Our impact in the community.

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News and Newsletters


Congratulations to our newest CASA Volunteers!

On May 23, 2023, the Honorable Areshini Pather gave the oath to seven newly minted Piedmont CASA Volunteers. They are flanked by Piedmont CASA President Kate Duvall on the left and Board Co-Chair Joel Reich on the right. The new CASA Volunteers are: Quyen Duong, Caroline Fernandez, Febe Figueroa Zelaya, Anne Perkins, Michael Schram, Stephanie Schlecht, and Kathryn Thomas. Congratulations!

Kids draw for PCASA at the  Palmyra Arts Festival

On June 12, 2023, Piedmont CASA pitched a pop-up tent at the Palmyra Arts Festival in Fluvanna. Fluvanna is the first phase of our expansion plan so we are introducing ourselves to the community every chance we get. It was a lovely day. We met lots of people - and kids drew fabulous artwork to help us tell the story of CASA kids.

A Sorrowful Kid on the City Street

What Does Trauma-Informed Care Mean?

May 2023. “As one of our guiding principles, we aspire to recognize and acknowledge the impact of trauma on our kids and the importance of fostering resilience. And as a part of the child welfare system, we are mindful of our responsibility not to re-traumatize our kids or their families as we advocate for treatment and permanency...”

To read more, click here:

Logo - Fluvanna County

Piedmont CASA Expanding Into Fluvanna

16 May 2023. President Kate Duvall, CASA Volunteer Merrily Main, Bridges Coach Gwen Jones, and board members Joel Reich and James Gelly met at the Fluvanna Public Library for the Fluvanna Kick-Off Meeting. Attendees were excited that Piedmont CASA was coming: seven expressed an interest in serving as CASA Volunteers and five wanted to know more about serving on the Fluvanna Advisory group. Fluvanna is Phase One of Piedmont CASA's expansion into Fluvanna, Madison, and Orange.

The Look Out Playhouse Finished by Peter Johnson Builders 1000

Congratulations to Belinda Blankenship, Winner of the Kid's Choice Playhouse Raffle

8 May 2023. Belinda Blankenship won "The Look Out" - a fabulous playhouse designed by Bushman Dreyfus Architects and built by Peter Johnson Builders.

Raffle tickets were only $10 each, or three for $25. A total of 1,107 tickets were purchased by 272 donors for a total of $10,291. Funds raised are helping to ensure that every child in our community who needs a Piedmont CASA Volunteer has one.

NBC29 Playhouse Raffle Story 2023

NBC29 Checks Out "The Look Out" Playhouse In Our Front Yard

21 April 2023. Construction had just begun when NBC29 stopped by to see what the Kid's Choice Playhouse Raffle is all about. For a $10 raffle ticket, or three tickets for $25 - someone will win "The Look Out." The playhouse was designed by the award-winning Bushman Dreyfus Architects. The crew building it is from Peter Johnson Builders.

Help Concept hands reaching out to help each other in dark tone

Blog: Responding with Compassion

April 2023. “Last month, under the auspices of Black History Month, we explored one of Piedmont CASA’s values – “Cultural Competency and Equity.” In this post let’s look at another – “Compassion.” Compassion in the context of how we perceive the circumstances and barriers our children and families face, and how, with compassion, we work to help them overcome....”

To read more, click here:

There's a Playhouse In Our Front Yard!

20-30 April 2023. Timelapse video by Bushman Dreyfus Architects, designers of "The Look Out" playhouse.

It's almost a forgotten art, but our letters always go out with hand-addressed envelopes thanks to the women of Kappa Alpha Theta. 10.12.22

Theta to the Rescue!

17-27 April 2023. For years, we have relied on the women of Theta for one of the hallmarks our our appeal letters: hand-addressed envelopes. This year, when the volunteers we had lined up to stuff and stamp the letters bowed out - Theta quickly stepped up. Despite being in the middle of exams, they helped make sure our letters got out on time and in good order. Big thanks to the fabulous women of Kappa Alpha Theta-Delti Chi!

