Joseph Sam, Community Development Coordinator of CASA of SOLA (Court Appointed Special Advocates of South Louisiana) talked with Brandon and Bernie on 'Acadiana's Morning News' about CASA's Christmas Chariot Toy Drive.

The goal of the toy drive is give children in foster care in Acadia, Vermilion, and Lafayette parishes a sense that they are cared for and not forgotten during the holidays. These children frequently move from one foster home to another and may not receive any Christmas gifts, much less the ones they're really hoping for. The Christmas Chariot Toy Drive allows volunteers to purchase a toy for one of these children and brighten their lives during a time that is filled with hope for some and sadness for others.

Sam explained how easy it is to participate in the toy drive

Visit a branch of Gulf Coast bank or the CASA offices M - F between 9 AM - 430 PM from now until December 10. Take a chariot, which has a child’s age and gender and what they would like to get for Christmas. Then bring a gift back to a bank location or CASA office and place the chariot on top of that present. All wrapping will be done by a group of volunteers. Getting a little gift gives them hope that someone out there cares for them.

Sam illustrated the importance of the CASA program

We have 155 CASA kids, and there are more foster kids that don’t have a CASA volunteer. We’re trying to reach our 100% goal. We have 19 new advocates to put with CASA kids. These kids have no voice, and they need someone to speak out for them. The advocates are their voices, and make sure their voices are being heard in court.
That’s the only thing our advocates do, they advocate for the child, not the parents, not anyone else in their lives.

Listen to the full interview for more about CASA, the Christmas Chariot Toy Drive, and other ways you can support CASA. Click here to learn how to become a CASA volunteer.