CARTERVILLE (WSIL) -- CASA is known nationwide but, in this edition of Unsung Hero, we have recognized the volunteers at the CASA agencies in our region.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, and it doesn't work without the volunteers. CASA recruits and trains community volunteers to advocate for the best interest of children who are brought into the foster care and court system due to abuse and neglect. Requirements include 21-years-old to be a sworn-in officer of the court, pass a background check, and undergo 30 hours of training. One volunteer is typically assigned to one child or family.
CASA of Williamson County Executive Director Nannette Vaughn said the CASA volunteers are the safety net for caseworkers who look after multiple children at a time.
"I think if people [actually] heard the stories and listened to what these children have endured, man, I think people would [really] start stepping up," said Vaughn.
Vaughn said their branch just celebrated two volunteers who have been with Williamson County CASA for 14-years.
"It's difficult to create awareness when your hands are tied, and you can't say a whole lot. So, things like this with the awareness and acknowledging that our volunteers are Unsung Heroes. They're just amazing."
Vaughn said she is now seeing the lowest number of available volunteers they have ever had, with 54 volunteers. Right now, she said there are 17 children in the county waiting on an advocate.
CASA's across the region covers Saline, Franklin-Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and St. Claire counties. To volunteer at any of the locations, click here.
Since the organization is a 501c3, it relies on the generosity of others. Right now, Williamson County is holding a raffle for a 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport S 80th Anniversary 4x4, valued at over $49,000.
Only 800 tickets are being sold online for a chance to win the vehicle.
The cutoff date is May 15. You can find more information here.