December marks the arrival of our annual Light of Hope campaign where YOU can join us by making a gift to support our county’s most fragile population — the abused and neglected children spending the holidays in foster care. Give today:
Dear Friend of CASA,
My name is Megan Christensen, and I’m a volunteer with CASA of Oklahoma County. As a young paralegal, I felt I had achieved all the goals I set out for myself. I needed something new to pour myself into. Through life’s circumstances I started to become hyper aware of the plight of abused and neglected children. I often wondered what happened to them when they were taken from their parents. Who fought for them? A family friend suggested I look into CASA. I completed the requisite training, took a case, and haven’t stopped since. My most recent case taught me the power of volunteer advocacy. Because of you, three little girls now have a forever home.
I was assigned to work with Chloe and her sisters about a year and a half ago. Chloe is a seven-year-old girl who was taken into custody when her mother was admitted to the hospital with a medical emergency. The mother was five months pregnant with twins. When the twins were born, they were also taken into custody due to threats of harm to the children and lack of parental supervision from their mother. It was clear that adoption would be in the children’s best interest and I began to focus on finding a forever family for these three girls.
As the CASA volunteer to these girls, it was critical for me to get to know them. I’d volunteered with CASA for several years before being assigned to this case. But this case was unique because it made me experience so many “firsts.” For the first time I was working with a parent who not only didn’t like me as a person, but was also fighting to get her children back. Through all of it, Chloe and I bonded. Chloe is this brilliant, opinionated, and headstrong little seven-year-old. It took me a while to realize it, but she and I were walking the same emotional journey. We were learning together. Growing together. Getting through it all together. I followed her through four foster homes after identifying areas where the first three were simply not a good fit for her needs and desires. I followed her twin siblings through two foster homes.
I will never forget one of my biggest breakthrough moments with Chloe. After one of her moves, her grades had begun failing. Her self-esteem had bottomed-out as well. I had some conversations with her about how she was feeling and what may have led to these changes. By talking it out with her, I learned of her pride in a special way she liked having her hair fixed when she was with her mother. The children at school were making fun of her for her unkempt hair. I instantly reacted, shopping for beauty products and asking for advice. I advocated for a foster placement that could better meet her needs. In helping get Chloe to feel good about presenting herself to the world, her self-esteem shot back up and she began earning A+ grades again!
My advocacy paid off when, in the end, we were able to reunite the sibling group and find them a loving adoptive home. In a lot of ways, I learned more from Chloe than she probably learned from me. I learned new ways of thinking. I learned to be more focused on outcomes. And that’s what this is about – positive outcomes for children like these girls in a safe, permanent home.
Your support provided over two hundred committed community volunteers like Megan to serve 757 children in foster care in Oklahoma County last year. Unfortunately, that is only 29% of the children in foster care receiving this critical community volunteer by their side during this difficult time. Your gift ensures that more community members like Megan are recruited, trained, and supported to provide a voice for children in foster care. Thank you for your continued support and partnership!
With deepest gratitude,
Jennie Hill, Executive Director
Tim Baker, Board President
Megan Christensen, CASA Volunteer
PS. A gift of $2,200 ensures that a child like Chloe has a CASA volunteer for one year. Make a gift now:
There are so many children like Chloe and her sisters who need an advocate to have their back when it seems like the situation is stacked against them. Your gift to CASA of Oklahoma County, Inc. provides each advocate volunteer with the training, supervision, and guidance needed to help the abused and neglected children of our community. Without your support, our amazing volunteers would not be able to provide a voice for children who would otherwise be left voiceless. Be a Light of Hope this season and give these children the gift of having a CASA volunteer.
CAN YOU GIVE TODAY? YOUR CONTRIBUTION CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN THE LIFE OF A CHILD!
It only takes a moment – and it could change a life forever. Questions about donating can be addressed via phone at 405-713-6456.