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posted: 11/20/2012 1:17 PM

Collect gas, gift cards for CASA kids

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Submitted by CASA Kane County

CASA Kane County invites the community to donate to its "Gift/Gas Card & Suitcase Program" benefiting foster care children and CASA volunteers.

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Foster care children, who range from infants to 21-year-olds, have very few personal belongings. Usually they own just a couple of outfits, some photographs and a stuffed animal or toy. When they are moved between families, foster care kids are often forced to carry their keepsakes and belongings in plastic trash bags without any personal incidentals.

Carrying their items in plastic bags can be embarrassing and yet another reminder of how little they have.

You can help by starting a local collection for gift and gas cards, or by taking up a local donation so CASA can purchase suitcases or duffel bags that will be specific to the needs of every child that comes into abuse and neglect court.

The sponsor group or individual can provide: gas cards for volunteers to drive and see their children on their case; gift cards (Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Target) for incidentals, suitcases and clothes; or cash donations for the CASA office to purchase on an as-needed basis.

You can deliver the gift cards or donations to the CASA Kane County office or call (630) 232-4484 to schedule a pickup. For a sponsorship form, visit www.casakanecounty.org.

Two hundred and twenty CASA/GAL volunteers serve more than 500 children throughout Kane County. All children who came into abuse/neglect and probate courts were appointed a CASA/GAL volunteer, and 99.7 percent of all children with a CASA/GAL did not experience a recurrence of abuse and neglect.

Last year, the judge accepted 98 percent of the CASA volunteer recommendations. More than 17,000 volunteer hours were contributed to the children, and 92 percent of children served remained with the same CASA volunteer.

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