All You Need is Love?
Greetings, CASA supporters!

What a fun Valentine’s Day this has been so far! I dropped my daughter off at school and into a sea of red and pink outfits this morning, and I know there is chocolate in my future when we get home tonight.

And you know my motto: Any day with chocolate is a good day!

I got to thinking this morning about love. Specifically, the love our CASA volunteers have for the kids we serve. Our advocates give so generously of their time and talents to make children’s lives better – all because they care so deeply.

When you get involved in child welfare, it’s easy to believe that children who have experienced trauma just need to be loved; that love is all they need to heal.
I wish with all my heart that this were true.
The truth is, it takes much more than love alone to heal the trauma that children experience when they come into foster care. Love is part of the equation, to be sure, but they also need patience, structure, guidance, role models and, yes, often therapy to overcome the challenges they’ve faced at such a young age.

The bottom line is that abused and neglected children need as many dedicated, caring adults in their lives as possible in order to have the best chance at a positive future.
If you feel passionate about helping children and are interested in possibly being a CASA volunteer, please visit or call us at (903) 675-7070.

What better day to show your love for these kiddos than on Valentine’s Day?!

Emily Heglund
Executive Director

The Truth About Sunday Minor , by H.R. Young-Lira

Local writer H.R. Young-Lira is supporting Texas CASA this month by donating 30% of all pre-order profits from her debut novel,  The Truth About Sunday Minor .

The fictionalized biography is based on a true story about one South Texas girl’s attempts to escape a life of unrelenting abuse. H.R. Young-Lira believes an advocacy program like CASA could have made all the difference for the girl on which her main character is based.
Between now and 11:59 p.m. February 26, 2018, readers can help support Texas CASA and the important work they do by clicking the button below to pre-order a copy of the book here:
Annual Methodist Men's
Chili Cook-Off

On Sunday, February 11th, CASA of Trinity Valley Executive Director Emily Heglund participated in the annual Methodist Men's Chili Cook-Off at the First United Methodist Church of Athens. She brought her Jurassic Pork Chili and a good sense of humor to the competition. The turnout for the cook-off was great! The Men's Chili Cook-Off is an annual charity event which benefits both CASA of Trinity Valley and the Athens Soup Kitchen.
February Volunteer Swearing-In
On Wednesday, February 8th, four new CASA volunteers were sworn in by Judge Nancy Perryman of the County Court at Law #2 in Athens, Texas under the watchful eye of CASA Recruiter, Ellen Torres. The newly appointed CASAs are (from left) Deede Bolton, Terri Harris, Angela Hinojosa (myself) and Ronnie Babcock. It was a pleasure to attend the volunteer training courses with such excellent classmates, and I am very excited to begin my advocacy in the upcoming month. I hope to meet more new, equally determined volunteers throughout the year!
Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce: CASA Business After Hours

On January 30th, CASA of Trinity Valley hosted the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours event. From 5:00 to 7:00 that evening, visitors were encouraged to come by and say hello, tour our office and find out more about CASA.

Executive Director Emily Heglund was on hand to show folks around and answer questions about what we do and how to get involved with CASA. We'd like to thank the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce for including us in this event and extend our gratitude to everyone who stopped by for participating.

Roy Talbot and Emily Heglund of CASA
Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville

Jacksonville Kiwanis Club invited CASA to speak at their meeting on January 25, 2018.

We were honored to meet with so many wonderful people and appreciated their hospitality and welcome.

Emily Heglund and Ellen Torres spoke about our program and ways people can help. Ellen received a plaque from the Kiwanis Club for her dedication.

Click play on the video below to hear Ellen's moving speech!

Pictured, from left: Emily Heglund, Ellen Torres and Angela Hinojosa.