Tuesday, Aug 17, 2021
As a father of six, Jay had plenty to do to keep him busy, but he wanted to do more. While he has only been a CASA volunteer for six months, Jay has already had a huge impact in the lives of the children he serves. We had a chance to sit down with Jay to ask him a few questions about his experiences as a CASA volunteer. Here is what he had to say:
Tell us about yourself.
I have been married to my awesome wife, Amy, for almost 15 years. We have six children, two of which we adopted out of foster care. I currently drive a truck out of the Port of Muskogee delivering raw materials to Dal Tile. I have been the youth pastor for Grandview Baptist Church for the last six months and have been studying to enter the ministry for several years. My goal is to follow where Christ leads as faithfully as I am able. I don't have many hobbies; I like spending time with my family, playing video games when I have the time, mowing the grass, and taking care of our small menagerie of livestock.
How did you first hear about and get involved with CASA?
I became familiar with CASA and what the organization does when Amy and I were still fostering. I always thought that it was a terrific organization and loved that it was focused on the child's needs.
What is it like to be a CASA volunteer?
It has been great. The people I work with are nice. My case has, so far, been fairly straightforward, and the system seems to be responsive when needs are brought up.
What would you tell someone considering becoming a CASA volunteer?
Stop dithering and do it! It is not as overwhelming as you think, and it is more rewarding than you can imagine!
What has surprised you the most about volunteering with CASA?
How ready and eager people are to talk about the kids involved in my case. I have spoken with teachers and counselors and DHS workers and have been able to see just how much they notice and how much they really care about the kids.
What is the most gratifying/self-rewarding experience you've had as a volunteer?
When I go visit the kids, they seem genuinely happy to see me. They are younger and are often playing, but when we talk they seem happy to share what is going on in their lives and happy that I am there.
What advice do you have for new volunteers?
Ask questions. Don't hesitate to ask questions, even if it feels like something you "should know." Everyone understands that the legal jargon takes getting used to and everyone has been where you are.
More CASA volunteers, like Jay, are needed to advocate for children who enter the child welfare system. Volunteers to help ensure these children have the best opportunities to thrive. You can help. Volunteer today!