There are many reasons that a child may become a victim of abuse or neglect. Whether they remain a victim often depends on who steps in to stand up for these children.
During the month of April, CASA of the Coastal Bend is joining others in putting the spotlight on Child Abuse prevention. To that end, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) will be hosting the Ringing of the Bells community event Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 2602 Prescott.
It all begins with a ribbon cutting with the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and city officials for the Grande Communications Art of Caring CASA Kids Gallery, which will be a permanent fixture in the hallways of CASA. On display will be artwork created by foster youth with the help of their CASAs during various art workshops held over the last year.
Accompanying the artwork will be photos of the youth and their advocates, along with audio of the children speaking about their artwork.
Guests will be able to bid on some of the artwork through a silent auction. Those with the highest bid can either take the artwork home or donate it to CASA, where it will remain on display with acknowledgement of the donor.
A bell ringing ceremony for children who are victims of abuse and neglect will follow the ribbon cutting. In 2018, there were 1,066 children in foster care from Aransas, Nueces and San Patricio counties.
In front of the CASA building will stand 1,066 blue pinwheels, each representing a child from the Coastal Bend who was in foster care last year.
Local Girl Scout Skylar O’Kelley has built an outdoor free library that will be installed in the garden of pinwheels and unveiled during the event. She will fill the library with books donated by the community.
In the main building, guests will enjoy various brews courtesy of Lazy Beach Brewing Co. and appetizers courtesy of The Exchange.
Other agencies participating in the event include HOPES, the Nueces Child Welfare Board and the Heart Gallery of South Texas.
CASA of the Coastal Bend is a nonprofit organization of trained, court appointed volunteers who advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities.
To learn more, find CASA on Facebook or visit www.coastalbendcasa.org.