CASA of Deep East Texas to host special event in Downtown Center

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - During the last year and a half, the Court Appointed Special Advocate of Deep East Texas has established itself well in Shelby County. On Saturday, a special CASA event will create awareness toward the progress. Children will be playing a key role in the event.

CASA volunteer supervisor Patty Watkins likes what the word stands for on a poster drawn by a Shelby County elementary student.

"C for Care, A for Adore, S for Send kids to good homes, A, Adopt kids from CASA," Watkins said with a chuckle. "That's cute."

Other drawings reveal school children understand that CASA Deep East Texas helps kids, as many as 45 in Shelby County, in the fight against child abuse and neglect.

"They're elementary age kids, and they're growing up knowing what CASA does," Rebecca Cartlon, the executive director of CASA of Deep East Texas, said. "Their posters are like 'CASA Rocks.'"

Kids also get the ugly side CASA faces. On one poster a crying child is surrounded by the words, "I hate you," "I wish you were never born," "You're stupid," and "You're no good." The child wrote the verbal abuse "casts a shadow of a life time."

"It's a small community, and so they know what's going on in the community, and to know  about  CASA being there to help those kids, it's just been something that's been very educational for them," Carlton said.

Many adults are still learning.

"We all live in a bubble, and we do not understand what these children go through," Watkins said.

On Saturday, in Center at the Shelby County courthouse square everyone will receive a better understanding of CASA's purpose. Bloomin' on the Square with CASA will offer a children's parade, a blessing of children, and more posters advocating the safety of children everywhere. The winners of the poster contest will be featured in a calendar that will be sold as a fundraiser.

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