By James Walling
The Courier 

Toy Industry Foundation, CASA Donate to Foster Kids

 

August 16, 2017



Foster children along Montana’s Hi-Line will be receiving toys donated by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and distributed by National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, according to a press release from the latter organization.

Local CASA volunteers will distribute gifts suitable for a variety of ages from a donation pool of more than 500 toys. Donations include action figures, dolls, puzzles and games, outdoor play equipment and arts and crafts supplies. The toys will be distributed to children in foster care throughout the area.

“We know that the toys will show these deserving children that they are not forgotten,” said Executive Director of the Toy Industry Foundation Jean Butler, “They’ve experienced a great deal of adversity and we’re here to give them back an important piece of their childhoods – play!”

Director for the CASA program on the Hi-Line Mark Douglass said the donated toys will have a wonderful impact on the children who are in foster care. “Foster care can be very lonely: It’s a big change for kids who are removed from their home; it can be really tough,” said Douglass. “The generosity of the Toy Industry Foundation will go a long way in bringing some joy to the faces of the children we serve.”


The partnership between the Toy Industry Foundation and National CASA began in 2013; to date, TIF has distributed over 370,000 toys valued at more than $3.7 million to foster children served by CASA. In addition, grant funds provided by TIF to the CASA network are helping to recruit and train needed CASA volunteers to stand up for the needs and rights of abused and neglected children.

The TIF toy donation augments previous donations from the Kiwanis Club in Malta, which donated books, games, and puzzles to help fill CASA volunteers’ “goody bags.”

“It really does come down to joy,” Douglass said. “Abused and neglected children don’t often have a whole lot of joy in their lives. All of these donations – games, toys, books, puzzles – they’re all about that little bit of sunshine, which these amazing kids might not experience otherwise.”

Children with access to CASA services have consistently experienced better outcomes, with more therapeutic services for the children and their families, quicker resolution, and more permanent outcomes.

Pre-service training begins in September. To contact Douglass or CASA, call 406.265.6743 or write casa@hrdc4.org.

 

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