For the past 6 months, COVID-19 has changed our everyday routines. But CASA volunteers are still strong supporters for children and families during this time, all while following the social distancing recommendations from the CDC and Wisconsin legislators. We interviewed a few of our volunteers who are working hard to stay connected with their kiddos and their families. Each volunteer has their own unique ideas on how to stay engaged with their kiddos of different ages and genders. Here is a small glimpse of what our volunteers have been doing during this pandemic time:
Diane is a CASA for two school-aged girls. She has come up with a bunch of fun virtual ideas to keep the girls involved during their video calls!
Her first idea was playing the game “Have you ever?” Diane came up with 20 silly questions to ask the girls and help prompt conversations. a few examples of questions she asked included: Have you ever worn two different socks to school on accident? Have you ever written a story? Have you ever caught a fish? This game was such a big hit with the girls that they didn’t even make it through all 20 questions during their 1-hour virtual visit!
Another game the girls loved playing virtually was creating their own imaginary world. Diane made both girls princesses with equal power in their kingdom. Then she asked them questions about what their world would be like. For example: Where did they live? Did they have pets? How did the people in their kingdom make money, or pay taxes? Diane commented, “they really ran with this one!”
The last fun virtual idea that went really well was having the girls make cards for their relatives and teaching them origami!
On the days that are nice out, Diane meets the girls on their front porch (with a mask on of course!) and plays board games with them. Diane said, “sometimes they will make up their own games, which I usually lose!”
Judy is a CASA for a 1 year-old boy. Since her kiddo is so young, she virtually maintains contact with the child’s placement and mother via phone calls, texts, and FaceTime. The mom often sends pictures and videos of the baby to Judy to keep her informed and in the loop.
Judy has also been dropping off goodies from time-to-time like birthday cupcakes and books to read to the baby. Occasionally, she said, “we have been taking walks, social distancing and wearing masks together.”
Twila is the CASA for 3 kiddos! Two are teenage girls with one younger brother, so it is often a challenge doing activities with all 3 together. Twila meets with her kiddos either at their foster home, their mom’s home, or out in the public, while following our social distancing policies. They have participated in many activities together this summer, whether it was as a group or during some one-on-one time. Twila has been really creative with activities for her kiddos, judging from her extensive list:
Make fleece blankets for the homeless
Made games out of cardboard boxes
Cemetery scavenger hunt: where they had to find things like a tombstone with a picture on it, someone who had 5 kids, an angel, etc.
Took pictures of 100 different barns and made it into a book (this one took a long time)
Went bike riding on trails in the area
Had a cricket eating challenge! (bought different flavors of edible crickets)
Went to a deer rescue and a cat rescue
Hit golf balls into a field
Thank you to all our AMAZING volunteers who are working hard to stay connected to their kiddos during this pandemic! We need more volunteers who are committed to helping children in our community. If you are interested in becoming a CASA, please visit our website www.casarockcounty.org Our next Virtual Volunteer Training Class starts October 5th!