San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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The San Marcos Bluebonnet Lions club recently presented Court Appointed Special Advocates of Central Texas with a donation that will help provide more abused and neglected children a voice in the court system.

CASA of Central Texas advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system by recruiting, training, and supporting community volunteers. Advocating for children in this area for almost 22 years, CASA acts as the eyes and ears of the Child Protection Court Judge.

Community Relations Coordinator Eloise Hudson said the donation will allow more volunteers to be trained.

“We provide the necessary training free to all of our volunteers,” Hudson said. “In order to do that, we need the support of the community, such as groups like the Bluebonnets Lions Club.”

CASA volunteers receive an initial 40 hours of training and are then provided with continued training throughout their service time. They also receive guidance from their casework supervisor. Hudson said the funds provided by the Bluebonnet Lions Club will allow not only more trainings to be held, but also better support for volunteers while they are serving on a case.

Hudson said the donation also shows the community is dedicated to taking a stand against child abuse in their community. The donated funds were made possible through local fundraisers by the Bluebonnet Lions.

“Any time an organization chooses CASA as their beneficiary, it means they recognize there is a problem and have decided that in their own way, they want to support our efforts,” Hudson said.

In 2007, CASA of Central Texas served 228 children in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties but there were an estimated 560 or more ADDITIONAL children who did not have the voice of a CASA.

Volunteers are only assigned to one case at a time; therefore, CASA can only serve as many children as there are volunteers. If you would like to become a volunteer or learn about additional ways to support CASA, please visit www.casacentex.org, or call (512) 392- 3578. For more information about the Bluebonnet Lions Club visit http:/home.centurytel.net/bluebonnetlions

From JUDY ASWELL
Bluebonnet Lions Club – PR Chairman

Pictured L to R:

Eloise Hudson – CASA Community Relations Coordinator

Debra Sowards – Bluebonnet Lions President

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