Lake Country Court Appointed Special Advocates invite the community to an annual tradition that allows them to stock up on sweet holiday treats while helping provide for abused and neglected children and the advocates who represent them in court.
The annual CASA Cookie Walk will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, or until all the cookies are gone, Friday, Dec. 2, at First United Methodist Church. Cookie connoisseurs with a craving for a particular flavor or treat will want to get there early as specialty treats go especially fast. Most years, all cookies are gone by about 11 a.m.
Simply grab a container on the way in, walk around tables filled with goods prepared by individuals, civic groups and CASA volunteers and board. Then, select from the variety of yummy treats. Cookies cost just $5 per pound, and are weighed at the counter on the way out.
“A lot of organizations help provide cookies, including Sulphur Springs High School culinary arts students, Mothers Culture Club, Junior Waverly and several other different ladies organizations. We have kids helping kids: the Hi King Klub has made making cookies at for the CASA fundraiser one of their projects. We are so thankful and appreciative of everyone who helps,” said Sharla Evans, for Lake Country CASA.
Since it’s start 26 years ago, CASA has impacted the lives of more than 1,600 local children. As of the start of the week, Lake Country CASA had served 111 children in its three county service area, and more were expected before the end of the year. Last year, CASA served 122 children in the three-county service region.
Of the children currently being served by CASA, 67 are from Hopkins County, 24 from Rains County and 20 from Franklin County. These children have
All proceeds from the Cookie Walk will go toward those little extras CASA’s children can’t afford and to provide additional funding to keep the program going, including training of new volunteers, who are always welcome, to help relieve the case load for certified CASA volunteers who represent the child’s best interest in court.
“A lot of the funds raised are used this time of year to make sure they have something for Christmas, as well as throughout the year to ensure the kids have the basics other children have,” Evans noted.
Lake Country CASA currently has 28 volunteers, with some volunteers taking on multiple cases at once. Ideally, the organization would like to have 30 volunteers.
“It’s been a good year. We’ve had several adoptions. This past year we had 14 adopted from all three counties,” Evans noted. “A lot of children are in care of relatives. Others are in foster care.”
CASA always welcomes new volunteers to help represent the children’s best interests in court. CASA volunteers do have to pass a background check, and they do have a training program that allows much of the work to be done on the computer, making the process a bit more flexible.
“We welcome anyone willing to work for te best interest of the children. Some are willing to so one case and some take on a second case. We welcome males to apply. CASAs aren’t ladies only. They do have to be 21 years old and pass a background check. We’ll walk them through the training,” Evans said. “I love visiting with volunteers, helping them learn to be a better volunteer. We are not attorneys. We look out for the best interest of the child only. We take an oath to do just that. We serve children from 0 to teens.”
For more information about the CASA Cookie Walk or volunteering, visit lakecountrycasa.org or call the local office at 903-885-1173.