Some needs happen far away, but others are happening right next door. Hope Lich, our star Client Relationship Associate, has just finished her training to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Children in the Yellowstone area. CASA provides a voice for abused and neglected children so they can thrive in a safe, permanent home. All advocates that work on behalf of CASA are volunteers.
“In Yellowstone County, there are only 3 attorneys to handle almost 900 kids displaced by unsafe homes,” says Hope. “That’s where CASA volunteers come in. We visit kids at their schools, their foster homes, attend court hearings with them, and try to get a good sense from their environment of what they’re going through holistically. Between everything going on in these kids’ lives, there’s often so many people battling over them that their voices often go unheard. They wind up moving from temporary home to temporary home while their parents battle the state, each other, you name it. That breaks my heart.”
Hope Lich joined the team at SRP in November 2018 as a Client Relationship Associate. It was within her first few weeks that Gabe Lapito encouraged her to find a fulfilling way to give back, outside of work. As a CASA volunteer, Hope volunteers 10-20 hours per month, and says her team at SRP has been nothing but supportive in working with her commitment to her role with CASA.
“The same goes for our whole team at SRP,” says Gabe. “We have a big opportunity here to give back to our community, and we want our whole team to be a part of what’s going on in our city. We were really excited when she came to us wanting to get involved as a CASA volunteer. Giving her the space and time to do that is part of our commitment to our community.”
“I love working with kids,” says Hope. “I would love to see more people hear about this and decide to volunteer as a CASA themselves. The need is big, and it impacts these kids for the rest of their lives.”
If you want to learn more about CASA for Children or how to become a volunteer, visit https://www.yellowstonecasa.org.