CASA grant

Courtesy of CASA of Greene County

From left, CASA board members Lori Greene, John Richards, Christina DeMarco-Breeden, Greene County Commissioner Dave Coder, CASA of Greene County Program Director Rebecca Matchett, CASA of Greene County Board President Danielle Deery, Greene County Commissioner Blair Zimmerman, and CASA board members Bernice Fox, Kimber Morgan, Thelma Szarell and Sue Fowler pose after CASA of Greene County was awarded a $20,000 grant.

Greene County commissioners awarded Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Greene County with a $20,000 grant, which allowed the nonprofit to complete fulfillment of a $50,000 matching grant offered by The Richard King Mellon Foundation.

Established in June 2018, CASA of Greene County began attempting to secure funding sources for its programming and operational needs. The CASA program trains, mobilizes and oversees volunteers who observe, report and advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the community.

Currently, there are about 125 children in foster care of which CASA volunteers already serve and advocate for 20 children, with the anticipation of serving more children as its volunteer base grows.

Through a $50,000 matching grant from The Richard King Mellon Foundation, CASA faced the challenge of raising $50,000 from the local community in order to maximize the grant opportunity.

“Fundraising is a challenge for many organizations like ours,” board president Danielle Deery said. “With so many worthy causes to support, it can be difficult for people and foundations to determine which ones to support and where their donation can make the most impact.”

The organization also received funding from First Baptist Church of Waynesburg, Greene County Association of School Retirees, Community Foundation of Fayette County, Community Foundation of Fayette County Chevron Fund, First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Greene County, Community Foundation of Greene County, Contura Energy, and other individuals and organizations.

To propel CASA across the finish line to maximize the matching grant, the organization received the $20,000 grant from the Greene County Commissioners’ office.

In June 2019, CASA received the full $50,000 potential of the grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The Foundation also granted CASA an additional $25,000 grant for operational expenses.

“Our board members were so excited when they received word of the Commissioners’ support for our work in Greene County because it was the last piece we needed to fulfill the match,” Deery said. “We are so grateful not only to the Commissioners but to every person who helped us maximize this grant opportunity.”

Commissioners Blair Zimmerman and Dave Coder said they commend CASA for their efforts in helping area children and for their engagement with the county’s Children and Youth Services department.

“It is an honor to be able to present CASA with these funds, because what they do to help our youths is vital,” Zimmerman said. “This grant is a textbook example of the great teamwork that exists between CASA, Children and Youth Services and this Board of Commissioners because of the steadfast commitment of all involved to assist those children in need.”

Coder said the services CASA provides are a welcome addition to the “multitude of programs” already offered by Greene County.

“The partnership between the county and worthwhile assets such as CASA clearly provides a ‘win-win’ situation for our residents who need this assistance,” Coder said.

Funds from the $50,000 grant will be used to invest in the long-term growth of CASA’s presence in Greene County. In the next three years, CASA aims to double its current number of trained and active volunteers to 30-plus individuals in order to help more children and to hire additional staff as necessary to support a healthy and efficient program.

CASA of Greene County is a registered 501©(3) and exists to support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the community can be safe, have a permanent home and have the opportunity to thrive.

For more information, contact Rebecca Matchett, Program Director for CASA of Greene County, at 724-833-2615 or visit www.greenecountycasa.org.

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