June 2020: News, Events, and Opportunities for CASA Volunteers 
Letter from CASA Executive Director Angela Rose 
Dear CASA Volunteers:

Happy June! It has been absolutely wonderful seeing more and more faces around the office since we re-opened our doors in a limited capacity on June 1.

Protocol is a little different right now, but the office is indeed open. This includes the Kid's Closet which you can visit during normal business hours to browse the ample supply of summer clothing for your CASA kids!

If you are planning a visit to the office, please make sure you check out our COVID-19 update page to learn about what to expect.

In addition to re-opening the building in June, this month also played host to our first-ever Virtual Light of Hope event. When it became clear we could not gather in-person for the flagship fundraiser, we decided to take Light of Hope online and I am pleased to report the event raised over $110,000 last week! If you did not get a chance to check it out, the event webpage is still up and you can view it here.

In the Dependency & Neglect Program, 17 new advocates just completed our new online training and will become officers of the court during a virtual swearing-in ceremony this Friday.

In our Supervised Exchange & Parenting Time Program, some visits have returned to in-person while some remain virtual. When all families do return to in-person, they will be greeted by a new arts and crafts room that has been constructed in the CASA Family Center! Special thanks to Jared, Brian, and Derek from Arris Contractors for donating the time, labor, and material for the new floor which you can see pictured here.

As you can see, CASA programs are moving forward full steam ahead and we could not do it without you! I hope you all know how much I appreciate you and the difference you make for children in the Pikes Peak Region.

If there is anything you would like to chat about, please reach out to me any time at angelar@casappr.org.

How Advocate Sara Lee helped her CASA teen boy 
It was 2016 when Mateo was removed from his home, along with his younger sister, because of his mother's drug abuse, mental health issues, and lack of parental supervision. On the same day he entered the child welfare system, he also was arrested and faced charges of his own. He was 11 years old at the time.
While Mateo's little sister went to live with her biological father, the whereabouts of Mateo's father remained unknown and the boy was placed in a group home north of Denver. His wait for a Court Appointed Special Advocate began.
About a year later, with a track record of good behavior, Mateo was moved to a group home in Monument where he first met his CASA volunteer, a retired nurse by the name of Sara Lee. Read more about how Sara helped Mateo find the right path.  
Letter from long-time CASA staffer, Lois Gracz 
Dear Readers,
Some of you might already know that in January of this year I set a retirement date from CASA for June 30, 2020. I have worked for CASA for over 12 years and am honored to have been able to do so. June 30 is swiftly approaching and I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how much I loved working for CASA. The variability of the work was invigorating and the personal contacts with advocates, facilitators, families and children were such life-giving experiences that I treasure.
Thank you for making CASA be a wonderful place to work, create lasting friendships, provide endless learning opportunities and do some good in a hurting world. I will never forget this experience. I will miss working at CASA and look forward to this new phase of my life.
Lois Gracz
Milton Foster Children's Fund & The Hanger 

Please note that all virtual teen classes have been postponed until we can hold them in person, but you can still shop at The Hanger! Make sure you schedule your teens to shop at The Hanger on Saturdays! Sign up for a time here.

In addition, the next Hanger donation day is June 19 (from 11-2) You can find out more about the new protocol for donating to The Hanger on our COVID-19 update page.

Overnight or day camps in your child's summer plan? 
Overnight summer camps are still being phased in and will hopefully take place this summer. Camp Shady Brook has cancelled all camps this summer but right now, Eagle Lake Camps and Camp Jackson still plan to hold camps starting in July.  
Day camps are being held at some locations and cancelled at others. Please check this site , and also this site for many day camps in our area.
Also, if you have a 10-17 year old who loves farms and horses then check out the Building Resiliency through Horsemanship at Holistic Therapeutic Equine Center! Call Cindy at 719-337-4496.
If you have registered and been approved for MFCF funding for a camp that has been cancelled, please contact Jill. We can change funds to another camp or request the check is returned to CASA. To apply for camp funds, fill out an MFCF application
Inclusion Corner: Importance of educating ourselves 
If you attended our CASA-wide Volunteer Impact Event back in March, you heard Angela speak about the importance of making diversity and inclusion WHO we are at CASA, not just a part of what we do. CASA has been working internally for some time now to ensure that everyone who walks through our doors will feel welcome.  
In light of recent events in our country, we want you to know that our work continues, as does our reflection on how we can further address equity and inclusion within our organization. We believe one of the most effective ways to create change is to educate ourselves. The better informed we are, the more effective we will be in our mission to advocate for children.  
National CASA/GAL has plans to relaunch its network book club where staff and volunteers can engage in facilitated dialogue. More details are coming soon, but in the meantime check out some of these books recommended by National CASA.