2022 is the first year for the CASA Angel Tree program in Lincoln County, which pairs community members who want to provide Christmas gifts with children in the family court system who need gifts.
Kentucky Soaps & Such hosted CASA on Thursday, November 10th, with a beautifully decorated tree housing 21 Lincoln County children who have suffered abuse or neglect. Within just a few minutes, all 21 had been taken by community members, who will purchase them gifts this Christmas season.
Julie Cox, VP of Hospitality, Wilderness Road Hospitality, talks about her experience as a CASA volunteer, “CASA provides a voice for children who otherwise wouldn’t have a voice. CASA ensures that each child’s needs are known and works with the system to best meet those needs. The work of CASA volunteers directly positively impacts these children.”
Stanford Mayor Dalton Miller said for some of the children whose wish lists made it onto the tree this year, “this may be the only time they truly have a Christmas.”
“I know what these kids go through. There’s nothing harder than having a child, and the only thing they have with their belongings is a trash bag, and they move from home to home with a trash bag,” said Miller, who had a long career in social work before becoming mayor. “It will break your heart when you see that. But it’s so important that the community gets behind this Angel Tree and helps give these kids a Christmas they can remember forever.”
Every child on the CASA Angel Tree is involved in a family court case in Lincoln County and has been abused or neglected. Once participants purchase the kids’ wished-for-gifts, Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers serving in Lincoln County will deliver the gifts unwrapped to the families or caretakers of the children in time for them to wrap them for the holidays.
“The CASA Angel Tree is a great way for families and the general public to get involved in supporting these children, even if they can’t serve as CASA volunteers,” said Melynda Jamison, Executive Director of CASA of Lexington. “We are thrilled to see the community show up for these children, who have been through more trauma than many of us will ever see. And we’re always thrilled when someone not only participates in the Angel Tree event but goes on to become a CASA volunteer and advocate for a child, as well!”
Anyone interested in participating in this year’s CASA Angel Tree can purchase supplemental gifts from CASA of Lexington’s Angel Tree wish list on Amazon, available at https://bit.ly/casaangeltree. Those gifts will be used to supplement what is purchased for the children and balance the quantity and quality of gifts given to sibling groups. You can also sign up to buy gifts for a child from another county served by CASA of Lexington by emailing [email protected] or calling (859) 246-4313.