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CASA of Lafayette County impacted by pandemic

Founding executive director for CASA of Lafayette County Erin Smith approached the Lafayette County Board of Directors during their Monday meeting, requesting funding for the local chapter.  

According to Smith, these funds would go towards providing basic care for the children, as well as making up for the losses inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I want to say thank you for getting us going in our third year of funding,” Smith said. “Thank you for not only supporting us as a Board, but also supporting us as individuals.” 

CASA of Lafayette County is a local non-profit organization that advocated for abused and neglected children in foster care systems. As every non-profit does, CASA runs solely on donations and volunteerism, numbers for which are lacking due to the ongoing pandemic.  

“Our two largest fundraising events are our CASAblanca Gala and Superhero Run,” Smith said. “As of now, the Gala is not going to happen, and the Superhero Run has been moved to virtual. It’s definitely impacted us, because we are a new organization. 

The local chapter is currently working on 31 cases with 55 children in need of care. Only 30 volunteers are available at this time. In a time where CASA is not receiving an “influx of individual donors,” Smith said aid is more critical than ever. 

Should further funds be allotted, Smith and CASA of Lafayette County plans to put them towards victim services, such as: emergency clothing for when the children come into care, basic needs, car seats and beds. 

“Really, it will go towards anything that a child or foster family may need,” Smith said. “And, these things can be expensive, ranging anywhere from $700 to $1,000.” 

CASA has a $100 basic needs budget per child but, as Smith explained to the Board, “$100 doesn’t go very far anymore.” 

“In order for us to continue to grow and serve the children of Lafayette County, donations are very important,” Smith said. 

For those interested in donating to or volunteering with CASA of Lafayette County, please visit their website at casaoflafayettecounty.com.

By Hayden Wiggs | Oxford Eagle Contributor