Over the last 25 years, Savannah/Chatham County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) has recruited and trained volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse and neglect. When a child enters the foster care system, they are matched with a CASA volunteer who remains connected to them until they are reunified with their family, adopted, or achieve another type of permanency. Since children are often unable to articulate their needs during this critical time in their lives, a CASA volunteer lends a voice by advocating on the child's behalf in and out of the courtroom. Often a CASA volunteer is the one constant in this traumatic season bringing a sense of hope and security to a frightened child.
Currently, Savannah/Chatham CASA serves only 46 percent of the children in care. We have set a goal of serving 100 percent by 2021. This would require us to more than double our impact in just 18 months which means a major investment in the recruitment of volunteers. Unfortunately, this work is costly as the initial investment to recruit, train, and retain once community volunteer is approximately $1,700.
We know that together this is possible. We know that there are compassionate companies and individuals who share our vision of a community where every abused or neglected child is given the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving home. And we want to give all an opportunity to demonstrate their support of this vision. That's why we need your help to ensure that our signature event, Dancing with Savannah Stars, will reach the next level this year.
On September 26, Savannah/Chatham CASA will host the 12th Annual Dancing with Savannah Stars (DWSS) at the Lucas Theatre. On this day, ten community members who have been paired with professional dancers will show off their dance moves to compete for the coveted DWSS 2019 trophy. In addition, each dancer will take on an ambitious fundraising goal of $10,000.
To support the incredible efforts of our dancers, we need companies who believe in the importance of advocating for our most vulnerable community members -- children who have experienced abuse and neglect. We need community leaders who understand that sometimes hope needs a helping hand -- and a CASA volunteer is that helping hand.
We invite you to join us as a sponsor of this year's Dancing with Savannah Stars and together we will change the stories of children in foster care. For more information, please contact Trish Humphrey at 912-677-0176.
Jerry Rooney Kate Blair
President of Chatham Steel Executive Director