An amazing 32 Piedmont CASA Volunteers received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. 4.2023

Piedmont CASA Volunteers Receive President’s Volunteer Service Award

April 2023. Thirty-two Piedmont CASA Volunteers are being honored with The President’s Volunteer Service Awards. These awards will be presented while Piedmont CASA celebrates National Volunteer Week April 16-22.

The President’s Volunteer Service Awards (PVSA) go to the most exceptional volunteers in our nation. It honors how their engagement positively impacts their community, and how their examples inspire others to act. President Bush created the Volunteer Service Award in 2003. The PVSA is awarded annually at the Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels based on hours of service. Each year, scores of Piedmont CASA Volunteers donate up to 12,000 hours in their advocacy for children and youth in foster care.

Recipients include:

Elizabeth Adams, Karen Minor, Janelle Rutt, and Marjorie Sherburne.

Daniel Alexander, Jane Brennan, Patricia Castelli, Diana Dale, Cathy Eberly, Kathy Floyd, Meredith Gillet, Fritz Hudson, Rebecca Keese, Aradhana Khubani, Martin Matthew, Debbie McPhillips, James Miner, Becky Minor, Kelly Moore, William Murray, Rebecca Pierce, Kathleen Quinn, Marjory Ruderman, Wanda Shuster, Margaret Snoddy, Amy Stewart, Marilynn Sting, Heidi Trebour, Helen Wanner, Jean Wardell, and Janet Whitmore Parker.


National Volunteer Week: Celebrate Service

16-22 April 2023. Not a day goes by that we don't appreciate Piedmont CASA Volunteers - men and women in our community taking time out of their busy lives to advocate for children and youth who are in the foster care system due to allegations of abuse and neglect. The work they do is life-changing. One of the most important things PCASA Volunteers give their kids is hope. Thank you!

Piedmont CASA went to the Volunteer Fair at The Center. 4.12.23

Piedmont CASA Goes to the Volunteer Fair at The Center

12 April 2023. Program Director Leah Cole set up a Piedmont CASA table at The Center's volunteer fair and talked to folks about becoming advocates for children. Many attendees were already aware of the work of Piedmont CASA and just stopped by to say hello and thanks. Others took a mini-booklet that tells the story of our kids, and is illustrated by children. Others signed up for our quarterly e-newsletter, The Advocate.

Home is Where the Heart Is - The Advocate

Home Is Where the Heart Is In "The Advocate" Newsletter - March Edition

Whenever we can, we go out into the community and ask kids to draw us something that makes them happy. We get lots of pictures of home - the very thing that Piedmont CASA works so hard to give every child we serve: a home where they can be safe, stable, and loved.

17 - MillerGrp-reduced-1000

Jimmy "Magic Man" Miller's Bracket Breakfast Raised More Than $70,000 for Our Children and Youth

13 March 2023. The Magic Man's 8th Annual Bracket Breakfast broke a lot of records this year! About 270 guests kicked off the March Madness season by raising over $70,000 - our best year ever.

Black History Month 2

Blog: The Theme Is "Black Resistance"

February 2023. February is Black History Month, an opportunity to learn more about the history and impact of racism in our community and our nation – and particularly as it affects the systems in which we operate. To that end, our blog for this month includes a compilation of movies, books, videos, and articles to raise awareness and to challenge biases.

To read more, click here:

BB 2023 Promo spot with Miller and Rappaport

Only 2 Weeks Until the Bracket Breakfast

28 February 2023. Steve Rappaport and the Magic Man himself, Jim Miller, met in the studio for a quick look at the highlights.

Kate Duvall joined Steve Rappaport on NBC29 Community Conversation to talk about how PCASA is reducing its carbon footprint by 40%. 1.13.23

Kate Duvall Joins Steve Rappaport on NBC29 Community Conversation

13 February 2023. Kate Duvall joined Steve Rappaport on NBC29's Community Conversation to talk about Piedmont CASA's partnership with the Climate Collaborative (C3), which reduced our carbon footprint by about 40% - and cut utility costs. Climate Collaborative

PCASA Volunteer Andrea Arango won a Newbery Honor Award for her first book"Iveliz Explains It All" - the story of how a young girl finds her voice to advocate for the help and understanding she deserves.

