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Who stood up for you?

Sarah-Kate Sharkey, guest blogger CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, Lane County

Think back for a minute to when you were a kid. What are your most vivid memories? I remember playing in my backyard until after dark, creating make-believe worlds where absolutely anything was possible. It’s also hard for me to forget times when I felt powerless against bullies or adults’ decisions. Was there a time when you remember needing someone to stand up for you?

At Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), we stand up for kids each and every day. These children are some of the most vulnerable in our community: they have suffered from abuse or neglect at the hands of their parents. We work hard to make sure these children stay safe. CASA volunteers provide a powerful voice for children in the court and child welfare systems, moving them as quickly as possible into safe, permanent homes.

As a nonprofit, we must continually work to build a strong base of donors and volunteers. Last summer we began relying on Facebook as a major communication tool. In just one year, our page grew from 500 followers to more than 1,000. Although we have yet to raise significant funds through social media – as is the case with the majority of nonprofits – we raised a few hundred dollars last December by posting an “ask” with a link to donate on our website. Most recently, Facebook contributed to the success of our Taste of Summer campaign, allowing us to easily communicate the series of restaurant events and promotions to a wide audience.

Even more importantly, social media gives us one more way to share our story and spread passion for this work. Our most popular postings are stories about how children’s lives have been changed and profiles of the volunteers who made that change possible. With the community behind us, we can continue to ensure that abused children have a powerful advocate standing up for them when they need it most.

For more information about Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and how you can get involved, visit

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