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CASA of Coconino County Honors Those Who Continue to Serve

CASA of Coconino County is celebrating Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11 by honoring CASA volunteers who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and continue to serve their community by speaking up for children who have been abused or neglected.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers are everyday members of the community who are specially trained and appointed by judges to advocate for abused or neglected children in court. Their mission is to help the children move out of foster care and into a safe home environment as quickly as possible.

Veterans often have an ability to work cooperatively with individuals from various backgrounds as well as a desire to stand for what is right. Those skills translate well to becoming a CASA advocate and working within the system to speak up for abused and neglected children. Nationally, the CASA Program has a relationship with the American Legion, which offers its support to the program.

CASA of Coconino County pays tribute to all veterans who have served our country and to the CASA advocates who serve a dual role in both protecting our freedom and our children. Coconino County CASA volunteers Fred Meek and Richard Vihel proudly served our country in the U.S. Armed Forces and now serve as outstanding advocates for Coconino County children.

CASA volunteers are professionally trained to advocate for children in foster care. Advocates get to know one child or sibling group and speak to others involved in the children’s lives, including family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers and social workers. Their recommendations and the information they gather help judges overseeing dependency cases make informed decisions on a child’s best interests.

Court Appointed Special Advocates don’t have to have any special degree or background. Advocates from all walks of life are desperately needed to volunteer their time so no child falls through the cracks in the foster care system. For more information, visit azcourts.gov/casaofcoconinocounty/.

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Coconino County is grateful for our partnership with a non-profit organization called Coconino CASA for Kids, Inc. This non-profit helps provide financial resources to assist the children the CASAs advocate for in the child welfare system. This organization exists to serve and improve the lives of abused, neglected and abandoned children, youth and young adults of Coconino County Arizona and to support the work of the CASA program and CASA volunteers.

Coconino CASA for Kids, Inc. is a Qualifying Charitable Organization (QCO). That means the state of Arizona offers its taxpayers the opportunity to make contributions to non-profit organizations that reduce the amount of tax owed to the state or increase the amount of the taxpayer’s refund, dollar-for-dollar! There is no net cost to the donor, and deserving organizations and individuals around the state benefit. With non-profit organizations serving the working poor, like Coconino CASA for Kids, Inc., you can make a $400 individual or $800 joint donation and your Arizona tax bill can be reduced by the amount of your contribution, dollar for dollar. This is great information to have at your fingertips as you consider year-end gifts that benefit local charities as well as a way to lower your tax bill. Making a financial gift to Coconino CASA for Kids, Inc., is one of the best ways to help the organization focus on improving the lives of abused, neglected and abandoned children of Coconino County. This organization relies on the generosity of supporters to continue this important work. ​Donations are made online at coconinocasaforkids.org/donate and more information can be found at coconinocasaforkids.org.

Coconino CASA for Kids, Inc., organizes holiday gift-giving for children with CASA advocates and November/December is the time they work to collect gifts through the Giving Tree. This year the organization is the proud recipient of a donated pallet of children’s toys through Jeweler’s for Children as a great start to the collection of toys for the children. If you would like to donate a gift for a child, contact Coconino CASA for Kids, Inc. at coconinocasaforkids.org to find out what is still needed for the Giving Tree for CASA kids.

Your participation on behalf of neglected and abused children in Coconino County is welcome and needed through CASA of Coconino County and/or Coconino CASA for Kids, Inc. We hope to hear from you soon. FBN


By Cindy Payne


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