As you know, I am the new Executive Director of Children First. One of the hardest things to do after replacing someone who has been a well known and passionate advocate, such as Christain Orobello, is to bring the work of the organization back into focus after an extend search process. Our professional staff and devoted board members are terrific resources that are ready to go do real good in our community, so that process is made easier in our case.
In an effort to refocus the efforts of Children First, both the board and staff undertook separate retreats to answer the following question:
"What initiatives and activities must this organization undertake and/or complete in the next three years to give Children First the stability, resources and leadership to meet its mission of ensuring the children of our community are quickly returned to safe, secure and permanent living environments?"
As a stakeholder and community member, we'd love to hear your thoughts on this question. I feel it is a valuable exercise to critically examine the motivation of and reasons for the work we do advocating for children and families in our community. Hopefully, we can count on you to help us do that.
We appreciate your thoughts and comments. Please comment below to let us know what you think.
Thank you for helping to Put Children First.
Executive Director, Children First, Inc.
Congratulations to our 4 newest CASA Volunteers! They were sworn in as officers of the court last Thursday by Juvenile Court Judge Shearer in front of an audience or supportive families and friends. Thank you to everyone that came to celebrate their graduation from training and we wish these new advocates the best of luck as they begin speaking up for a child in need!
Thank you to the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority for their consistent support of the Athens-Oconee CASA Program. The recently held a "Rock the CASA" BBQ and raised nearly $9,000 through the Tickets Fore Charity event! These women have been dedicated advocates for CASA's cause for years, and our CASA program would be hard-pressed without them.
Photos From the Rock the CASA BBQ
Every year, November is recognized as Adoption Awareness Month. While all adoption issues are important, this month focuses specifically on the over 115,000 children in foster care available for adoption. Activities and celebrations are kicked off with a Presidential Proclamation, and while efforts made at the national level certainly help build awareness of adoption, participation in local programs, events, and activities by those of us with a direct connection to adoption can often be the most effective way to promote positive perceptions, debunk the myths, and draw attention to the tens of thousands of children in foster care who wait and hope for permanent families.
Below are several links for ideas to celebrate Adoption Awareness Month, photolisting and bios on some of the 115,000 foster children awaiting adoption, and how to get involved.
As part of this year's Casa Mia, Mi Corazon event, we are holding a raffle with some amazing prizes. Check out the prizes below. You can purchase tickets until 5pm on Friday, October 1st.
Gift Card Wallet
Over $800 in gift cards to local businesses including Last Resort, Arbor Spa, Athens Home Organizer, Big City Bread, Revolutionary Massage, and more...
Tickets $10.00Purchase Now!
Big Pine Key Vacation House
Treat yourself! One week at a 3BR, 2BA home on Big Pine Key! The house is right on the canal making it perfect for fishing, family fun, or just a week away from it all!
Tickets $10.00Purchase now!
The golf package includes a free round of golf for 4 at Briar Rose in White Plains, Georgia, $100 at Calloway Golf, $60 at the PGA Tour Superstore, and "To Win and Die in Dixie: The Birth of the Modern Golf Swing and The Mysterious Death of It's Creator" by Steve Eubanks.
Tickets $10.00Purchase Now!
The Atlanta Braves Package includes 2 baseballs signed by Braves pitchers Derek Lowe and Michael Dunn, Braves T-shirts and other fanfare, as well as "Of Mikes and Men" by Pete Van Wieren - long time Braves announcer.
Tickets $5.00Purchase Now!
Thank you to everyone who helped with our recent CASA Recruitment effort! We held our Volunteer Orientation for prospective CASA Trainees and we are excited to have 14 potential Trainees for our Fall 2010 Session. Thank you especially to WUGA, the Flagpole and HandsOnNortheast Georgia for their efforts to recruit advocates for abused and neglected children. Training begins September 7th and these new advocates in training will spend then next month learning to be a powerful voice in the life of a child. Thank you also to Hester Nguyen and Beth Johnston, 2 current CASAs that came to speak to the new recruits. Beth and Hester were able to answer many questions and speak about their own experiences, expertise, successes, and challenges as child advocates.
Please join us in welcoming these new Court Appointed Special Advocates in training. We applaud their interest and dedication to serving some of the most vulnerable youth and families in our community!
We had such a great time at CASA Day at the Braves Game! There were around 500 CASA Advocates and supporters at the game! We got to meet some of the team, and Georgia CASA received the State Farm Good Neighbor award on the field. Also, we were able to get some balls and memorabilia signed by a few star players! These items will be raffled off as part of this year's Casa Mia, Mi Corazon Event.
Check out the photo gallery before to see all the fun we had at the game. We hope you can join us next year!
Check out the Summer 2010 Newsletter! Be sure to take a look at the following featured stories:
Children First Introduces SPARC
New Funders Assist with Capacity Building
The 2010 National CASA Conference
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