The Northern Neck Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program sells Christmas wreaths every fall to help fund their service. CASA is a non-profit organization staffed by volunteer advocates who are assigned court-appointed cases regarding allegations of child abuse or neglect. They work with attorneys, social workers, and others to investigate the matter and provide the court with a recommendation of what’s in the best interest of the child involved. The local branch serves all the counties in the Northern Neck and Essex.
CASA has been selling wreaths since about 2005. It was their first fundraiser, and return customers largely support the effort. “It’s amazing really that generally all of the same people purchase the same number of wreaths every year,” said director Betty Wirth. “We have a lot of companies, especially real estate companies, who place some pretty big orders.”
Over the years, transportation has presented some challenges, but thus far none have derailed the program. CASA keeps finding a way to make their fundraiser happen.
When it first started, CASA and a bunch of non-profits, some from Williamsburg and other places, would chip in for an 18-wheeler and haul the wreaths to Virginia in one lot. The cost and logistics of that grew to be too much. Then, for about seven years, one of the CASA board members, who liked to drive, volunteered to take over. The organization would rent a U-Haul which he drove to a farm in western North Carolina to retrieve the orders. But that also got too costly.
“Right now, we’ve found a private trucker, the kind of guy who does a little bit of everything. We pay him; he goes down and picks up our orders. He brings them in on a Wednesday night; we unload them and start distributing on Thursday,” said Wirth.
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northumberland Echo 12/5/18