MISSOULA - Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Missoula volunteers seek to promote the best interest of approximately 200 abused and neglected children per year.
Light of Hope, their major giving event of the year, helps CASA raise money for consistent and long-term advocacy. The annual gala will take place on Feb. 3 at the University Center Ballroom.
CASA currently serves 90% of the area children that are in the foster care system. Executive Director Scott Appel hopes that with community support, financially or through volunteering, they can reach 100% of children this year. Appel gave MTN News some additional insight into what CASA volunteers do to support kids in need.
"Well, they really function as the eyes and the ears of the judge in the case so they will be interviewing parents’ attorneys, teachers, medical providers, therapists, foster parents just to make sure the children are really getting all the services they need.”
“CASAs impact are really that children spend less time in foster care, they are less likely to re-enter foster care, they do better in school. So, we have a real impact on the results of the case and the outcome for the children.”
“Lot of ways to get involved to get involved in the program whether it's participating in the gala, becoming a volunteer, or you know donating online. And so yeah the more support we can provide up front, the more support the community can provide to strengthen families." - CASA of Missoula Executive Director Scott Appel
There are many ways to get involved whether participating in the gala, donating to the online auction, or becoming a CASA volunteer. The last day to purchase a ticket for the gala is Jan. 13.