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Summertime Is Guaranteed Fun Time. Not For All.

-submitted by CASA

Summertime brings with it many changes children count on. School is out and daylight hours are longer, providing more time for outside play. Lazy days, sunshine, and warmer temperatures fuel the fun. Outdoor sports like baseball and soccer are always on tap. Family vacations at the lake. Swimming with friends either at the local pool or at the lake. These are all things most children look forward to and enjoy, creating idyllic childhood memories, which are happy and peaceful.

However, for those children who have been removed from their home because of evidence of abuse and neglect and who now live in foster care, their living situations don’t take a break for summer. They still find themselves uprooted from the only family they’ve known, taken out of their communities and away from their friends. Therapist visits, DHS caseworker comes to get them to drive them an hour away for a visit with their parents. Most are in summer school catching up from times when school wasn’t the priority. Their worlds remain turned upside down. They long to go home, whether that be returning to their birth family or adoption with a family they have grown to love. They want a safe, permanent, and nurturing home, where they can feel secure and begin to thrive.

That’s where CASA of Northeast Oklahoma comes in. CASA makes sure these children don’t face dependency court and foster care alone. We support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every child in northeast Oklahoma who has experienced abuse or neglect can have a qualified, compassionate adult who will fight for and protect their right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect and learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family.

“We are fortunate to have very caring CASA volunteers and staff who work every day to help Change A Child’s Story. It is my honor to work with them to make a difference in children’s lives,” said Angelia Henderson, Executive Director, CASA of Northeast Oklahoma.

CASA of Northeast Oklahoma serves the 11th, 12th, and 13th judicial districts in Oklahoma, which includes Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Ottawa, Rogers and Washington County district courts and the Quapaw Nation and Shawnee tribal courts.

Last year, CASA of Northeast Oklahoma served 199 children involving 120 cases with 73 volunteers.

“Like other non-profit organizations, CASA of Northeast Oklahoma can only provide the services which we have resources for, whether that be human (volunteers) or financial,” said Henderson. “I encourage everyone who can to help, whether as a CASA volunteer, making a contribution, or simply offer an encouraging word to a child who is struggling. Nothing you ever do for a child is ever wasted.”
For more information regarding CASA of Northeast Oklahoma, the services provided, volunteer opportunities and how you can help Change A Child’s Story, please visit www.casaneok.org/volunteer-your-time or call (918) 923-7276. To make a donation by check or money order, please write it to CASA of Northeast Oklahoma, 658 S. Lynn Riggs Blvd., Claremore, OK 74017. Via credit card, please visit https://app.donorview.com/m4mAw or use the QR Code below.

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