According to Kathleen M. LaValle,
While the world feels scary to all of us these days, the world can feel scary every day to children living in foster care. Children who are removed from their homes most often are not sure what’s coming next or what their future holds. Our dedicated Dallas CASA volunteers, with the support of our experienced professional staff, are appointed by the courts to walk alongside child victims of abuse and neglect during the time they are in the state’s protective care and custody.
One of our volunteers, Shereen Demarais showed a unique kindness this week. I want to share what she did, but know that all of Dallas CASA’s volunteers are performing countless acts of kindness like this.
A 32-year-old Homeland Security employee, Shereen went through training and became a child advocate about a year ago. She had just moved from Washington D.C., and was looking for a way to give back. Her case is complicated, with many moving parts, but she had formed close alliances with the parties to the case, including Child Protective Services. The children are currently placed with their grandmother, where they are safe and protected.
When CPS reached out to Shereen last week and asked her for help, she and her Dallas CASA supervisor Jessica Hess were ready to assist. CPS shared that the grandmother was out of food as well as diapers and wipes for her newborn grandchild and was afraid to go out during the pandemic.
Jessica picked up diapers and wipes at Dallas CASA’s office, where we have a stock of these items thanks to Hope Supply Co. Shereen headed to her local grocery store and picked up juice, lunch meat, oatmeal, pasta and whatever else she could find. Jessica drove over an hour to deliver these items to the grandmother, who was profoundly grateful. Neighbors came out and helped carry the items into the home.
For me, hearing this story was so affirming and reassuring. We all are seeing reminders that there are so many people thinking about opportunities to provide helpful assistance to one another during this challenging time. I hope you, too, are seeing examples of good people taking the opportunity to do good deeds for one another.
* Photo provided by Dallas CASA