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April 15, 2024 31 mins
iHeartRadio spoke to Laura Farmer with CASA about the history of and need for Court Appointed Special Advocates, as well as their upcoming event with Paden Stringer, owner of Royal Barbell. Hear all about Lift Up a Child and make your plans to join on May 4th, 2024.
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Episode Transcript

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Good morning, and welcome to iHeartthe Ozarks. Every Sunday, your Springfield
iHeart Radio stations take the chance totalk to a different organization in our community
that is doing amazing things. AndI'm very excited today to welcome Laura Farmer
from CASA. Thank you for joiningus, Thank you for having us.
And we also have Peyton Stringer withRoyal Barbell, Thank you for being here
having us. Yeah, now,Pane, I do want to know your

background on working with costs and everything, and we're going to get to the
event coming up, but before that, we need to have an overview from
Laura about your organization, about KASA, what you do for everyone here in
the community. Sure. So,KASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates and
we go out into the community andrecruit volunteers. We provide them with training
and support, and our COSTA volunteersserve children in foster care. They're there

to advocate for that child's best interest. While that child is in foster care,
they meet with that child at leasttwice a month. They attend important
meetings, and then they advocate forthat child's best interest during court hearings.
Now when they meet with that childtwice a month. Is that always like
business about what's going on? Orare they also so do they just get
to be a presence in this child'slife? How does that work? Yeah,

so we say that our cost ofvolunteers are a mentor and an advocate,
so that one on one with thatchild. It looks like whatever that
child is involved in, whatever childthat child is interested in, that volunteer
is going to get interested in.So maybe they're going to play basketball during
their visits. Maybe they are goingto just sit and chat and paint nails.
Maybe they're going to play a videogame. It really really depends on

this situation, the child's age andthe child's interests, what those visits might
look like. And I'm assuming that'sto get to know this child so that
you can speak on their behalf ina way that's representative of that child as
an individual. Is that kind ofthe idea behind this? Yeah, absolutely
so, our cost of volunteers theywant to build a connection with that child.

They want that child to feel safewith them, to trust them,
and to feel free to talk aboutnot only what makes that child tick,
so what that child's interested in,their hobbies, all of those things,
but then all the details of theirfoster care case, which can be very
sensitive and confidential, And so wewant to make sure that our volunteers have

great relationships with the kids that theyserve, so that child will not only
feel comfortable talking to them about theirlikes and dislikes, but then also as
far as their foster case, fostercare case goes, what that child might
want. Does that child want togo back to their biological parents, do
they want to be adopted by theirfoster family, what's happening at school?

What services might they need in orderto be more successful? So our volunteers
they do start, as you know, building connections and having fun with the
child, but it also enables ourvolunteers to advocate for that child whatever that
child might need and whatever that childyou know, might want. No,

what is the second step of that, So they get to know the child,
how do they then become that advocatefor them? What does that process
look like? So a lot ofthat just happens to be being the voice
for the child, listening to whatthat child wants, showing up for that
child, building that consistency. Soif a volunteer says that they're going to
visit at a particular time. Thatvolunteer better show up at that particular time

because that builds that consistent trust forthat child that they know that they can
trust that adult, They know thatthat adult is going to show up for
them when they say they're going toshow up, and then that volunteer becomes
that child's voice at the table andat those court hearings whenever people are asking,
you know, what is this child'sinterest? What does this child need

to do better at school or havemore stability in their foster home, that
volunteer can answer all of those questionsbecause they've built a relationship with that kiddo.
I imagine it's probably a different caseby case. But if someone is
listening to this and they're like,Okay, this sounds like something I would
love to help with. I wouldlove to be a part of COSA.
What's the obligation there? Like courtappointment wise, like how many you know,
can you give a general idea ofhow many appointments you'd going to you

in that sense? Yeah, Sowe do ask for a two year commitment
from our volunteers because typically our kidsin foster care are in foster care for
around two years, and once weappoint a costa to a case, we
want to keep that same cost ofvolunteer involved the entire time. To be
a cost of volunteer, it takesabout five to ten hours a month,
depending on what's happening within the casesituation. So the volunteer will visit the

