Dauphin County CASA Unveils 2021 “Giving Tree” Holiday Fundraiser to Light Up a Foster Child’s Life

Dauphin County Court Appointed Special Advocates (DC CASA) illuminated a “Giving Tree,” located at the Linglestown American Legion Post 272, and encouraged Central Pennsylvanians to financially support their work on behalf of local foster children. A judge appoints a trained, volunteer CASA to represent the best interests of a foster child or sibling group in court. In any given month, nearly 300 children in Dauphin County reside in foster-care settings. Only a fraction of those children has a dedicated CASA.

From November 29 through December 31, 2021, CASA asks residents and businesses to make monetary contributions at www.DauphinCountyCASA.org/tree. When donors give, they can dedicate the contribution with a message online and watch CASA add their digital ornament or light to sparkle on the virtual Giving Tree.

“When we started our inaugural Giving Tree Campaign last December, we had six volunteers working with four families operating out of a one-room, basement office,” said Corey L. Korinda, Esq., executive director of DC CASA. “In just one year, we have grown to 14 volunteers working with nine families! Plus, we now occupy an office with street-level visibility on Linglestown Road. Thanks to donations from local businesses and individuals alike, we have essentially doubled our impact in 2021 – moving even more foster children closer to a safe, permanent home.”

There are roughly 300 county children currently in foster care. It costs the CASA program about $1,500 a year to recruit, train and supervise each volunteer CASA who works directly with a foster child or sibling group. Nearly 100 percent of the funds donated this holiday season will flow directly to advocacy for the children. Children with a dedicated CASA do better in school, are more likely to graduate from high school or earn a GED and are more likely to be placed in a permanent home.

“Let us launch this Season of Giving by lighting up the lives of local foster children. Our trained volunteer advocates help local judges make placement decisions by understanding what is in the best interest of each child in the court system,” said Lori Serratelli, Esq., DC CASA board president, representing Giving Tree Red Sponsors Serratelli Dispute Resolutions LLC and the Harrisburg law firm Schiffman Sheridan & Brown, PC. “Join us through a donation to the CASA Giving Tree to transform a foster child’s life and illuminate their path to a brighter future.”

Bill Hornung, a DC CASA board member and owner of Hornung’s Hardware, graciously donated and helped erect and light a 12-foot Douglas fir tree on prominent display across from his Linglestown store. American Legion Post 272, under Commander Rod O’Connor, contributed use of the land upon which the community “Giving Tree” stands.

“The Robert H. Hoke American Legion Post 272 is honored and proud to work with and support Dauphin County CASA in accomplishing their mission of representing and protecting America’s disadvantaged youth,” Commander O’Connor added. “The American Legion stands with CASA and looks forward to establishing an ongoing relationship that will result in providing all with a positive future and opportunities to succeed in life.”

Sally Keaveney, voice teacher at Keystone Musical Arts Center, and Central Dauphin High School student-vocalist Emmalee Shirley provided musical entertainment. Bravo Group donated audio assistance for the event.