35 Austin volunteers sworn-in to advocate for kids

Dec 06 2012

35 Austin volunteers sworn-in to advocate for kids

By Callie Langford

Judge Darlene Byrne had no shortage of compliments for her Austin community during our quarterly Swearing-In Ceremony on Tuesday night. "We have got the most awesome, wonderful, loving, compassionate, giving community I could ever have the honor and privilege of being a part of, filled with people like you that give away something you cannot replicate - your time. This moment is for this moment only. What you choose to do with this moment is incredible and that you’re willing to give of your time to these children is staggering to me," shared Judge Byrne as she kicked off the ceremony.

Thirty-five volunteers were sworn-in by Judge Byrne on Tuesday, and she asked each one what brought them to volunteer with CASA. Judy Thomas shared, "I want to help children understand that they’re part of a bigger community and that their community cares about them,"continued the praise for Austin volunteers.

Molly Latham, Audrey French
Molly Latham, Audrey French

Audrey French was on the search for just the right volunteer opportunity and says that when she heard about CASA she knew "the stars were aligning. This was absolutely what I was hoping to find."

Jimmy Ward, Erin Findley
Jimmy Ward, Erin Findley

Jimmy Ward shared, "Being a former marine and a former firefighter I love helping people and CASA was a perfect fit."

Julianne Nelson, Richard Mattingly
Julianne Nelson, Richard Mattingly

Richard Mattingly was encouraged by his friends in the education and child care fields. They told him, "If you really want to make a difference then you work with CASA."

Naomi Richard and family
Naomi Richard and family

Naomi Richard came to volunteer with CASA through her photography career. "A few years ago I started photographing [children who are available for adoption] for the Heart Gallery. Then I photographed a cover story with a CASA volunteer for Ujima magazine. I care about these kids," says Naomi.

Bob and Tamara Friedman
Bob and Tamara Friedman

Tamara Friedman has been volunteering for a while on her first case and revealed what she knows many new volunteers will be finding out very soon: "I thought I was going to be giving to these kids, but these kids give to you. I’m so thankful that you’re all volunteering because I get so much out of it."

Waylon and Valerie Allen
Waylon and Valerie Allen

Waylon Allen shared that his mother passed away when he was young, and during that time he "had a lot of adults come alongside me and mentor me. It made a big difference in my life and I’ve always wanted to pay that back."

We are so grateful for all of our new volunteers who are starting in on their first cases advocating for children who've experienced abuse or neglect. We still have a ways to go to reach our vision of a trained volunteer for every child in need, but as Judge Byrne said, "We've got work to do but if anybody can do it, I know we can."

See all the photos from our Swearing-In Ceremony on Flickr