First, we would like to welcome new staff members who are joining us. We are grateful for Vici Herkomer and Yosie Gonzalez; both of whom joined CASA a year ago in temporary roles and are now making the jump to permanent full-time status as Advocate Supervisors. On January 5th, we welcomed Clarita Cortes into the position of Outreach and Recruitment Manager. She comes with nine years of outreach experience and is bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural (Spanish). These skills will greatly benefit our outreach, recruitment, and the entire CASA team.
We have continued to provide creative support for our community’s children. In October, we distributed pumpkins and had a Halloween party over Zoom with children and their Advocates.
In November, we continued with our online training and swore in 26 new Advocates. November was also adoption month, where 26 of our youths were officially adopted by their forever-families in virtual ceremonies.
In December, we received hundreds of children’s gifts donated from local businesses and organizations. These gifts, which included stockings hand-stitched with each child’s name, were distributed via our Advocates to our community’s children who are involved in the Dependency system. One Advocate told us that she FaceTimed with the child as she opened her gift and that “she loved the stitching of her name on the stocking and everything in there… she really went through all of the items carefully and was so happy about everything...*the doll* was the best part! She held it up to her cheek and was posing for me."
We are so thankful that we have been able to continue to keep our waitlist of children in the single digits. We cannot say enough about how generous our community is with their time. The fact that volunteers have been willing to open their hearts and continue to be the voice of a child during a year like this is phenomenal.
We also can’t say enough about our community’s financial support at 2020 year’s end. And although the mail is still coming in, we have already exceeded last year’s fundraising totals via Santa Cruz Gives and our Annual Appeal! Thank you!
And now for some numbers!
We served 141 children.
9 children were assigned this quarter after spending a median of only 18 days on the waitlist.
36 were aged 0-5, 3% of whom were newly assigned.
59 were aged 15-21, 8% of whom were newly assigned.
As we look to a new year, we are reminding ourselves of the importance of the work that we do. We thank you for your support as we enter 2021 together.