March 2020: News, Events, and Opportunities for CASA Volunteers 
Letter from CASA Executive Director Angela Rose 
Dear CASA Volunteers:
We hope that you all are staying well and taking good care of yourselves and each other during this unprecedented health crisis. As you know, CASA's mission is about ensuring safety for our community's most vulnerable. The children we serve could be extra vulnerable right now with school being out and stress levels higher than normal for families. It is very important that everyone report their concerns about the safety and well-being of a child or teen by calling the Child Abuse Hotline (1-844-CO-4-Kids). We, like most other organizations, are diligently managing through this crisis. We are updating you as quickly and as often as we can on the constantly changing landscape.   
  • We received an email from the courts and they are now doing business statewide on an emergency only basis. For D&N, that means they will only hold shelter hearings for now. Please communicate with your Peer Coordinator and Case Supervisor about any questions you may have about this.
  • Our SEPT programs in both El Paso and Teller counties will suspend visits through Saturday, March 21, and we will reevaluate at that time.
  • The Hanger will be closed for at least the next two Saturdays (March 21 and 28). We will reevaluate as we come closer to March 28 and decide whether or not the closure needs to be extended. Additionally, CASA is not accepting donations to The Hanger until further notice.
  • All teen events through Milton Foster Children's Fund and The Hanger are cancelled through March 28 (including the cooking class, art class, and guitar lessons). We will reevaluate later in March to decide whether or not to postpone or cancel additional events.
  • Continuing education opportunities, volunteer gatherings, and information sessions (including Dudes and Brews) from now through March 28th are postponed. We will reevaluate later in March to decide whether or not to postpone additional events.
  • We canceled our 20th Annual Light of Hope event scheduled for April 22. We are putting together a contingency plan to ensure we will still raise the funds anticipated from Light of Hope. Please stay tuned for more information about how you can help with this effort. 
  • Please limit your visits to the CASA facility for now, but know that we are always here for you. For your safety and the safety of our community, CASA is requiring a screening process before allowing non-staff members to enter the CASA building. Please ring the bell and you will be asked 1) if you have traveled internationally in 2020, 2) if you have been exposed to COVID-19, and 3) if you have a fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, or difficulty breathing. Any visitor that answers yes to one or more of those questions will not be permitted into the CASA building.
  • Finally, effective March 18, most of the CASA staff will be working remotely. We will remain open and there will be some staff here. Please communicate with the CASA staff you need to work with to determine if they are here before you come in. I encourage you to communicate by email and phone for now.

Please know we will continue to monitor COVID-19 and are working tirelessly to ensure we are following all of the guidelines coming to us from the CDC, Colorado Department of Health, and the 4th Judicial Court in which we serve.  
As always, if there is anything I can help you with or anything you want to discuss, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Stay well! 
Upcoming Trainings & Events for Volunteers  
Please note, we have cancelled events through March 28, including our Bunny Shop which will not open this year. The events listed below are currently scheduled to occur but could be cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. We will communicate future plans via email.   
Milton Foster Children's Fund
  • Foster Teen Girl Celebration
  • Graduation Party
  • Day at the Ranch
Click here for more about teen events.  
CASA 2019 Annual Report Available 
We are pleased to share with you our 2019 annual report which you can click here to read now.  
In the report, you will find highlights from CASA's four programs, financial information, and a story about a little boy named Jeremiah who is just one of the hundreds of children from our community that has been impacted by YOU - our volunteers. 
Business Partner Spotlight: 360 Painting 
When Renee and Scott Kewley launched 360 Painting last year, it was because of their love for providing top-quality service to fellow community members.  
Homeowner vision isn't the only vision they're focused on though. The company is also fully invested in CASA of the Pikes Peak Region's vision to serve 100% of abused and neglected children. Read more about 360 Painting and their support of CASA here.

Inclusion Corner: Making Inclusion Who We Are 
As promised in the last Gist, we are going to start talking more about inclusion. Some of you may have already heard this, but it is worth repeating to make sure we are all on the same page.  
CASA has been working
internally on Diversity and Inclusion for a few years now. Angela realized that if we are going to move the whole organization forward and make inclusion who we are, not just a part of what we do, we need to make volunteers aware of what we are thinking as well.  
Inclusion for CASA is the collective of actions, behaviors and gestures, that make everyone, no matter what diversity they bring to the table, feel included as part of the bigger organization. Inclusion is the behavior that welcomes and embraces diversity. Inclusion must start at the top of an organization - from Angela and the Board of Directors. It must be nurtured, and we must ensure it is lived by every member of the organization. It is creating a safe environment where everyone in the organization feels they can come as they are and do what they love without the fear of being judged. Let's all work together to make CASA the organization that is open and inclusive to all, and all those who are a part of the organization, whether board member, staff, volunteer or donor, feel like they are a part! Again, it will just be who we are, not a part of what we do.
Three summer camps have spots left. Apply now for MFCF Funding and send your CASA kid to camp!  
Are the youth on your case interested in attending camp this summer? Spaces are filling up quickly so apply for MFCF funding ASAP for camp or other summer activities! Camp Shady Brook is completely full, but you can still apply to:
Eagle Lake Camp - Limited availability
Camp Jackson - Spaces still available
Split Pine Ranch - This Black Forest ranch is offering day camp with CASA youth given first priority! Their Building Resiliency through Horsemanship Camp, for ages 10-17, will teach the basics of working with horses along with other farm-related activities. Want to try it out before committing? Come to the Day at the Ranch event on May 28th from 9:30-11:30am. Ages 10-17 welcome.  
To apply for MFCF funding for camp, click here. Eligibility: Ages 0-18, in out-of-home-placement (not with bio parent(s)), through El Paso or Teller County with an open D&N case, who have not received funding in the last year. Contact Jill for more information.   
In addition to camps, make sure you mark your calendars for the 43rd Annual Foster Children's Festival at the North Pole on June 6. More information coming soon!   
CASA cases have benefited from over $5K in resources since partnering with CarePortal last year 
CASA has now been partnering with CarePortal for almost six months. So far, we have had 26 answered requests totaling almost $5500 in resources. This resource has been an amazing way to pay for a youth to travel and reconnect with family members, acquire needed items for a pregnant teen and her baby, pay for equine therapy, buy driver's education sessions, and more. Having CarePortal in addition to Milton Foster Children's Fund, One Simple Wish, The Hanger, and Kid's Closet has been so helpful in meeting the needs of the children we serve. If you have any questions about CarePortal, please reach out to Kristina at or if you have a request, please fill out the online form available on CASA's website here.   
New give-back option on your state income tax return  
In 2020, through ReFUND CO, Coloradans who receive a state income tax refund will have a chance to donate all or some of it to a local nonprofit they trust. To donate your refund to CASA, just decide how much of the refund you wish to donate and then enter CASA of the Pikes Peak Region, as well as our registration number (20023005563), in the Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund line on your state income tax return or tax software. Click here to learn more about ReFUND CO.