James and Sadie

SmoochesJames (3 months old) and Sadie (2-1/2 years old) were born to developmentally disabled parents. When their father broke Sadie’s leg, the children were removed from the home and placed into foster care.

The Judge requested a CASA volunteer for James and Sadie, and Mary was assigned to their case. As she got to know the children, she found they were incredibly friendly and outgoing and loved spending time outside.

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Meet Mo Young, CASA Volunteer

MoYoungPersonal experience created a spark, but changing lives is what fuels Mo Young’s passion for volunteering with CASA. Mo’s mother was on the Board of Directors for CASA in the late 90’s, so as a young person she was aware of how important the organization is and how it helps kids in her community.

As an adult, when Mo and her family decided to adopt a child through the foster care system, they had the pleasure of working with a CASA from Portland. Now Mo is paying it forward for other children and creating an example for her own daughter, like her mother did when she was a child.

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Stephanie’s Story

StephanieStephanie was 6 years old when her mother dropped her off with her father – and never returned. Shortly afterwards, the mother was arrested following a multi-state crime spree and was sent to prison. Stephanie lived with her dad for a few years, surrounded by drug use and dealing, before she was removed from the unsafe environment and placed into foster care.

Jessica was appointed to be Stephanie’s CASA volunteer. She developed a strong relationship with Stephanie through regular visits to her foster home, where Stephanie was fortunate to have wonderful foster parents. Jessica could see that Stephanie was smart and intuitive, with a good sense of herself and a level head.

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Meet Mary Beth Lennox, CASA Volunteer

Lennox

As a retired elementary school teacher and an active grandmother, advocating for children comes naturally for Mary Beth Lennox. She is currently working on her first case and has been a CASA volunteer since January of 2014.

Who is Mary Beth Lennox?

While chatting over coffee, it was clear to see what makes Mary Beth makes a great CASA volunteer. She has a warm smile and a welcoming presence. She is a thoughtful listener and when she talks about advocating for her CASA kids, there is a deep fire burning behind her eyes.

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Travis & Tyler

IM000012.JPGTravis (7 years old) and Tyler (8 years old) are brothers who are full of adventure, sweet and kind by nature. They were neglected most of their toddler years, failing to receive the love and attention they needed to thrive. Both parents abused drugs and alcohol, and their father also sold narcotics.

Travis and Tyler’s parents were separated, and – up until three years ago – had equal custody of their sons. At that time, the boys were visiting their father when the police arrested him for dealing drugs. The boys were taken into custody. Their mother was deemed also to be an unsafe placement, and the boys were put into foster care.

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Meet Rebekah Dohrman, CASA Volunteer

RebekahRebekah Dohrman learned about CASA while getting her law degree at Thomas Cooley Law School in Michigan. She had already been an active volunteer with children through SMART (Start Making A Reader Today). While she enjoyed the contributions she made, she wanted a volunteer experience that would utilize her interest the legal field and support her passion for working with kids. A friend introduced her to a volunteer opportunity that was intellectually interesting and allowed her to work with kids in a way other than as a mentor. Rebekah discovered CASA.

Who is Rebekah Dohrman?

Rebekah owns her own law practice at the Law Offices of Rebekah Dohrman in Eugene where she specializes in real estate, land use and property taxes. Between developing her business, being an active board member of Housing Land Advocates, owning and maintaining a home and spending time with her family, she has a busy schedule.

How Does Rebekah Find the Time to Volunteer?

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Joshua & Jackie

Joshua_JackieJoshua (age 12) and Jackie (age 10) are now safe and stable in the permanent guardianship of a relative. Jackie expresses a desire to be happy in life, and Joshua is a smart kid but tends not to show it. Each child is great with pets and able to connect with peers and teachers in their own special ways.  Both children struggle with problem solving and managing their anger appropriately.  

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Meet Matt Tomashek, CASA Volunteer

MattTomashekFrom full time doctors to full time parents, retired lawyers to retail employees, CASA volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds. Their stories are as unique as the 1,528 Lane County children in foster care this past year but their reasons are all the same – they are here for the child. They volunteer their time to advocate and to be the voice for abused and neglected children in our community.

In 2014, we wanted to give potential volunteers a glimpse of what it means to devote your time to an organization like CASA of Lane County. The Volunteer Corner focused on the experiences of one CASA volunteer and we want to expand on that for the new year. Anyone who has worked with children will tell you it truly does take a village to raise a child, so we are going to spend 2015 introducing you to the amazing people who make up the CASA village, starting with Matt Tomashek.

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Alma’s Volunteer Corner: Answers to All Your Pressing Questions

Dec11Our next CASA training class starts in January. I’ve met with a couple of people who have had questions about the CASA time commitment. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the questions with all of you. And while each and every case is unique, some of the basic elements of how much time you’ll spend on your case is pretty consistent.

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