child at least twice a month.They attend a monthly meeting on behalf of
that child, which is about anhour, and then court is every three
months or every six months, dependingon the length of time that child has
been in foster care. So onaverage, we say that our volunteers spend
about five to ten hours a monthon their child visits and their case work.
How can I get more information andbecome a cost of volunteer? Are

there stipulations like you have to meetcertain criteria to be a volunteer. Yeah,
so our volunteers need to be atleast twenty one or older and then
they go through an application process withthat includes an interview, background checks,
references, and then thirty hours oftraining. Fifteen hours are in the classroom

at our cost of office, andthen fifteen hours are at home doing some
homework. They also do three hoursof court observation. After that they're sworn
in by the judge and then they'reassigned to a child's case in foster care.
It sounds very thorough because as you'respeaking, this is something that personally,
I'm like, I would love itif I could help children in our
community in a one on one impactfulway like this. So but knowing nothing,

you know, it kind of givesyou that nervousness. So hearing how
thorough you are with the education processis great to hear. Another thing I
want to know is when you becomea costa volunteer, you're assigned to one
child and that's your child that youwork with. You're not handling more than
one case, correct, So ourcost of volunteers are assigned to one case
at a time. So that maybe one child or it may be a
sibling group. Oh okay. Sowe work really well with our cost of

volunteers to try to figure out ifthere's a particular age group that the cost
of volunteer might be most interested inserving, If our cost of volunteers come
to the table with certain background experiencesor education that might benefit a particular type
of child or a particular age group. So, for example, we have
some retired special education teachers that reallyfeel drawn to working with a child that

needs those types of services. Sowe try to do a good job of
selecting and matching our cost of volunteerswith the case that they're assigned to,
because we want to make really successfulassignments where that cost of volunteer and that
child feel very connected and it's agood relationship for both of them. Tell
us how we start the application process. Someone listening right now wants to volunteer,

what's their first step? So theycan visit our website which is CISASWMO
dot org and there is a linkto become a volunteer. They would apply
right there on our website and thenone of our employees would contact them within
twenty four hours to begin the nextsteps. So the interview, background checks
references all of those fun things amazing. I'm also assuming that you find the

children who need these costa volunteers intheir life through the foster care system or
what is the setup on that end. Sure, So we work with children
in foster care from Green, Christianand Teaney Counties, and we have volunteers
from all over southwest Missouri. Butthose are the three counties that we serve.
There are thirteen hundred children in fostercare in our three county service area.

Currently we're serving about five hundred ofthem, so we absolutely have a
long way to go until we areserving one hundred percent of our kids,
which is exactly what we want todo. We want every child to have
an advocate while they're in foster carebecause we know that when a KASA volunteer
is assigned to a child's case,that child has much better outcomes, They

have more stability, they do betterin school, and they exit the foster
care system more quickly. Fantastic.We've already given the website. It's KASA
Swmo dot org. Yes, okay, do you have Facebook, Instagram social
media where people can also follow youthat way? Yes? Absolutely, Facebook,
Instagram LinkedIn find us and you knowthey can get connected in all kinds

of different ways, and that wouldbe a great way to keep on top
of the events that you host,because you know, in addition to volunteering,
maybe you don't feel ready for thatcommitment, there are still ways you
can get back and help CASA andPeyton. With Royal Barbell, you are
hosting an event coming up for CASAthere are. Yeah, so May fourth,
it's our eighth annual fitness challenge thatwe partnered with KASA eight years ago

and have been doing it ever since. So yeah, how did you get
started with that? What brought itabout the first year? So? I
had a friend who was a CASAshe's also a member of the gym,
and she asked me, she said, hey, let's uh what about doing
a fitness event to try to raisemoney? And I said, I,
you know, I'm sure, whynot let's go. I don't know,
you know, So it just workedout. We met with CASA, I

remember our first committee meeting and justcollaborated ideas and it kind of just started
from there. Oh yeah, soit's lived up a child on four.
What are the specifics of the event? Do you have to be a member
of the gym to participate? Sothis is for this is a community based
event, so anyone that is,if anybody can do it, I recommend
obviously working out a little bit before, but no, you can. Yeah,

all levels can do this event.And you know, we always remind
everybody it's for charity, right,so you know it's serious, but it's
also for fun. As well.So but yeah, anyone can do it.
What are the specifics of the FitnessChallenge? So there's generally there's five
workouts and it's with a team oftwo. So you'll have a male male
or a female female team and wejust added last year a male female division.

