By Vicki Spriggs
Chief Executive Officer of Texas CASA
January is a special month. We greet the new year filled with hope and possibility. We are aware of all the work that needs to be done—and also of our capacity and strength to transform problems when we bring our vision and momentous effort together as a CASA network.
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and this month’s issue of The CASA Voice takes a dive into what that means for kids in foster care. It is also the month when we celebrate the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and honor him with MLK Day of Service. These two things may not seem so connected, but actually, they are deeply linked.
When we think about human trafficking, and the fact that youth in foster care are the most vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the size of the problem. But when we think about MLK Day of Service, we remember that every small action we take to support a youth and build a consistent relationship has a protective effect. It’s impossible to estimate how many negative outcomes are prevented by quality advocacy, but we cherish the stories of youth who for whom a positive future is made possible. We know empowering youth makes whole communities stronger and safer, and less vulnerable to the epidemic of human trafficking.
In the piece From Feeling Lonely to Feeling Loved, we look at the story of one family and how loving connections were built for siblings who previously had no contact with family.
CASA volunteers rise to the challenge of making service part of their lives every day. And for that, we are profoundly grateful. Let’s go into this new year honoring Dr. King’s conviction that: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Happy New Year,
If you are not currently involved with CASA, I ask you today to consider how you can play a part in making a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable children. Are you ready to take the first step towards becoming a CASA volunteer? Visit BecomeACASA.org to learn how you can speak up for a child who needs you. You can also support the work of Texas CASA by making a secure online gift that will benefit the local CASA volunteer advocacy programs across the state.