Volunteer Voice

Introducing Martin

April 7, 2015  |  Volunteer Voice  |  Comments Off on Introducing Martin

Becoming a volunteer; the idea had been on my bucket list for years. The time constraints and commitment were daunting. However, the prospect of meeting new people, gaining skills, and feeling like a valued member of my community outweighed any hesitation. San Francisco offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. I wanted to work with kids and be more then a “play buddy.” I wanted my time to have an everlasting impact on a child’s life. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) looks for volunteers who are willing to do just that. I have been assigned to my CASA youth, Daniel, for six

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Introducing Jasmine

December 1, 2014  |  Volunteer Voice  |  Comments Off on Introducing Jasmine

The very first thing I learned about Jamilah was that she had asked for a CASA. She said that she was hard to get to know, but it sounded like she wanted to be known, to be supported. She said she was creative and loved art. Wow! So many things popped into my head immediately.  A 12 year old girl asking for a CASA! How did she even know what a CASA was? How brave and beautiful to ask for something she wanted, especially in the face of being caught up in a system since the age of 7 that

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Introducing Beth

October 3, 2014  |  Volunteer Voice  |  Comments Off on Introducing Beth

I told Alice I was going to write about being her CASA, and I asked her what I should highlight about our relationship and what we do together.  She didn’t discuss our trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, holding her up while roller skating for her 18th birthday, watching seals in Santa Cruz, cheering for her at her high school graduation, or crying while watching The Fault in Our Stars.  She said her favorite part is laughing together in the car.  She wanted me to talk about our inside jokes.  (I could try, but as all good inside jokes, you

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Introducing Renee

July 29, 2014  |  Volunteer Voice  |  Comments Off on Introducing Renee

When I think about the two different youths I’ve been matched with, I’m tempted to say they are completely different. Yet what they have in common is that they are both two of the kindest souls I’ve been lucky enough to know. I’m going to focus on my first experience here. Reading the files to choose a youth was harder and easier than I expected. It was easier in that I immediately knew which youth was meant for me. It was harder because, as one classmate put it, “when you choose one, you’re not choosing the others.” Absorbing the history of

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