My Sweet Charity, Dec 7, 2021 5:30 PM by Jeanne Prejean ~ https://mysweetcharity.com/2021/12/dallas-casa-boards-2022-executive-committee-slate-of-officers-includes-cynt-marshall-as-chair/
Dallas CASA Board’s 2022 Executive Committee Slate Of Officers Includes Cynt Marshall As Chair
With North Texas thawing out, the good news keeps rolling in. This time it’s from Dallas CASA.
Despite the state of the past year’s COVID-19 slam with all its social distancing, masks and virtual relationships, Dallas CASA “recruited the highest number of volunteers to advocate for children in foster care in our 40-year history.”
The number of new volunteers was a record-breaking 472 folks who were recruited, trained and sworn in to advocate for Dallas-are children in the foster care system.
According to Dallas CASA President/CEO Kathleen M. LaValle, “Dallas CASA has always been special because we serve in Dallas, a city of people who care deeply for each other. That citizens of Dallas would respond to a global pandemic with a surge of energy to serve the most vulnerable among us is truly a testament to our community and its priorities.”
KATHLEEN M. LAVALLE*
Dallas CASA President/CEO Kathleen LaValle explained, “The strength of our agency is built on the strength of our board. We simply would not be the thriving agency we are today without the board supporting the agency and challenging themselves to dream big. The board brings not only their tremendous professional expertise and community connections but, most importantly, a deep and abiding passion for bettering the lives of Dallas children. Everything we do is with children in mind.”
* Photo provided by Dallas CASA
Dallas CASA’s blog, we’re hearing from Cynt Marshall. A Dallas CASA board member since 2014 ~ https://www.dallascasa.org/dallas-casa-board-member-cynt-marshall/
Cynt Marshall tells Her Story
Picture a run-down, abandoned hotel. In one of the rooms is a nine-month-old baby lying on the floor, hardly clothed, with his nine-year-old brother taking care of him. Imagine the feelings of the nine-year-old as he looks out of a dirty window and sees his mother being taken away by police. Move your eyes around this dingy hotel room with the nine-year-old as he is searching for food for himself and his baby brother. Take a look at the toaster oven that is being used to keep the baby boy warm. Picture the nine-year-old serving as the sole caretaker of his brother until someone finally tells the police that their mother left two boys in the room at the hotel. Picture the despair, relief and sadness on the face of the nine-year-old when they are finally rescued.
Now picture a little girl who is less than one day old and weighs less than two pounds lying in a hospital with her mother nowhere in sight. Imagine a mother giving birth and walking out of the hospital that same day, leaving her premature and very sick daughter. Imagine this woman marching toward the front door, never looking back and never to return for her baby. Picture the baby girl being cared for and named by the nurses. They named her Smalleisha. “Small” because she was premature; “eisha” because she was black.
And, now, picture a 12-year-old girl being forced to eat a peanut butter sandwich alone in the pantry while the boys in her family eat turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving Day. Imagine the despair, the heartbreak, the confusion, the pain for these children. These are my children. That nine-year-old boy, that tiny baby girl and that mistreated 12-year-old are mine. I told you the stories of my three children. My husband and I were blessed to adopt them with the help of lawyers and judges and, yes, CASA volunteers. These honeys were kept as safe as possible because of people who care.
I got involved with Dallas CASA because I care about the children in our community. The children Dallas CASA serves are thrust into a bewildering world of well-intentioned strangers – people who mean good for them – where the only thing that is certain about their future is uncertainty. They are scared and they are confused. CASA volunteers help children navigate this very grown-up process. They serve as the eyes and ears of the court so that a safe and permanent home might be found.
As my own life has shown me, good things can often come out of bad things. Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a train. But with the help of just one person who cares about you, you can get through those bad things.
Dallas CASA volunteers are truly everyday heroes, making good things happen for children one at a time.
Cynt Marshall is kicking off the Champion of Children Award Dinner honoring The Meadows Foundation at The Fairmont Dallas