So if you've got you know,your significant other or a friend that's
of the other, you can jointhem in the event. So but yeah,
so we have five workouts. There'san RX division, there's a SCALE
division. Generally the SCALE division ismore intermediate novice. RX is the more
advanced people. But yeah, youjust you basically have five workouts. They're

spaced out throughout the afternoon with yourteam, and you're scored upon your time,
the amount of weight lifted things likethat. You know, we do
tire flips and box jumps and pullups and running a little bit here and
there, so all kinds of goodstuff. Yeah, do you live weights
when I work out? So Iwas like, okay, are we benching?
Are we doing squats? But youkind of it's a mix of maybe
that functional weight and cardio, agreat mix. And you know, our

our event specifically is unique because wejust we we do bench press and we
do like squats and we'll do allkinds of cool stuff that you know,
sometimes CrossFit events in this nature don'tdo. So we try to hit on
cool things that that we can capitalizeon. So, yeah, do you
have a capacity for like how manyteams can sign up? Do we need
to hurry up and get people signedup so you can go? Yeah,

if you go to the Costa websiteLaura was just talking about. If you
go to their event page, youcan find the Lift Up a Child that's
right there. The link you canregister your team. You can also volunteer
for the event through these links aswell, and you can just donate too.
So if you're a business and youwant to sponsor us, which you
need to check out some of thesponsors. Guys, it's a great opportunity
to get your business name out there. Uh in the fitness community. I

mean, not a lot of peoplethink their business is fitness related, but
it is and it should be.You know, everybody needs to be engaging
at some point. What are someof those sponsors you have currently, let's
give them a shout out. Ohgosh, so we've got Mary's Flooring is
coming back this year. Penn MaxStaffing is coming back. Who else We've
got Pierce Vision, Dylan Fletcher withState Farm, I think some other ones.

Nancy O'Reilly foundation, her family foundationis has been phenomenal. Nancy is
amazing by the way. But yeah, so we've got so many and they're
listed on our website and we tryto give them shout outs on our social
media and stuff like that too.But your banner, you get a banner
at the event. You can setup a tent, come hang out.
You know, we have we havebeer, we have hot dogs. I

mean, it is a fun event. Guys like you need to you need
to come out and at least justhang out. If you don't do anything
fitness related, come have a beer, say hi, chill out. I
mean, it's it's great. Whattime does the event start. It's May
Saturday, May fourth, Saturday,May fourth in the CASA Headquarters parking lot.
So it's outside. Should be sunnyhopefully right fingers crossed. But yeah,
so you just you can bring alaunch air, come hang out.

There's food trucks, there's a bouncehouses for the kids, so you can
bring your children. It's a veryfamily oriented event. You know, we
want the kids to come and seethese cool things. And some of these
people are crazy strong, right,so you're gonna see some really heavy weights
lifted and it's inspiring. You know, we're giving these kids a voice that
sounds funny. What's your recommendation on, you know, getting ready for the

event if you're going to compete?Great question, right, I get asked
us all the time. So everybodysometimes gets in their head that they have
been great, great shape to compete, and you don't. You don't,
especially for our charity event. Youneed to be obviously probably running a little
bit, jogging, doing some squadsand deadlifts and bench press and things like
that. But you don't have tobe in the greatest shape of your life

to compete. You don't. Now, if you're in great shape and your
partner's in great shape, you maywin it. Who knows. But yeah,
it's a it's a CrossFit based event. If you're not familiar with cross
it, I mean you can lookit up. But we do all kinds
of different movements, pull ups,box jumps, running, you know,
things that everybody can do. Andthat's why we run this event, is
because we want everybody to be ableto do it well. And now you've

talked a little bit about winning.Obviously, the knowledge that you're helping Kasa
by participating in this event is greatenough, prize enough, But are there
prizes for win a great companies?I know last year Counternegative, which is
a cryo therapy clinic here, andso Downd donated great packages for the winners,

