CASA gets presents for foster families

Throughout the months of November and October, Boise State’s criminal justice honors program has been raising money to help out with Christmas presents for foster families
in the area.

“We raise money for CASA which is the Court Appointed Special Advocacy program. They are a temporary foster agency for kids coming from broken and abusive homes,” Tyler Kelly, a masters student in the criminal justice
program, said.

The children in the agency get to pick one or two things they want and then CASA uses donation money to buy them their gifts.

“At Christmas time, what CASA does is get (the kids) presents. We help grab donations and try to get (the kids) whatever they want on their Christmas list,”
Kelly said.

The criminal justice students have collected donations at places like the Saturday Market, in the quad and were even able to collect donations from other criminal justice classes.

“The more money we get, the more kids we can sponsor. We’re sponsoring 25 kids this year, and we’re on track right now to collect about $3,500,” Kelly said. “We’ve been doing this with CASA for about seven to 10 years, and I think we’ve branched out more this year than any other year.”

Kelly went on to describe the work his student organization does with faculty.

“Because we work with the criminal justice department, we have teachers that put in their efforts as well. Professors will come through and they’ll help with their vehicles, they’ll help with donations, they’ll match funds from classes, then they’ll help us during shopping for the gifts as well.” Kelly said.

Once the group is done collecting donations and crossing off their shopping list, they go drop the gifts off for CASA to distribute.

“We’ll drop the gifts off and see the organization heads. We get to see the people in charge there, and see that they’re really happy we got everything on the list,” Kelly said. “You don’t actually get to go and give the kids their presents, but you get to see a handful of people involved, and you know it’s going towards a good cause.”

There are about 18 students from the criminal justice honors program working on this project.

“This is my first year being involved with the event. So far it’s been very rewarding,” said Kelly. “Along the way of collecting donations we’ll run into people, whether it be other foster families, or people who’ve worked with CASA in the past, just so happy that they can help out. They’ll always tell us ‘This is for a great cause’ or ‘I’m so glad you guys are doing this, this really helps out.”

Usually this fundraiser allows the students to buy all the kids they’re sponsoring every item the child asked for.

“It’s really nice, I’ve really enjoyed working with the program.” Kelly said.

For more information on CASA and how to get involved visit casaforchildren.org.

About the author  ⁄ Madison Killian

Madison Killian

Madison Killian is the assistant Arts & Entertainment editor for the Arbiter, and a junior at Boise State majoring in Communications. She enjoys loud rock music, coffee and long walks on the beach. When she isn't jet setting around campus or interviewing your favorite band, she enjoys spending time with her pets: a dog named Jake and a cat named after Janis Joplin.