Thursday, Jan 14, 2021
For Francy Ford, giving back was never really a choice, it was just something she did. Francy has a strong belief in community and volunteering to make her community better any way that she can. That is why it was no surprise to those around her when Francy made the choice to begin volunteering with CASA. Francy has been a CASA volunteer for just over 3 years. In that time, she has served on 3 different cases, advocating for the needs of 9 children. We had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Francy and ask her a few questions about herself and her experiences as a CASA volunteer. Here is what she had to say.
Tell us a little more about yourself.
After 20 plus years working in media and nonprofit management I am now retired except for working a few hours a week part time. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, learning, cooking, and attending community activities when I can.
How did you first hear of and get involved with CASA?
As a reporter in Lawton, I covered CASA events and helped them recruit new volunteers. One day while attending church in Sallisaw, I mentioned to a friend that I wanted to volunteer. She reached out to have her volunteer coordinator call me. The rest, is history.
What is it like to be a volunteer?
I find the volunteer experience to be very rewarding.
What has surprised you the most about volunteering with CASA?
No real surprises. My past experiences had me somewhat prepared. But a pleasant realization is the quality of the training afforded CASA volunteers. The courses are very interesting and extremely relevant.
Have you had any cases that have really stuck out to you? If so, why?
They all stick out for one reason or another. My last case resulted in three kids who came from a family with multiple generates of drug use being adopted into loving families. Their lives were changed forever and CASA had a role in that transition.
How have the children you have worked with impacted your life?
I love advocating for them and truly considering what is best for the children. Not their parents, foster parents, or the system, but what is best for the kids.
What advice would you have for a new CASA volunteer?
Keep an open mind and seek information from everyone involved with the case. Keep the children's safety and future security in mind when advocating for their needs. Always work in the best interest of the kids. It's worth the effort!