To The Daily Sun,

In June of 2018, I became a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer guardian Ad Litum at the age of 72-1/2. You may ask, how did this happen? CASA has always been in my purview since it is my college sorority’s major charity, but it was a letter in The Laconia Sun from a woman, also in her 70s that inspired me to fill out the online application. If she could do it, so could I. Thanks to that lady, my informative training session, and tremendous CASA support my experience has been Grade “A”.

My first case was extremely rewarding. I learned quickly that it was the little things that made the largest impact. I would read to the three little boys on as many visits as possible. Through donations I was able to bring them some books. Once the oldest boy told me, “You can never have too many books.” There was a successful reunification with mom. My second case is more trying but I know every small effort will make a difference in this young person’s life. With teenagers the return on my efforts will be further down the road. I can live with this.

As officers of the court, we represent the child/children in Family Court. We visit the child frequently, interview family members, school and psychological personnel, and work closely with DCYF, which relies on us for a second set of eyes and ears. Family Court relies on us and takes our proposals and evaluations seriously.

My hope is that my letter today will inspire adults of all ages and backgrounds, who want a rewarding volunteer experience to go on line at (https://www.casanh.org/onlineapplication) and read more about CASA and consider helping the children of N.H. who are abused and/or neglected. With COVID-19 on top or the drug epidemic, we will have many more cases. In N.H. we believe that if we had 650 CASA volunteers, we could provide advocacy to each child in need. Please consider becoming involved in CASA and doing this gratifying hard work. CASA’s next virtual training begins on September 16 and virtual information sessions are held every other week.

Again, thank you to that lady who wrote a letter like this one in 2018, who inspired me and gave me this amazing opportunity.

Amy Kivimaki

Laconia

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