3 Themes from 2020 to Take Into the New Year

By Vicki Spriggs, Texas CASA CEO

Dear CASA Community,

Happy New Year!

Many people view this time of year as a fresh start. A time to refocus, develop resolutions and goals, and let go of the past and what’s been holding us back. This is especially true for many of us right now, given how difficult and unpredictable 2020 turned out to be.

As we say goodbye to a challenging year, I want to talk about three themes that came out of 2020 that I’d like the CASA community to bring into 2021.

Let’s continue to prioritize self-care and self-compassion. Even though staying home, wearing masks and distancing has become “the new normal” after so many months, the fact is, it’s still anything but normal. Keep this in mind, and try not to be too hard on yourself! Don’t hold yourself to unrealistic productivity standards. Eat balanced meals when possible, get outside when you can, take “staycations” and connect with your loved ones in safe ways. If we’re to continue meaningfully supporting children and families in crisis, we have to start with ourselves—and that will still be the case after the pandemic is under control.

Let’s also keep our safety and the safety of others at the forefront. COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in many parts of Texas. While we can be hopeful that the virus will be under control soon, it’s important that we all continue to be mindful of the present reality, keep our circles small, stay home as much as possible and help keep ourselves and our communities safe and well.

And finally, let’s keep growing! In 2020, CASA programs continued recruiting and training dedicated CASA volunteers. Those amazing volunteers found ways to inventively and safely advocate for the children and families they serve. Let’s accept that CASA advocacy will never be the same, in the best way! I urge us all to keep nurturing and displaying the creativity, flexibility and collective heart we’ve developed—in 2021 and beyond.

Thank you for all that you do for Texas children and families. I’m approaching the New Year with hope, pride, and a refueled commitment to the work we do. I hope you’ll join me.