Columbia Gorge CASA welcomes new volunteers

January 7, 2006

Columbia Gorge CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) has added new volunteers.

Darlene Daggett, Linda Casady, Laura Buhl, Izetta Grossman, Carley Wilkins, and Tina Haynes were sworn in by Judge Paul G. Crowley Dec. 5.

These new volunteers bring the organization’s volunteer count to 28 who serve Hood River, Wasco, and Sherman Counties.

Columbia Gorge CASA received a National CASA grant this past summer which enabled the organization to expand their volunteer recruitment efforts in the Gorge and hire Tiffany Kenslow as their Volunteer Recruitment and Training Coordinator.

Her focus in recent months has been on community outreach and education, volunteer recruitment and training of new volunteers.

The CASA program currently serves about 50 percent of children in dependency cases in Hood River, Wasco and Sherman counties, but there are also currently more than 120 children on the “wait list.” The goal over the next year is to increase the volunteer base to cover all dependency cases.

“Working for CASA is a unique opportunity; the organization gives staff and volunteers the ability to make a difference, every day. The need for volunteers is great and they are the backbone of this program; they ensure the program is able to meet the needs of each community’s children,” said Kenslow.

CASA volunteers are everyday people who are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. The volunteers work with the kids, the attorneys, social workers, parents, teachers, and foster parents to learn the child’s circumstances and ensure that the child doesn’t “fall through the cracks” of the system.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact the Columbia Gorge CASA at (541) 386-8447 in Hood River or (541) 296-3404 in The Dalles.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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