very hard working person. We loved her efficiency and attention to detail! Danielle, thank you for all that you helped with. We wish you much success in your senior year and college campus visits!

Thank You

Businesses Support CASA

Thank you Grande Cares Club, employees of Grande Communications! 


Thank you HD Supply!
Set it and Forget it
Make Your Support Automatic with Recurring Donations

     When you sign up to become a regular contributor and set up a recurring donation to CASA of Central Texas, you are committing to support our program and services.


     By signing up as a sustaining supporter, you are authorizing CASA of Central Texas to charge your credit card a predetermined amount each month. This provides CASA with a reliable source of income that will help us to meet our goals of recruiting, training and supporting more volunteers who will advocate for more abused and neglected children. We have several donors who do this and they tell us that they love how easy it is and they are reassured that their donation will be made automatically every month.  


      Click here to sign up online or contact CASA's Finance Director Cathy Vrba by email to set up your convenient monthly donation so CASA of Central Texas can help more children in need. Thank you!


Great Representation
LaVonia helps serve hotdogs during CASA's time to man the food booth at Buda's annual Wienerdog Races in 2013.

CASA Volunteer Attends Award Ceremony as Nominee

     Last month, CASA of Central Texas was pleased to send volunteer LaVonia Horne-Williams as our nominee for Volunteer of the Year through United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County.

     LaVonia was nominated by her supervisor, Tim Judkins.

     "LaVonia has represented CASA of Central Texas exceptionally well for four years and through three cases," he said. "She personifies what CASA strives to achieve in its volunteers by being both a strong and personable presence with the child and a competent advocate in Court for the child's best interests. She recently testified in a highly contentious termination trial and she demonstrated poise when questioned. She was confident and knowledgeable in her responses. Later, after the trial had been completed, jurors mentioned that it was LaVonia who provided the most convincing testimony by both what she said and how she said it."
Great work LaVonia!
CASA Continuing Education


  Upcoming Training for CASA Volunteers

Fostering Futures 

Monday, August 18

1 - 4 p.m.
San Marcos- Location TBA

Thursday, September 18
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
New Braunfels, Location TBA

     Older youth in foster care are facing tough odds as they prepare for their futures. While all of our staff supervisors support volunteers who are serving older youth, four years ago, CASA of Central Texas designated one of our supervisors to work exclusively with volunteers and youth age 16 and up. As a result, we have seen many successes such as high school graduations, stable housing and plans to attend college and vocational schools.


     Fostering Futures is the next phase of our focus on older youth ages 14 to 21. A nationwide, grant-funded project under National CASA, all new CASA volunteers will now receive this training as part of their pre-service curriculum and will have the opportunity to request to be part of this special project with this age group. Current CASA volunteers will receive the Fostering Futures training at this Continuing Education session.

Please RSVP to Debbie Haynes at 512-392-3578 or by email.

Volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education annually

Darkness to Light


  CASA Volunteers Empowered to Prevent Child Abuse

     CASA volunteers gathered July 28th at the Children's Advocacy Center of Comal County for the Darkness to Light training program.  The video-based workshop is designed for participants to become confident and competent in preventing sexual abuse and reacting skillfully if it occurs.  In the training, our volunteers heard a variety of survivor stories, expert advice and practical guidance for preventing child sexual abuse. 


     The training opened with staggering statistics: 1-in-10 children experience physical sexual abuse before their 18th birthday, 1-in-4 girls and 1-in-6 boys are sexually abused, and 90% of child victims know their abusers.  After learning the facts and defining sexual abuse, CASA volunteers discussed how to eliminate or reduce isolated, one-on-one situations that would provide an opportunity for child sexual abuse.


CASA Volunteers (l-r) Nancy Yantis, Sharon Skrocki and Jane Freestone were the winners of raffle giveaways at the training.


     The Children's Advocacy Center of Comal County conducts the Darkness to Light training every third Saturday of the month and it is open to the public.  The training counts toward continuing education hours for CASA volunteers.  If you would like to attend this training, please contact the Advocacy Center at (830) 626-2543.  

CASA Volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education annually.

Social Media

Follow CASA of Central Texas online to get information
and updates throughout the month!

Click the icons to follow us and help spread the word about CASA!

Like us on Facebook           Follow us on Twitter 

View our profile on LinkedIn          View our videos on YouTube

Upcoming Events


6th-       Voices Tour, noon
              New Braunfels CASA office

13th-     Voices Tour, noon
              San Marcos CASA office

18th-     Continuing Education, 1-4 p.m.
              San Marcos, location TBA 


3rd-       Voices Tour, noon
              New Braunfels CASA office

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

10th-     New Volunteer Training Starts, 1 p.m.             
              New Braunfels CASA office

10th-     Voices Tour, noon

              San Marcos CASA office

18th-     Continuing Education, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
              New Braunfels, location TBA

19th-     Under the Big Top Dinner/Auction
              Texas Agricultural and Heritage Center, Seguin

21st-     CASA Superhero Run
              Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park

1st-       Voices Tour, noon
              New Braunfels CASA office

8th-       Voices Tour, noon
              San Marcos CASA office

27th-     New Volunteer Training Starts , Times TBA
              New Braunfels and San Marcos CASA offices                          

Stay Connected! 

Visit our 

Phone: 830-626-2272

Join our mailing list! 

Make a donation to CASA