Andrea Arango Wins Newbery Honor Award

7 February 2023. We are thrilled to announce that Piedmont CASA Volunteer Andrea Arango won the Newbery Honor Award for her book, "Iveliz Explains It All" - the story of how a young girl finds her voice to advocate for the help and understanding she deserves.


Blog: January Is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January 2023. “In 2021, there were 140 human trafficking cases identified in Virginia involving 179 victims. All of the victims were female and minors. As a state, Virginia ranks 21st in the nation for identified cases. Individuals who have experienced trauma such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, or who are involved in the child welfare system, are more vulnerable and more easily exploited...”

To read more, click here:

The Albemarle County Fire Rescue and Plow & Hearth teamed up to donate scores of big, furry Dalmations to our CASA kids! 12.8.22

Dalmatians for CASA kids

On the morning of December 8 - a pack of big and cuddly Dalmatians took over our conference room. Thank you Albemarle County Fire Rescue and Plow & hearth for donating these fabulous critters to CASA kids!


Blog: Get to Know...Gwen Jones, Bridges to Success Coach

“...I started working as a Bridges Coach in 2017. I was drawn to the job because I had spent ten plus years fostering teens, and I was frustrated by the lack of services available to them once they turned 18. When I saw the job announcement for the Bridges Coach position, I felt it was an opportunity to “put my money where my mouth is....”

To read more, click here:

Kiwanis fills our office with the holiday spirit

Kiwanis Club members came by on the evening of November 28 to help address envelopes for holiday cards - and they brought us festive and fragrant holiday greenery for our front door. Left to right: Bob Ribando, Jim Hart, Charlie Krizek, Eric Lamb, Dana Douglas, and Dennis Baugh. Thank you, Kiwanians! CASA Kids Need Kiwanis - and we are so glad to have them on our team!

Volunteer Induction photo November 29, 2022

Introducing our newest PCASA Volunteers!

On November 29, 2022, the Honorable David M. Barredo gave the oath to 11 newly minted Piedmont CASA Volunteers. Left to right: PCASA Board Chair Jack Bocock, Kimberly Selby, Casey Werderman, PCASA President Kate Duvall, Amelia Walker, Anne West, Megan Bailes, Judge Barredo, Andrea Arango, Mary Anne Harkins, Joseph Berndt, Kathryn Kennedy, John Burch, and Jillian Smith. Not Shown: Danna Kelley. Congratulations!

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Blog: What My Bones Know, by Stephanie Foo

“I hadn’t understood how far the disease had spread. How complete its takeover of my identity was. . . My trauma is literally pumping through my blood, driving every decision in my brain.” So begins the memoir, What my Bones Know, by Stephanie Foo.

To read more, click here:


A Look at Our Impact in the Community

Letter From Our Leaders | CASA Volunteer Testimonials
The Kids We Served | Volunteer Highlights
Volunteers Who Served | Bridges To Success Highlights
Donors And Friends | Piedmont CASA Team Annual Financial Report | And More

Twelve men and women completed the Fall Training Course for becoming Piedmont CASA Volunteers! Big thanks to all the folks who donated food as our students worked their way through evening and Saturday classes - 42 hours in all!



Ashby's Mother: "CASA Played a Huge Role in Helping Me Get My Son Back"

Stephen Talks About What His Piedmont CASA Volunteer Means To Him

Child care

Blog: What's a Parent To Do?

“By all accounts, the job market is booming. All things being equal, it should be no problem to be gainfully employed, right? Think again. What if you found the job, but your path to financial independence is blocked by the glaring issue of child care...”

To read more, click here:


Where Does Piedmont CASA Volunteer Doug Campbell Find Hope?

excited high school students with arms outstretched outdoors

Blog: Higher Education for Foster Youth? Yes!

“While higher education can be a life-changing experience for all young people, teens in foster care are far less likely to enroll than their peers – predominately due to the lack of resources, including a support system to guide them through the process...”