I know, fat muscle supplements,you know, phenomenal. They gave
like all kinds of stuff to thewinners. And then so just these sponsors
are giving and donating so much oftheir products and stuff just because they're great
people. And is there gonna belike one winner per category because I know
you said like teams of women,teams of men are teams of Yeah,
so you have yeah, you havethose three divisions, and you have r

X and skilled, so you haveyou know, those oasis are separated,
and then you have a first,second, and third. Wow. So
lots of winners, Yeah, lotsof winners. And again everybody wins because
everybody wins. And if honestly,if you just show up and compete,
you one because you've donated, youknow, to a great cause. So
your don your entry fee is adirect donation to KASA fantastic. So you
literally register through their website. Soyeah, you got to feel good about

that just even even doing that immediately. So okay, and if you go
to lift up a child dot CASAthat goes straight to the event, it
does. Yes, So we've gotour website, we've got Instagram and Facebook.
Get on there, check out someof the past event pictures. You
can kind of get an idea whatwhat you're looking at. But it's it's
so fun, guys, It's somuch fun. Yes, ler I was
just going to add that if ifsomeone is curious about, you know,

are they ready for this competition?Really, like Peydon said, anybody can
do it. And if you've neverparticipated in a competition before, don't be
intimidated. They can visit our Instagramor Facebook page and they'll see the standards
listed, so they would actually seelike the movements that would be expected,
so that they can anticipate what mightbe in those five workouts that Paydon was

talking abou, so they can startpreparing like, Okay, this is what
I would need to do for asnatch or whatever it might be, whatever
movement it might be, so theycan begin practicing those things to prepare for
the competition. That's a great idea. Yeah, seeing specifically what you need
to do. And then you alsomentioned that you can take on volunteers just
for the event. Yeah. Wewe love everybody, anybody and everybody,

but yeah, come come sign up. We'll have a link posted you can
come and help, you know,pick up set up the event, pick
up trash at the event, thingslike that. All that stuff helps.
I mean, it makes a hugeimpact on us. It's you know,
our committee, and I want togive a shout out to our committee because
there's several people that you know,need to being here in this office right
now as well, so they donatetheir time. Everybody here is donating their

time for this cause. So yeah, our committee members, and we always
give them a great shout out atthe event. But they're unseen, you
know, they're unseen and unheard,so they just do their things behind the
scene. And that's that's that's whywe do this. We don't need the
recognition. We want to help andthat's why we do it. So Hayden
as someone who is you know,an outsider to the costs of organization,
but have been working with them foreight years. Have you had the chance

to like see the change in thecommunity since working with them, or has
it made you have a different outlookon life? Oh my gosh. So
I have a little personal, youknow experience with you know, foster children.
So I have three nephews and oneniece that were taken away in a
you know, in a bad situation, went into state custody. And then

my brother in law is now he'sfull adopted. But the situations they were
put through or horrible, horrible.So yeah, you just it's not a
lot of people think about these things, you know, when it comes down
to all a foster kid, youknow, why are they in those situations?
Why? Why did this happen?And the some of the situations these
kids have been put in its horrible. And so you that's why we do

it. And that's why Laura andtheir organization, you know, do what
they do, is because these kidsneed they need our help and we have
to help them. So and Ithink one great way to take a step
toward helping these kis is to participatein come to a volunteer a Lift Up
a Child. You can go toLift Up a Child dot cosa for more
event and Peyden Stringer with Royal Barbalave. Thank you so much for having a
part of it, and thank youfor hosting the event, Laura. Since

