Neighbors: Friends of CASA strive to help kids in court

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Marciann McClarnon Miller holds blankets to give to children in the court system. The blankets were made and donated by three  fourth-grade classes at McCordsville Elementary School, teachers Savanna Chappel, Emily Cronk and Lynn Hartley.  Submitted photo

Name: Friends of Hancock County CASA, Inc.

Contact and donation info: www.casahancockcountyin.org, email [email protected]; (317) 477-1304

Board: Judge Terry K. Snow (Ret.), president; Craig Felty, vice president; Ginny Donovan, secretary/treasurer; Tammy Settergren; Jim Bever; Judy Swift; Jim Shircliff; Marte McCloud.

What is your group’s mission? How did it get started?

McClarnon Miller: The mission of Hancock County Friends of CASA (FOC) is supporting Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) who serve Hancock County’s most vulnerable youth. FOC builds and supports the ability to have a CASA for the most vulnerable children in Hancock County.

It was established in 2020. This group was formed following the establishment of Hancock County CASA, a court program. Hancock County CASA had been operating under the umbrella of East Central IN CASA (Marion County) for 12 years.

Who do you serve?

McClarnon Miller: We serve a fleet of dedicated volunteers ages 18-75 who advocate for children ages birth-18 in Hancock County who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.

DR: What is your group’s biggest challenge?

McClarnon Miller: A challenge for FOC is to educate the community as to what the CASA program is and what we do. Building capacity (encouraging more people to volunteer) is also a major focus. It is the goals of HC CASA to eradicate the “wait list” for a CASA for children/youth who have been removed from their homes (by no fault of their own) because of abuse or neglect. Every child deserves a voice in the court system.

DR: How can someone step up to help?

McClarnon Miller: In order to volunteer, you need to interview and take a free training class. Please visit our website for information about training and contributing financially. A CASA is a devoted individual who steps up for the most vulnerable of Hancock County youth. A CASA can “Change a Child’s Story.”

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What: A trivia fundraiser for Friends of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), including a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, door prizes and pizza

When: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16

Where: Daniel’s Family Vineyard and Winery, 9061 N. 700W., McCordsville

Tickets: $10, available at the CASA office, 98 E. North St., or at casahancockcoin.org.

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