From: Charles Grimes
To the editor:
With terrific schools, a meaningful educational network, recreational opportunities and hundreds of caring residents willing to volunteer their valuable time, Columbus provides a positive atmosphere in which to grow up. Hundreds of young people continually take advantage of the diverse opportunities present in this community and grow into satisfied and successful adults.
But unfortunately, as is the case in many communities, our city also is the home of hundreds of children who fall through the cracks through no fault of their own. These kids do not enjoy the basics of a happy and nurturing childhood. They have parents who ignore, neglect and abuse. With drugs and alcohol many times providing the driving force in the household, these kids may live a directionless-life chocked full of misery.
In Columbus, the absence of positive parenting and good decision-making results annually in more than 500 entries into our local child welfare system. Currently, more than 300 children have been removed from their homes. With the efforts of Advocates for Children, approximately 200 caring volunteers (CASAs) have been court-appointed and are representing kids while urging and assisting families in the building of suitable home environments to which these kids may someday return.
As of this writing, more than 60 of our homeless young valuables desperately are without a CASA. Any caring resident of Columbus who has a few extra hours per week to donate to others can potentially become the light at the end of the dark tunnel for one of these kids. Please inquire about the CASA program.
That inquiry can start with a quick phone call to 877-604-9402, or a visit to Advocates for Children’s website, apowerfulvoice.org. The ensuing conversation could well be the first step in a rescue operation of a lifetime.
Editor’s note: Charles Grimes has been a CASA volunteer for the past 18 months.