To read more, click here:

Wine & Cheese & Write

On Wednesday, October 12, Friends of CASA and Board members got together in the Piedmont CASA conference room to help personalize our Fall appeal letters. In fact, they came all week to write notes, continuing the PCASA tradition of sending stand-out letters to our fabulous friends and supporters. Thank you Friends of CASA and PCASA Board of Directors! 

It's almost a forgotten art, but our letters always go out with hand-addressed envelopes thanks to the women of Kappa Alpha Theta. 10.12.22

Kappa Alpha Theta Hand-Addressing Envelopes

The women of Kappa Alpha are busy - but they still found time to hand-address the envelopes for our Fall Appeal from October 3-12.  Big thanks to the women of Kappa Alpha Theta-Delta Chi sorority!

Volunteer Picnic Celebration

On Tuesday, October 11, scores of Piedmont CASA Volunteers joined us at Meriwether Winery for a fabulous picnic. We had pizza from Mellow Mushroom Pizza, salads from Feast! - and MarieBetter donated a plate piled high with their delectable chocolate chunk cookies. Volunteers who had been serving five, ten, and more years were recognized - and Janet Stack was announced as the Ruth Stone Advocate of the Year!

Kids drawing up a storm for CASA at the Louisa County Fall Harvest Festival. 10.8.22

Kids Draw for CASA at the Louisa County Fall Harvest Festival

On Saturday, October 8, Piedmont CASA set up a table at the Fall Harvest Festival in Louisa. In this photo, Louisa County CASA Supervisor Sherri Rosser and President Kate Duvall are inviting kids to 'Draw what you like'. Scores of boys and girls dropped in to draw their parents, siblings, home, pets, friends, rainbows, Spiderman - and lots more!  Almost all of them were donated to Piedmont CASA to help us tell the story of CASA kids.

The women of Kappa Alpha Theta broke another record at this year's Waffle CASA  - and raised $7,692 for Piedmont CASA. 9.28.22

Kappa Alpha Theta Presents Their Biggest Check Ever

The women of Kappa Alpha Theta have done it again. They broke another record at this year's Waffle CASA on September 17 - and raised $7,692 for Piedmont CASA. On September 28, Courtney Schoeb presented the check to Piedmont CASA President Kate Duvall. Thank you @uvatheta!

Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority hosted their annual fundraiser for Piedmont CASA - Waffle CASA! 9.17.22

Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority Hosts Waffle CASA for PCASA

On Saturday, September 17, The women of Kappa Alpha Theta-Delta Chi opened their doors for Waffle CASA. The sorority has been hosting this fundraiser for Piedmont CASA since 1997.

Click to read more about the importance of hope

Finding Hope in "The Advocate" Newsletter - September Edition

We’ve known for a long time that kids with CASA Volunteers receive more medical, therapeutic, and educational support. And we’ve known that kids with CASA Volunteers spend less time in foster care because they find safe, permanent homes faster. Now studies are also showing the logical product of that advocacy: hope. When kids have CASA Volunteers, they have more hope.

Macgregor, Rory outside

Rory Macgregor Joins Piedmont CASA as Bridges Coach

Through jobs as a teacher, counselor, and children’s mental health case manager, Rory has consistently sought more and better opportunities to, as he puts it, “interact directly with young people on a regular basis to effect positive change.”

To read Cathy Eberly's entire interview with Rory, click here:

back to school

Blog: Into the Unknown...Back to a New School Year

“For months, numerous studies have concluded that students were experiencing increased levels of stress and depression as a result of the pandemic and the ensuing isolation due to mandated remote learning. Add to this...”

To read more, click here:


United Way Presents Kati Naess with Above and Beyond Employee Award!

During United Way's Day of Caring on September 21, winners of their Caring for Community Awards were announced - and Piedmont CASA Supervisor Kati Naess was presented with the "Above and Beyond Employee" award! Since arriving at Piedmont CASA ten years ago, Kati has been a CASA Volunteer, Supervisor, and head of the annual backpack and holiday drives for our kids. She has supervised over 75 Volunteers and, in doing so, has helped 347 children and 168 families. We are thrilled that her hard work and dedication are being recognized throughout the community. Congratulations Kati!
From left to right: Friends of CASA Co-Chair Michele Burke, Piedmont CASA President Kate Duvall, and Kati Naess.

