Winter Greetings from Fairbanks!
Last month, three new volunteers were sworn in at an especially sweet ceremony. After welcoming and thanking the volunteers, the six judges in attendance spoke about the value of having a CASA volunteer assigned to a case- from the court's perspective AND they youth's perspective. No doubt they are so supportive of our program because they have watched our CASA volunteers over many years and appreciate the fresh perspective we offer and the connection we have with our youth. Way to go, Fairbanks volunteers!
We are currently working on our annual Stocking Project, an effort to provide a little holiday cheer for teen foster youth, who are often overlooked at the holidays. Each teen connected with the with the OCS Independent Living Program (over 50 youth in Fairbanks) will receive a hand decorated holiday stocking stuffed with items generously donated by our community. These include gift cards, books, small games, toiletries, etc. This has proved to be a great way for the larger community to support our youth as well as a way to spread holiday cheer.
Many thank yous to the volunteers who stepped up to staff the Alaska CASA table at Alaska Federation of Natives in October- Artha DeRuyther, Julie Lageson, John & Dianne Roe, Barbara Braley, Sarah Doetschman, and Mary Bruso. These program ambassadors got the word out about CASA, recruited potential Fairbanks volunteers, and sold over $650 in quilt raffle tickets! LeeAnn Reicks, Alaska CASA State Director was "thoroughly impressed with they way they engaged and conveyed the program to visitors". Nice job!
THANK YOU to Beth Ross who continues to work towards a permanent living situation for her older youth. Beth has been a constant presence in his life over the last 2 years and is not afraid to ask the hard questions to insure he is in the least restrictive yet supportive living and working environment.
Last but not least, a big thank you to Italia Carson for donating to the FAC Quilt Auction. Italia, a new volunteer, donated two unique and beautiful quilts- one she purchased in Afghanistan and another was made by a friend, and member of the Sioux tribe. Thanks, Italia for initiating Fairbanks' contribution to the annual quilt auction!
Our volunteers contribute to this program in many different ways- all of which are valuable and create a strong, vibrate program.
All the best,