It’s funny how events in your life can make your vision clearer or more obscured.
I was fortunate to grow up in a home where I was safe. However, before I even turned ten I realized that not everyone is that fortunate. At that time, my parents became the legal guardians of my cousins, who were being physically abused by my aunt who suffered from mental illness. The process of bringing my cousins into our home was extremely complicated by the fact that our family was spread out between Ohio and Florida. Access to a neutral party was nonexistent. I remember watching my parents’ frustration as they fought for my cousins while fearing for their safety.
While this was an extremely difficult time, it gave me the opportunity to see my parents open their home and their hearts to two children who may not have survived otherwise. I was also able to witness the resilience that children build once they feel safe.
I am now the mother of four grown children. When they were young, my biggest fears revolved around their health and safety. I knew that it was my job to protect them from the potential perils of childhood. As a parent, I had been equipped to be a supportive, nurturing parent thanks to the example that my parents had set. All the while, I have never been naive to the fact that many parents do not have the benefit of observing positive parenting role models.
When I was asked to volunteer for CASA, I will admit that I had never heard of Henrico CASA. Nonetheless, their mission intrigued me because they are devoted to the safety and well-being of children. CASA offers a strong voice to a child.
It’s unfortunate that not every parent is equipped and/or able to offer their children a safe and supportive home. It’s also understandable, because life is complicated. Families are in crisis and lack support. The good news is that Henrico CASA exists to help identify what is needed to help every child live in a secure home.
It is my vision, as the Board Chair of Henrico CASA, to make the name ‘CASA’ a household word. I work to ensure that during what could be a very painful time in a family’s life, Henrico CASA can offer a safe, friendly place for parents and their children to connect, heal and take steps toward reunification. My hope for 2022, is if you have had the benefit of growing up in a stable home, you will join us as a volunteer or donor.
Let’s make CASA’s vision – for all children in Henrico County to live in safe and stable homes– a reality for all.