How long have you been a CASA?
Since early 2016, so four years.
What brought you to apply to become a CASA?
Probably like many CASA volunteers, I had multiple motivations. I was coming up on retirement and knew I would have a little more time and flexibility in my life. Being a parent, and a former school teacher, I knew I liked being around kids and that I cared about their welfare. I was volunteering in a variety of ways, but I didn’t feel like my time and efforts were making much of a difference; becoming a CASA seemed like I would have a decent chance to make a difference. I really respected a friend and neighbor (Gary Friedman) who was, and is a long-time CASA. All these factors were in play when I saw the CASA training opportunity posted in the local paper, so I called!
Besides being a CASA volunteer, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I am a hiking trail builder with the Hoosier Hikers Council. I am a volunteer property steward for the Sycamore Land Trust. I am a persistent DIY guy, doing home and garden projects for myself and with friends. I walk/hike 30 miles a week. I visit Seattle as often as possible to be with my daughter and son-in-law.
What do you love the most about being a CASA?
The thing I love most about being a CASA is my in-person time with the kids. While there is a serious and important aspect when visiting (assessing safety, are their needs being met, am I doing everything possible to advocate for them), I also try to make the interactions at least little bit fun and happy.
And now for a little fun, what’s a hidden talent or unusual fact that most people don’t know about you?
I am annoyed about many aspects of modern culture, so I do my part to resist several negative (in my opinion) trends by keeping a “never list”. For example, I have never purchased anything from Starbucks, never used an ATM, never exercise with ear-phones, never purchase lottery tickets or gamble in any way, I refuse to use any drive-through, and more!