My column yesterday about CASA-Philadelphia - the local chapter of the national nonprofit called Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children - is generating some nice interest from potential volunteers.
You'd think this was good news. When it comes to good-hearted people advocating on behalf of abused and neglected kids, the more the merrier, right?
The probem is, CASA protocols require the organization to have a paid, fulltime supervisor for every 25 volunteers. And CASA doesn't have the funds to hire all the supervisors they'd need to oversee the many volunteers already on a waiting list to be trained.
"We're unsual that way," CASA-Philly executive director Wendy Aguirre told me on Monday at the Shops at Liberty Place, where her group kicked off a local awareness campaign about the issue of kids in foster care. "Philadelphians really step up when it comes to volunteering."
Given that not everyone has the time to be a CASA advocate, I'd like to extend an invitation to you, oh faithful readers, if you're touched by CASA's missions, to open your wallet to the organization so they can hire people to oversee those who do. No amount is too small. Or - ahem - too large. To make a donation, click here.
On a separate note, I didn't have space in my column to name CASA's new grads, whose swearing-in ceremony I attended last week. Please join me in wishing them good luck, wise heads and strong hearts.
Lorien Gilbert, Denise Oetzel, Natalie Hall, Carol Hughes, Sheila McDade, Stephanie Anderson, Stacey Moore, Kathy McLaughlin, Sherrye Giggers and Cindy Blum.