When I was asked to join other staff members for the CASA National Convention in Seattle, I was so honored. I did not know what to expect but was happy to participate and get to know some other members better. Little did I know how much it would affect me and help me better understand how important CASA's work is around the country.
Hundreds of volunteers and staff gathered to network, meet inspirational speakers, and attend small workshops of our choosing. There were times when the information we learned and the stories we listened to would move us to tears. We listened to the plights, problems, and solutions CASA's all over this country experience in their attempts to better the cases of the children they work with, including my home state of Mississippi and other counties in Georgia.
Overall, I felt a deeper sense of purpose in my volunteer work with CASA. I recently found a pad of paper from the Hyatt we stayed in Seattle. I used it to make notes while in my breakout sessions. One speaker really moved me, and I wrote down the take-a-way of what he tried to convey to us:
"You have one life.
How will you live it?
To elevate others?
Or diminish them?
Bring them up?
Or put them down?
Lend a hand?
Or walk away? Speak….?
It spoke volumes about those that work with CASA. We choose to DO.
Shelley Smith swore in as a CASA volunteer in October 2020. She won a fundraising competition with the grand prize of a trip to Seattle for the National CASA conference.
Shelley is a local artist, a gourmet cook, and one of the coolest people you will ever meet. Originally from Mississippi, Shelley chose to make Savannah her home and we are incredibly grateful for that.