The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program of YWCA Clark County managed to find funds to replace a 20 percent budget shortfall stemming from a non-renewed grant, the YWCA announced last week.

The organization managed to secure $246,000 in funding from a variety of sources during a six-month fundraising campaign, YWCA Clark County stated in a news release. The money was needed when the organization learned it did not receive renewal of a federal Victims of Criminal Acts grant for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

YWCA’s CASA program appealed to the local community, the national CASA organization and to Clark County authorities to raise the funds, the release stated. The program received $128,000 from Clark County Council as part of the county’s 2020 contract for CASA services, $58,000 from the national organization and $60,000 from the community through individual and corporate donations.

The original grant funded staff positions who advocated for children who came into the care of the state of Washington, the release stated. Part of the grant funding was for volunteer, rather than staff, recruitment, something CASA program director Sheryl Thierry stated in the release was part of the national model.

The funding put the program in a “solid position” for recruiting advocate volunteers, the release stated, with plans to grow the program’s volunteer base from 130 to 200 advocates. In 2019 the program represented 760 abused and neglected children.

“We are so grateful for the generosity demonstrated by all our partners as we take this organization to a new level of advocacy for children,” Thierry stated in the release. “CASA program staff and volunteers work tirelessly in their advocacy for abused and neglected children in our community.  The recognition of their hard work, and the importance of CASA’s role in the dependency process, is greatly appreciated.”

To volunteer with CASA, visit the CASA website at casaclark

county.org, or contact Thierry at (360) 906-9141.

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