CASA kicks off fundraising drive for 11- to 20-year-olds in child welfare system

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 9:47 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:18 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Children who are placed in foster care often experience trauma when they’re removed from their homes. One organization is looking to ease that burden by providing them with necessities this holiday season.

“What we were seeing is when children were removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect, oftentimes they didn’t have basic necessities for them to live,” Wisconsin Court-Appointed Special Advocates Association Director of Programs and Administration Kelly Schwartz said.

The Wisconsin Court-Appointed Special Advocates Association, also known as CASA, serves 14 counties helping children navigate the criminal justice system.

Two years ago, CASA in partnership with the Green Bay Packers began a fundraising drive called ‘My Stuff, My Bag’ for pre-teens and teenagers in need. That effort is back again this year and they’re asking for the public’s help in collecting socks, underwear, pillows, blankets and most importantly hygiene products.

“A lot of what we’re looking for are more of those hair care products for coarser hair, maybe the specialty curly hair products,” Schwartz said.

There’s a donation box located near the entrance of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s Startup Hub. Organizers are hoping people give small luggage, which will hold the items CASA plans to donate to the needy children.

“The challenges that they’re experiencing when they’re removed from their homes, a lot of times we can’t even comprehend how they’re feeling, and what we’re really trying to do is to give them some semblance of comfort,” Schwartz said.

According to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, there were 2,500 children ages 11 through 20 in Wisconsin’s foster care system in 2019. That’s the most recent data available.

The holiday collection drive ends on New Year’s Eve and drop off locations and other ways to assist can be found by clicking on this link.

“We want to serve every child in the state of Wisconsin, and right now there’s over 7,000 kids that are removed from their homes on a daily basis,” Schwartz said.

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