by Emily Ostrowski
In honor of 35 years of the CASA Program, we’ve interviewed three wonderful and dedicated volunteers about what life is like as a CASA. Read the first profile here, and keep an eye out for part three to come.
Meet Larry Didier. He’s been a CASA for about two and a half years.
What first inspired you or got you interested in the CASA program?
I was feeling like my life in retirement lacked something. I wanted to do something to make a difference. I saw an article in our local paper about a CASA who had been doing this for many years, and I thought this was something I could do. I contacted the CASA program, went through the training, and never looked back.
How many cases do you usually work per year?
The number can vary. I have four right now, but I’ve had five plus a courtesy CASA assignment for another county.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a CASA?
Being part of a successful reunification or adoption, and knowing that the child is safe and thriving. I will never forget the glowing faces when a family adopted a 16 -year-old son, or the joy a seven-year-old and his little sister shared when they were reunified with their mother. The hugs I’ve received are better than money. CASA adds meaning to your life and helps keep you young.
What is the most difficult aspect of being a CASA?
Moving on to the next case knowing that I may never see the people I worked with again, wondering how things progressed, and hoping they are being successful.
What advice would you give new volunteers or those considering becoming a CASA?
Take the training. It isn’t for everyone, but if you want to make a difference in a child’s life you won’t regret it. Most are nervous when they get their first case. I know I was. After you’re sworn in, just remember that the staff is there to help and you’re never alone. Take advantage of their knowledge. Communicate with them. Every case is different but you’ll always have help and guidance.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering as a CASA?
Kayaking, hiking, lots of reading, the gym, and spending way too much money working on my house.
We’re so grateful to Larry and all of our CASA volunteers who donate their time and energy to advocate for children in need!
Click here to learn more about our CASA Program, and how you can get involved.