by Lillie Smith, CASA Volunteer
A story is told about two fishermen who were surprised to see a baby floating past them as they fished from the banks of a river. One immediately jumped in, retrieved the baby and handed it up to his friend. Before he could climb out of the water, he observed another baby floating towards him. He quickly retrieved him and handed him out. Then there was another one, and another one, etc. He climbed out of the water to his friend’s rebuke, asking why he was giving up. His reply was, “you keep fishing them out, while I go upstream to see who keeps throwing them in.” Though meant to be a joke, it provoked me to action, moving steadily upstream.
As a former educator, I observed many children being thrown into the rivers of neglect on a daily basis. The above story is a clarion call for advocacy on behalf of children and youth. CASA is my avenue for changing the course of the river of pain for as many children as possible. In our “disposable” society, we must insure that our children are not “throw aways.”
I presently have four active CASA cases. All of my students are institutionalized and have had parental rights terminated. They are where they are, for no other reason, than that the adults in their lives failed them. The people they trusted most threw them away, but CASA has helped to renew their chances to fulfill their God-given talents, hopes, dreams, and futures. Their parents ate the sour grapes, but no longer are the children’s teeth set on edge. Their history is not their destiny. Hope deferred is not necessarily hope denied. CASA brings positive support for safe, permanent homes for children and youth. We secure connections.