Jul 23 2015
By Steven Olender, Originally published in TODO Austin
Dan Hendrickson has always been passionate about helping children in need and his own experiences provide him unique insight into the kids he advocates for. "The only reason I was not in foster care," he maintains, "was because nobody in my community reported the things [my parents] were doing."
Dan, a Sr. Manager of Payments Risk and Controls at eBay, heeded a friend's advice to "take his baggage and do something good with it." He found CASA at a volunteer fair in San Jose and knew he could make an impact. After being transferred to Austin, Dan took on two high-need cases with CASA of Travis County, all while creating a new team at work and building a house. His CASA kids have had their troubles but Dan has been with them every step of the way. "There is no judgment," he says. "I have a troubled past as well."
Now Dan is planning a wedding with his partner of five years, Ray. After their wedding in November, they plan to become foster parents themselves, so Dan will be taking a hiatus from CASA. He feels his experience as a CASA volunteer helped prepare him for foster parenthood. "I learned to be a better listener," Dan explains. "I'm a fix-it person and, these kids, they don't need to be fixed. They're not broken."
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