CASA advocates have unique and personal reasons for volunteering. They also have unique and personal experiences with each case they see through to its conclusion. These are a few of their stories.
Marcia Kruse, CASA Advocate & Coach
After spending 42 years in education Marcia Kruse was not so sure she wanted to stop trying to impact the lives of children when she retired. Marcia decided the CASA program would be a good opportunity for her to continue working with kids by assisting them in dealing with the upheaval in their lives as a result of abuse or neglect. In addition to Marcia’s various educational roles, she believes other experiences that have influenced her role as an Advocate were her years spent as a religion teacher, 4-H leader, and of course, being a parent and grandparent.
Marcia has been a CASA Advocate since 2017 and last year became a CASA Coach. She shared that the most rewarding aspect of her CASA experience is building a relationship with the children. It is also one of the most challenging aspects. Marcia said, “It is not easy, since most of the children have trust issues with the adults in their young lives. Those relationships take time, patience and consistency. But once they know you are going to show up when you say you are and that you are truly interested in them, how they feel, and what they need, those relationships blossom.”
Another challenge Marcia has found in her advocacy work is “accepting the fact that the path toward providing a stable and safe home environment for the children is not without detours and backtracking. It sometimes seems like a puzzle without a solution, but you just don’t give up.”
Marcia believes being a CASA has helped her have more compassion for people and their specific challenges and circumstances. She has become more aware of the struggle people have trying to do the right thing, but sometimes failing over and over. She stated, “I have discovered you cannot always make lemonade when life hands you lemons. I think all children need at least one adult who can give them undivided attention, demonstrate an interest in their lives, and listen to them in a respectful way. If because of specific circumstances parents cannot do this, it benefits the children to have someone who is willing to step in and give them the time and attention they need.”