CASA offers training May 9 in HR

Columbia Gorge CASA launches its Spring Volunteer training on May 9 in Hood River and invites residents of Hood River County and surrounding areas to consider becoming a CASA volunteer.

Reflecting on his experiences as a CASA, Bob Delaney, a long-time civic leader in The Dalles, states “I have volunteered for many causes over the past 30 years, but being a CASA volunteer has been the most important and defining experience I have had as a human being.”

In Hood River, Wasco and Sherman Counties there are over 130 children living in foster care because they were abused or neglected by their parents. CASA volunteers are appointed by a local judge to advocate for the best interests of a child in foster care. They make sure that the child receives needed services; work to keep the case moving quickly towards closure; and commit to being a constant presence in the child’s life during this traumatic time.

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For more information contact Columbia Gorge CASA at 541-296-2045 or go to

Delaney said, “Being a CASA is about basic human rights for children in OUR community. Health, safety, security, well-being and love are human rights that ALL children deserve. My role as a CASA is to ensure the court that these rights are being met. “At times, a CASA may be the child’s only voice for these basic rights in court.”

When a CASA volunteer is assigned to a child, that child spends on average 7.5 fewer months in foster care than a child without a CASA. This reduction of time in foster care not only saves thousands of state and federal dollars, it enables children who have been traumatized both by the abuse and the lengthy legal process to find safe, loving, and permanent homes more quickly.

Bob offers the following advice to individuals looking for a meaningful volunteer experience, “If you truly want to make a difference in the lives of children, become a CASA Volunteer.” The five week volunteer training starts on May 9 with an orientation.

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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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