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The End of the Year Is the Start of Something Special

Did you know that, in the last five years, CASA of Los Angeles has very nearly doubled the number of children it serves with intensive advocacy? As a matter of fact, in last fiscal year alone, CASA volunteers provided voices for 860 children in foster care in L.A. County.

This hasn’t happened by accident. Over the same five years, CASA of Los Angeles has also dramatically grown its private fundraising as well as the number of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) it has recruited and activated. More private support enables CASA of Los Angeles to train more volunteers, and more volunteers can advocate for more kids. It’s that simple.

Kids in Foster Care Need CASAs
While CASAs have always played a vital role for kids in foster care, the number of children in L.A. County’s dependency court system is now nearly 30,000. And they are facing some very serious challenges within the system, such as over-prescription of psychotropic medications. Overmedication of kids in foster care is such a serious problem, in fact, that Governor Brown recently signed three bills seeking to reform prescribing.

But, as is the case with so many child welfare issues, legislation alone won’t solve the problem. You might remember reading this summer about how a CASA named Nina Stern McCullaugh fought an epic battle to get a boy named James taken off harmful antipsychotics and enrolled in more effective psychotherapy. Her experience—and James’, of course—illustrate how truly irreplaceable CASAs are as watchdogs in an overburdened system.

Soon to Serve 1,000 Children
Fortunately, there are now more CASAs mobilized in L.A. County than ever before, and as this calendar year comes to a close, a new, even more exciting milestone is coming into view—serving 1,000 abused and neglected children per year. And to help make it happen, CASA of Los Angeles has implemented several powerful new opportunities for supporters to get involved and make their contributions go further.

LA2050: A $100,000 Prize
For starters, with just a couple clicks, you can help CASA of Los Angeles win $100,000 and connect with more Angelenos through the LA2050 initiative. LA2050 is an annual contest put on by Good and the Goldhirsch Foundation to find and fund the top organizations building the best future for Los Angeles. CASA of Los Angeles has entered the competition as one of the leading organizations connecting Angelenos with life-changing volunteer opportunities. Last year, the winning organization won with only 1,000 votes! That’s right, a 1,000 votes meant a $100,000. So please click here and cast your vote today.

Put #GivingTuesday on Your Calendar
Now in its fourth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, it heralds the end of the year, when many focus their charitable giving. Since its inaugural year, in 2012, #GivingTuesday has increased online donations an estimated 470% on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. So while you always have many great reasons to give to CASA of Los Angeles, you now also have a great occasion to give and a powerful way to declare your support to others who might give.

Double Your Gift through the Focusing Philanthropy Match
No matter which day you choose to make a donation to CASA of Los Angeles, if you make it by way of Focusing Philanthropy by December 31st, your donation will be pooled and matched 1:1 by Focusing Philanthropy up to $50,000. If this matching grant is maximized, it will enable CASA of Los Angeles to recruit and train 80 of the 200 volunteers it will need to meet its goal of serving 1,000 children in foster care in 2016.

What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?
And let’s not forget that you can help directly with that goal of recruiting 200 new CASAs next year. If you have 15 to 20 hours per month to volunteer, you too can be a CASA and make a world of difference in the life of a child in foster care. No legal expertise is required—CASA of Los Angeles will train you. Want to learn more? CASA of Los Angeles holds volunteer information sessions at least once a week, all over L.A. County.

Robert was one of 860 children who benefited from the help of a CASA in the last year. His CASA, Cameron King, was one of more than a hundred first-time volunteers. Photo: Margaret Molloy

Learn More about CASA of Los Angeles' Goals for the Upcoming Year

Read the community update.

Upcoming Events

November 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24:
Volunteer Information Sessions

Learn more about what it takes to be a Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASA of Los Angeles will be holding volunteer information sessions throughout November in Lancaster, Monterey Park, Sherman Oaks, and Valencia. Click here for dates and times and to RSVP.

Shop on Amazon to Support CASA of Los Angeles

When you do your online shopping at AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to CASA of Los Angeles. It’s the same Amazon—the same products, the same prices, and the same service—so why not? Click here to get started.

Click here to make a donation online or contact Dan Hanley, CASA of Los Angeles' Director of Development and Communications, at 323.859.2888 ext. 6326 or

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To report child abuse, neglect or abandonment contact the Los Angeles County Child Protection Hotline at 1-800-540-4000.