I did get a personal story fromPeyden about his experience with CASA, I
want to ask how long have youworked with the organization. I have been
with CASA for over six years andI've been in foster care work for twenty
What are some positive changes you've alreadyseen in your work and you know where
do you want to see that takeus in the future. Positive changes that
we've seen in the past six yearsthat I have been with CASA would be

the growth of our volunteer program,so we're serving more children than ever before.
We still have a lot of childrenthat need to be served. But
even reflecting on Lift Up a Child, we had a child who was in
foster care for a very long time, had bouncing around from foster home to
foster home. She got connected withher, CASA started building that relationship with

her. She actually attended Lift Upa Child and so for her it was
so empowering because she was around twelveyears old when she came out to the
event, and at that age,that's a tough age for a kid and
a girl. And so she's lookingaround at all of these strong women at
this event and watching them lift reallyheavy things and flip a tire and do

all of these like amazing things,and you could just see her like with
her shoulders back, her head heldhigh, and she's like, that's what
I want to be. That's Iwant to be that strong. And we're
like, you know, her costof volunteers there with her and is saying,
you are that strong, like lookat you. And so our cost
of volunteers just make such difference liftup a child just being that example and

that event that can support help ussupport more kids, but then also our
kids attending the event. It's soempowering. It is just neat the way
the community has come together to supportKASA as a community organization, because our
kids in foster care, they doneed our support, they do need the
support of the community, and wecan't do this by ourselves, so we

love our partners. You know.Another thing I think is maybe a misconception
is that people might think they don'tknow anyone affected by foster care. But
Peyden, you had a personal storyabout knowing I have friends that I know
they went through in and out offoster care growing up. So I think
it is something that if you're fortunateenough to not realize how much it affects
everyone, you just don't realize howmuch it affects so many people that you

might know. So hearing that kidsthat are actually being lifted up by this
event, maybe at this event,is very cool. And I did not
expect to cry today, but thathearing that little girl be so moved by
that, that's amazing and I lovehearing that. Okay, lift up a
Child is May fourth. Do youhave other events throughout the year that maybe
we should just have on our radarand be looking forward to. Sure,

so Lift Up a Child, ofcourse is May fourth. We also have
a jeep event that's, you know, a gathering of jeep so we have
a little celebration and then they goon a jeep dry and that is in
June. All of these events throughoutthe year are listed on our website,
so if they want more information aboutjeep in we have our large gala,

which is Casa Blanca. It's adinner, silent auction, casino night and
that is in September and that's alwaysa really fun event. You get really
dressed up and come and have justa fun evening with your friends. It's
a great time. So those areour three main events, and again you
can find all of that information onour website, which is Kasa Swmo dot

org. Yes, and I haveto say, Casa Blanca is like the
best theme I've ever heard for anevent like this. It fits with your
name so perfectly. I love that. And then I would say, also,
make sure you're following Kasa on Facebookand Instagram. Is it Kasa Southwest
Mo? How do they find youon social media? Yes, it's Kasa
Swmo. Okay, social media.And I will mention that if anybody listening

is interested in becoming a KASA volunteer. Our next training starts April ninth,
and we would love to just packthe house. We have slots for twenty
five individuals to complete that training,and I believe right now we have fifteen
who are signed up, So Iwould love to see twenty five individuals in
that training because that means that twentyfive more kids in foster care will be
served by a cost of volunteer.I'm glad you brought that back up to

because as we've been talking about becominga cost of volunteer, you know,
and the thorough nature of the trainingand everything. I could see that making
some people hesitate because you do realizehow important this work is, how you
know, you don't want to messit up. What are some misconceptions or
hesitations you see from volunteers and whatare the solutions to those hesitations. I

think a couple of the hesitations thatI see is that maybe a volunteer has
never worked in the foster care system, and so they feel like maybe they
can't fulfill the role completely or theywon't bring enough to the table. And
that's just you know, we havestaff that train and support our volunteers,

so our volunteers are not expected tobe an expert in foster care. That's
why we have cost of staff thatsupport them and you know, help kind
of coach them and guide them throughthat system. I would say another misconception
would be some people are nervous aboutthe time commitment. They want to make
sure if they're making the commitment tobe a COSA, that they can fulfill

