Monday, December 9, 2013
By Craig Crosby firstname.lastname@example.org
(Continued from page 2)
Danyelle Carson in her home office on Thursday in Leeds.
Staff photo by Joe Phelan
Carson completed her training in the spring of 2013 and got her first case two months later. She has since added a second case that has her overseeing a total of four children who range in age from 2 to 8.
Much of the work occurs when you first get a case, Carson said. She estimated she spent about 20 hours conducting interviews with family, friends and associates the first week after receiving each of her cases. The pace slows quickly after that. There are some weeks Carson will spend no time working on her cases and other weeks where she puts in as many as 10 hours. Carson said she meets with each of the children at least once a month.
“It’s my favorite part of the job,” she said.
She has seen some of the weight lift off the children in recent months and seen them laughing and playing like they did not before.
“To hear that was just like music,” Carson said. “It was just so rewarding.”
McCullum said CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and any career. They all tend to be kind and extremely devoted to children, she said.
“A lot of studies show that children do better if there’s one caring adult in their life,” McCullum said. “In many cases that person is a CASA volunteer.”
Carson says her experience has helped her be a better volunteer, but it is not essential.
“I know what kids are looking for more than someone who hasn’t been through what I have, but I really feel like anyone can do this,” she said. “It just takes a little bit of time and a little bit of heart.”
Carson is still trying to figure out exactly what kind of law she will practice. She hopes it will involve children. Regardless of what career path she takes, CASA will remain a big part of her life; at least as big as the power the nameless woman continues to hold after all these years.
“I owe her a lot,” Carson said. “My CASA kids owe her. And we all owe whoever showed her. I feel like this is a way of giving back to all the people who stepped into my life.”
Craig Crosby — 621-5642