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CASA blog | Duty

March 10

Just last week, I was thinking about the inspiration it takes for someone to be involved with advocacy work. What inspires someone to be a volunteer? And to keep that devotion for years? One word came to mind, “duty.” Then, that word – duty – came up two more times that week!

During our Spring Orientation – we had 12 people come to our information session about becoming a CASA. One of our volunteers spoke about duty.

“I came to CASA out of duty,” said Reverend Dr. Tim White. He described advocating as rewarding work and shared that it doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take dedication.

I’ve seen duty personified when our advocates just do their work.

I have an advocate that needed to drive an hour to visit the boys on her case – for nearly a year! I never once heard her complain. An hour, each way! So that’s 2 hours she devoted to the drive. Then she spent time with the boys for the home visit. I felt for her. Yet, month by month, she completed her home visits and the reports that detailed her interactions. She fills a page with the work she completes for the case each month. And she is a professional, working a full-time job!

I have two advocates that have 3 cases each. And they both complete monthly visits and write reports before each court hearing.

I find this advocacy so admirable – it’s like there’s a resolve to do this good work. I find it of noble character and yet their ways are humble. They faithfully do what is asked and often go beyond. Then in court, there’s such a strength in how they give their report. The work has been done. Because of that, they can express their recommendation with confidence.

A heart is behind that sense of duty. I believe people want to be involved in strengthening a child’s life.

One of our newest advocates, Patrice Reinhart, spoke at the Orientation too. She was just sworn in last season. This advocate, although new, is working two cases already!

She asked this question, “Do you care enough?”

And then she said, “If you don’t care enough, don’t do it. You have to care enough.”

I found this statement powerful – and true.

The work of an advocate can be difficult but if we care enough, we keep showing up for that child. And we show up the next month, and the next. Until the case is completed. And we give our time and commitment and attention to that family. No matter how long the case and through the turns and delays. Because we are there for the child. That’s our duty.

Written by Melissa Cruz, Advocate Coordinator

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