that time commitment because it is anintensive volunteer opportunity. It's not just going
on one Saturday and packing a backpack, which is great and needed. It
is really making a commitment to showup for a child, And I would
just say it is a flexible enoughexperience that you can set your own schedule,
you can set your visits and thosetypes of things. Now, court
hearings we can't really rearrange. Weshow up when the judge tells us to

show up. But if something comesup and the volunteer is working and can't
get away from work for that courthearing, they do write a court report
and our cost of staff can andattend for them. So we really try
hard to work with our volunteers tomake those things work for them. I
would also assume if you tell yourwork what you need the time for,

I can't imagine anyone being like,no, we're not. I mean,
I know there are circumstances that areuncontrollable, but it just seems like such
an important thing that I know mycompany would be happy to be like,
yeah, go do that, pleasekeep that up. Yeah. We have
a lot of partners in our community, employers in our community that are very
supportive of our cost of volunteers,and so we greatly appreciate that. Yes,
that's great to hear. Hey,I know you did make some new

additions at KASA recently. Tell meabout the Clubhouse. Yeah, So,
in July of twenty twenty three,we opened what's called the Clubhouse. It's
the first of its kind in thenation. Actually, it's an activity center
specifically for children and foster care andtheir families, So our cost of volunteers
can now bring their Coasto kiddos tothe Clubhouse to visit. We have lots

of games and activities. We've partneredwith the library. We have books and
pre made craft activities that people canpull off the shelf and do together.
But then we also have families thatcome there for supervised visitation to help support
those connections and that healing that needsto go on within families who are involved
in the foster care system. Wehave a fully stocked kitchen, so we're

hosting cooking classes for our teens infoster care, lots of life skill classes
and financial literacy just you name it, and we are really providing it out
of the Clubhouse. So since weopened in July, we have served an
additional eight hundred and fifty children throughthe Clubhouse and the services being provided out

there and so at lift up achild, if individuals come to check out
the event, you know, likePeydon said, they can have a beer,
have a hot dog, they cantake a tour of our facility,
they can see the clubhouse firsthand,let the kids play in the bounce house
or the playground. So it justreally is it has been a great addition
to our co program to be ableto fill gaps for kids in our community.

That is incredible. And you know, we were talking about the volunteers
and if someone is listening and islike thinking about becoming a volunteer, maybe
they're not ready to take that stephIs there a way that do you need
volunteers like at the clubhouse to doanything? There? Is there anything you
need for the clubhouse that can bedonated? What? What? How do
we how do we help you keepthe clubhouse thriving. So we have basically
told people, if you have ahobby and you want to create, like

create a class around it. Soif you love making friendship bracelets, you
know you could build a class aroundhaving kiddos come in and make friendship bracelets
with them and just all kinds ofthings, all kinds of activities coming through
the clubhouse, and so we definitelyneed volunteers at the clubhouse. Of course,
they'd still have to go through backgroundcheck and some training and all of

that kind of thing, but it'sa great way to make a huge impact.
And then if folks are listening andthey'd like to learn more, or
maybe their community group or their churchgrew would like to come take a tour,
we're more than happy to provide that. We have a kid's closet in
the clubhouse where if somebody wanted tohave a diaper drive or a toy drive

they could. Actually we are likedoing a big drive right now for products
hygiene products for young girls and fostercare, and so that's also coming up.
And we have an Amazon wish listwhere if people wanted to purchase something
specifically for the kid's closet, theycould go on our Amazon wish list and
purchase that. That's great because Ido know we have some listeners that listen

on our iHeartRadio app, so they'renot local. So being able to get
on Amazon and just send that rightto you is amazing. I mean,
even if you are local, youcould still do that. It makes it
that much easier. So that's fantastic. Oh, you know, I did
want to ask too. When itcomes to volunteering, I love that you
have so many volunteer opportunities, likewith the classes at the clubhouse as well
as actually becoming the coint court appointedspecial Advocate Special Advocate. Thank you.