Kid's Choose Playhouse to be Built and Raffled Off in Spring 2023

Bushman Dreyfus Architects posted eight playhouse designs all around their conference room. At 4:00 on Friday, September 16, a group of kids were invited to check them out and vote for their favorite while nibbling on treats from Kitchen(ette). The winning playhouse (shown above) will be built on Piedmont CASAs front yard. Raffle tickets will be sold online for $10 each, or 3 for $10.

If you'd like to see all the playhouse designs, as well as photos from the kid's jury selection, click on the button below.

Greene Health & Wellness FUN FAIR

Greene Health & Wellness FUN FAIR

On Sunday, September 11, PCASA President Kate Duvall and CASA Supervisor Sherri Rosser set up a tent for Piedmont CASA at the first annual Greene County Health and Wellness Fun Fair. Despite the dreary weather, kids were smiling and pulling up to our "Draw what makes you happy" table. To help us tell the story of CASA kids, boys and girls donated some of their artwork to Piedmont CASA - the first new additions to our Kids4Kids Gallery since before the pandemic! The Fun Fair was hosted by the Greene Care Clinic.

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Blog: The Food Scarcity Crisis: How Do We Feed Our Kids?

“Virginia’s food insecurity rose to 22.5% (or more than one in five people) just during the April-May, 2020 timeframe. Fifty-eight percent of households reported they did not have money to buy enough food, and children in 29% of households were not eating enough as a result....”

To read more, click here:


Support that Goes Above and Beyond

Rachel, Jim, and Kati - three people who consistently go above and beyond for the kids we serve. This time, we got to show our support for them. They are all nominees in the United Way Caring for Community Awards.

This is the 18th year the men and women of Emerson made sure CASA kids went back to school with backpacks and all the supplies they needed.

Emerson Donates Backpacks for CASA Kids

This is the 18th year the men and women of Emerson have been making sure that CASA kids go back to school with backpacks and all they supplies they need. Thank you!

Three angels of Emerson flank CASA Supervisor Kati Naess (in white) and Program Director Leah Cole (in green).

A group of first year students in the School of Medicine helped spread the word about our new Grab Bags of fun for CASA Kids.

Thank you UVA SOM

Last week, a group of first year students in the School of Medicine distributed our fliers all over town. They’re helping to spread the word about donating new or lightly-used art supplies and sports equipment so we can create Grab Bags of fun for CASA Kids. Big thanks to a great team!

Female making a heart shape on the beach at sunset. People love,

Blog: Let's Try a Little Kindness

 “Let’s face it. We are having a mental health crisis in this country. According to an annual survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 44% of respondents’ reported that their stress levels have increased over the past five years...” 

To read more, follow the link with this post, or go to pcasa.org and click on the button at the top of the page that reads: Piedmont CASA Voices.

Laurel Denise dropped by our office with a big surprise - fabulous bags full of goodies for our older youth.

Laurel Denise Donates Goodie Bags

We met them at the Kona Ice event, and then our lovely neighbors at Laurel Denise LLC dropped off goodie bags for some of our older youth! Thank you for helping them start the school year in style with new planners and fun jewelry!

Cooling off with CASA!  We brought in a Kona Ice Truck for our CASA Volunteers and neighbors. 7.14.22

Cooling Off With CASA!

It's been a sweltering summer so on July 14, we brought in a Kona Ice Truck and invited our CASA Volunteers to cool off with a delicious shaved ice treat. We invited neighbors, too!


Sports Equipment for Our Kids

We know from long experience that little things can make a big difference in the lives of our boys and girls - such as a grab bag filled with fun. What kind of fun? It depends. Some of our kids adore creative outlets such as arts and crafts. Others thrive on sports and outdoor games.

If you'd like to help, let us know!


Art Supplies for Our Kids

We know from long experience that little things can make a big difference in the lives of our boys and girls - such as a grab bag filled with fun. What kind of fun? It depends. Some of our kids adore creative outlets such as arts and crafts. Others thrive on sports and outdoor games.

If you'd like to help, let us know!


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