As an organization dedicated to supporting children and families in crisis, we recognize that holidays can be a delicate and nuanced time for many. In this series, Purposeful Perspectives, we asked our staff members to select a season, month, or day that is meaningful to them to share with our CASA community. Thank you for joining us as we take a deeper look behind the celebrations that fill our lives.

New Beginnings

By Lori Derhammer

During the latter part of each March, the spring equinox occurs. In 2024, March 19th marked the official start of spring. More daylight hours, flowers blooming and bees buzzing around (even amidst all the pollen!), nice weather for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, camping, picnics, watching ball games, and just spending a lazy Saturday afternoon outside in a hammock – all of these come to mind when I think about enjoying the spring season.

As a child, springtime often meant a family camping trip during school spring break to High Falls State Park in Jackson, GA, where we enjoyed bike rides around the campground, hiking by the falls, and playing putt-putt golf during the day, a lunch trip (or two) to Fresh Air BBQ, and making s’mores by the campfire on the cool nights. Spring is often seen as a time of new beginnings and renewal after the winter season. The Christian holiday of Easter – celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and the new life He brings to believers – occurs each spring and is my favorite holiday.

In remembering what spring brings to mind for me, I also think of the mission of the CASA organization. CASA volunteers advocate for the best interest of children in foster care with the vision for all children to thrive and reach their full potential with the support of permanent connections to family. For children in foster care who have a CASA volunteer, their CASA volunteer can bring a touch of ‘spring’ to them – helping them see a future of new beginnings and renewal going forward.

Four CASA volunteers were sworn in at the Henry County Courthouse. They are photographed alongside Henry County CASA Director Lisa Dawodu and Georgia CASA Executive Director Jen King.

Just this past month, in February, CASA volunteers in Henry County were sworn in, bringing CASA volunteers to all 159 counties in the state. Since Georgia CASA’s founding nearly 36 years ago, the expansion of CASA services statewide has been at the forefront of our work and this milestone has now been reached. Springing forward, we continue our work to have additional CASA volunteers for more children in foster care to reach our next milestone – serving 75% of the children in foster care.

This spring, as you reflect on what the season brings to mind for you, consider how you might get involved in some way with the CASA program in your local community – and bring your own touch of ‘spring’ to children in foster care.

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