When someone does volunteer, do younormally see them coming back year after year
because you said you asked for atwo year commitment for the cost of role.
Yes, do you see that peoplerealize, wow, I can do
this and this is important and theycome back. What's that response like?
Yeah, we have a lot ofvolunteers that have volunteered with us for fifteen
years, twenty years, and theyhave worked with numerous kids during that timeframe.

And so our goal is that hopefullywe have connected a COSTA volunteer with
a child they've seen a positive impact. After that child leaves the foster care
system, that Costa will still remainfriends with that kiddo, it's just not
court appointed anymore. And then hopefullythat volunteer will take another case and help
another child through a really difficult time. So and lift up a child has

been a great way that we haveraised a lot of community awareness, especially
within the CrossFit community, about theneed for our volunteers, about our clubhouse
and the need for volunteers there,and the CrossFit community has just been so
supportive of us. So remember liftup a child on May fourth, come
out and be a part of thatcommunity too. We are getting close to
the end of our time this morning, but one more thing I wanted to

bring up is that you have mentionedyou do help with life skills that will
take these kids beyond when they ageout of the foster care system altogether.
And then you mentioned some of thevolunteers keeping those relationships. Do you have
the opportunity to see how KASA hasbeen able to help these kids into their
adult life? Like, do youhave a lot of kids that were maybe

you know, had a costa volunteerwhen they were going through the foster care
system. Do they come back andvolunteer. Do you get to see that
very often kids coming back just yeah, just the effect that you your organization
has had on them into their adultlife. Do you get to see that?
Uh huh, I do if ourvolunteers communicate that with us, So
that is really special whenever we getinformation like that. So I know,

last year, one of our longtimecost of volunteers, she had served a
child who was in elementary school whenshe was in foster care, and then
here now years later, she wasgraduating from high school, and so her
cost of volunteer was attending her highschool graduation and just you know, reflecting
on the time spent as her costof volunteer, but now as just a

support in her life and a cheerleaderfor her, an encourager for her,
and someone there to celebrate these hugemilestones because our kids absolutely need that.
So it's really fun when you seethat those stories kind of come full circle.
And I will also just mention aquick story from the Clubhouse where we
had a teen who when her costasaid hey, let's go to the clubhouse

and go to this financial literacy class. The teen was a little hesitant and
like the clubhouse, I don't know, this sounds maybe a little too little
kid for me, and financial literacydoesn't maybe sound super fun, but the
cost of volunteer talked her into going. She had a great time, she
learned a lot, and she lovedthe clubhouse so much that whenever we had
another event for our younger kids,that are in f foster care. This

teenager actually volunteered to come back,and she's very good at art and crafts,
and so she set up her ownlittle table. She made a craft
activity with all of the kids thatare in foster care and kind of shared
her story like, Hey, I'min foster care too, and this is
what I've experienced, just to kindof tell the kids like, hey,
you're not alone. And so it'sstories like that that just kind of make

make us know that we're doing theright thing our kids. They feel the
difference that we're trying to provide tothem, and we really are making a
big impact. That is really incredibleto hear, and I think it is
important to hear that even participating anevent like lift up a Child with Royal
bar Bell, you know that ismaybe a day for you, but that
is going to have a lasting impacton a child. So yes, thank

you so much, Laura Akasa andPeydon Stringer with Royal Barbell. Is there
anything else before we go this morningthat you need to say about CASA or
I would just say, guys,give it a tes chants. If you
are on the fence about volunteering,just give it a chance, if you
knew some situations these kids have beenin, you know, the neglect sometimes

and abuse. These kids are traumatizedfor life and so you're volunteering can make
a big difference. You really can, so give it a chance. PASA
swm o dot org for more informationon everything we talked about this morning.
Thank you so much for listening toiHeart the Ozarks, and thank you Laura
and Peyton for joining me. Thankyou so much. Yes, that's great

to hear. Hey, I knowyou did make some new additions at KASA
recently. Tell me about the clubhouse.
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