July 2016- articles
By John Biesinger
Investors? Isn’t CASA a not-for-profit? Doesn’t it receive funding through donations, foundations and public grants? “Yes” on all counts. CASA has depended on individual and corporate donations to assist victims of domestic violence and their children since 1977. CASA does not issue stock, it does not have shareholders and it is certainly not listed on any stock exchange. So who exactly are the investors in CASA?
CASA’s investors are people and organizations pooling their resources to grow an organized, dedicated infrastructure fostering a culture of nonviolence among our children and actively supporting women, children and men escaping violent abusers in their own homes.
In July 2015, CASA opened a new domestic violence shelter with 100 beds to replace our 100-year-old 30-bed shelter. We were turning away 1400 women and children desperately seeking haven from an abusive relationship and we simply had to step up our game.
The new shelter was built to both serve more people and provide new and additional services that were unthinkable in the old shelter. We have computers and a Resource Center to help our survivors find jobs, educational opportunities, transportation, new housing and other resources. We have a boutique to provide job interview, school uniforms and work-appropriate clothing. We have a fitness center, a medical clinic, a playground for the children, laundry rooms and casual living spaces. We provide food, linens, personal care products, bus tickets, electricity/water, 24/7 staffing, children’s programs, etc., to over 100 women and children each and every day.
Our services have exploded in the last year to meet the needs of our new shelter…and so have our operational costs. Unfortunately, charitable donations and public grants have not kept pace to meet the rising costs of defeating domestic violence in our community and keeping our survivors in a safe environment.
So CASA is putting out the word to find a few more good investors. We seek a few folks who have kindness in their hearts and understand the need to invest in a future without domestic violence in our community. We need people who agree that we can’t turn our backs and pretend domestic violence is an issue we can ignore or that it’s an affliction in somebody else’s family, neighborhood or workplace.
No, your investment in CASA won’t get you any shares or a cash dividend. It will, however, give you ownership in a safer, less violent community. Your investment will represent both a financial and moral commitment to helping CASA and those we serve each and every day. Call me to discuss opening your investment account in CASA today!
- John Biesinger is CASA’s Manager of Major Gifts. He welcomes reader comments about the article and questions about how to support CASA. John can be reached at (727) 895-4912 x105 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a poem written by one of our Youth Participants- an 11 year old female who lived at our shelter. (Name has been covered for confidentiality).
I share this with you all because it was a humbling reminder to our Youth Staff, as well as the children in group, the importance of self worth. This child has made an amazingly positive change since entering shelter. A month ago, she was unable to communicate any of her feelings, needs, joys, or struggles with anyone, including her family. Coming from an environment that did not foster respect or boundaries, this child assumed that she did not possess value or strength. In the positive environment of shelter, along with returning to the structured school schedule, this child has made amazing gains that might not always stand out as significant to some of us. After a few weeks, her occasional smile, eye contact, or spoken word turned into a laugh, a conversation, a compliment. At the end of group, she agreed to share her piece with her peers. Her artwork and poems are healing and inspiring.
We hope you enjoy!