By CHRIS AGEE
Administrators for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Palo Pinto and Parker Counties are counting on local residents to support the organization with a new fundraising campaign.
"We're asking businesses, the community, citizens for a dollar," said President Doyle Moss.
The initiative, known as "A Dollar for CASA," began Wednesday and will continue until the beginning of September, he added, noting the campaign's goal is to raise $75,000.
With about 116,000 residents in Parker County and another 28,000 in Palo Pinto County, Moss said he hopes to exceed the set goal.
He said CASA plans to send mailers to area residents and contact businesses in both counties. One way to raise even more for the organization, he said, involves small business owners matching the amount raised by employees.
CASA will put the funds to good use, Moss said, noting about 80 local volunteers handle the cases of more than 270 child victims of abuse and neglect. Money raised will go toward training advocates and otherwise supporting CASA's mission of being a judge's eyes and ears outside of the courtroom during child abuse trials.
"Funding is being cut everywhere," he said. "We want to be proactive."
Even in a tough economy, the majority of residents can spare $1 to help support a worthy cause, he said, adding an account at First Financial Bank allows donors to give to CASA either at a branch location or online.
CASA Executive Director Barb Tucker said Wednesday the local organization received nine new cases so far this week, which she said is a significant spike compared to previous periods. That increased responsibility makes this the ideal time to make sure the organization is fully funded, she said.
According to Tucker, CASA representatives will be at Greenwood Farms in Weatherford between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Visitors can learn more about CASA and purchase unique items to help support its work.
For more information about the organization and the current fundraising campaign, visit casaofparkercounty.com.