The Star Democrat
CASA of Caroline celebrates its volunteers
DENTON — Christmas is a time of giving and nowhere was that more evident than at CASA of Caroline on Dec. 15. In the morning, Stefanie Johnson and Kimberly Haven were sworn in as new CASA volunteers by Magistrate JoAnn Asparagus.
“Welcoming new volunteers always brings us hope,” said Shelly Kulp, executive director of CASA of Caroline. “It means there are two more adults who are trained to speak up and advocate for children in foster care. We thank Stefanie and Kimberly for giving their time and talents to represent the best interests of children in foster care.”
On that same day, Mikie and Jordan Phillips, from Sisk Fulfillment, played elf and delivered eight huge boxes of wrapped gifts for the children CASA of Caroline is serving.
“We wanted to partner with CASA to see where we could help them and the foster children with Christmas,” said Mikie Phillips. “It was very exciting to get their list of the things they wanted,
items they needed and their favorite color and foods. A few of our employees took a list that was around their child’s age and they and their child went shopping to fulfill the child’s request. We enjoyed shopping for the children and wrapping each gift for them in hopes that it will bring some joy for them this Christmas.”
Amy Horne, director of outreach and partnerships at CASA of Caroline, greeted the Sisk elves and said, “We are so grateful to the folks at Sisk for spreading joy and hope to children in foster care! Their generosity is overwhelming and demonstrates the incredible support we receive from the Caroline County community during the holidays and throughout the year.”
The giving continued into the night when CASA of Caroline celebrated the backbone of their organization: its volunteers. The annual holiday volunteer appreciation party was held at the Caroline Culinary Center. CASA of Caroline board and staff members, along with Asparagus, retired Judges J. Owen Wise and Karen Murphy-Jensen, and Department of Social Services staff gathered to show their appreciation to the volunteers and thank them for all they do throughout the year to serve and protect children in foster care and help them find their forever homes.
Kulp presented each volunteer with a gift and thanked them. She said, “Your commitment to these children not only gives hope to the kids, but to us as well, that there are such selfless individuals who give so freely of their hearts and their time to help children and youth in foster care.”
She reflected on CASA’s achievements over the last year, including the three children who found their adoptive forever homes and the one family who was reunified. In addition to thanking the volunteers, Kulp recognized Caroline County Family Magistrate JoAnn Asparagus, who is retiring at the end of January.
She said, “Your dedication to the children and families of Caroline County has been unwavering and the thoughtful deliberations and decisions you have made have truly made a difference in the lives of so many families.”
If you are a at least 21-years-old, a resident of Caroline County, and can pass a background check, consider applying to be a volunteer.
For more information, please contact Shelly Kulp at 410-479-8301 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.carolinecasa. org.