NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) has announced a new national partner, CASA for Children (CASA), for 2013. In communities across the country, CASA's highly trained volunteers provide one-on-one advocacy for children in the foster care and family court systems. Appointed by a judge, CASA volunteers fight for and protect a child's right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family. Thanks to a $200,000 grant and ongoing toy donations from TIF, CASA will expand its network of volunteer advocates serving more than 234,000 foster children in 2013. The partnership also aims to provide kids with stability and emotional support by helping CASA volunteers bond with children through toys.
"The foster care and family court systems are very complicated, which is why these children need special support. For many, their CASA volunteer is the only stable adult in their lives," says Jean Butler, Executive Director of the Toy Industry Foundation. "By training more volunteers and helping them build trust with the children through play, TIF and CASA can work together to spark real change, one child at a time."
"For every foster child with a CASA volunteer, two others go it alone," says Michael Piraino, CASA President & CEO. "This generous gift from the Toy Industry Foundation will help increase our services to children in need while bringing joy, comfort and hope directly to thousands of our most vulnerable citizens."
The joint venture will also involve unique toy distribution events for "back to school" season, the holidays, and the celebration of special occasions such as birthdays.
"Something extraordinary happens when you give a child a toy. They know that someone cares about them and that someone wants them to feel loved and supported. We have an obligation to be there for these children. That's why we do what we do," added Ms. Butler.
About Toy Industry Foundation (www.toyindustryfoundation.org)
While other organizations provide food, shelter and support services to children and their families, the Toy Industry Foundation sees to it that these children have toys and opportunities to play in an attempt to restore both fun and a sense of normalcy to their lives. The Foundation currently fulfills its mission through core programs including The Toy Bank™ and grants to organizations whose missions are in line with that of the Toy Industry Foundation.
The first industry-wide program of its kind, The Toy Bank receives donations of newly manufactured toys from members of the toy industry and distributes them through local charities to underserved, at-risk and homeless children throughout the United States and around the world.
CASA for Children (www.casaforchildren.org)
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is a network of 946 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. Because it is the only program of its kind, empowered directly by the courts to provide children with one-on-one advocacy, CASA for Children has the ability to transform well-meaning but often ineffective systems of child protection. CASA volunteers see their assigned children regularly and interview all the adults who impact their lives. Volunteer advocates offer judges the critical information they need to assure each child's rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care, and each volunteer stays with each case until the child is placed in a loving permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives.
SOURCE Toy Industry Foundation