Things have been pretty quiet over the summer while the AspireKids board has worked toward planning big, amazing fundraisers that have honestly been completely overwhelming. There's this chicken/egg/hamster wheel thing that happens when you start a non-profit. We want to help kids... but we need to fundraise... but we need to build awareness of our mission... but we need to fundraise... but we really just want to help kids. And so on...and so on... But last week I was given the best advice by Ashlee Tate of The Socialife Tribe Stop trying to change the world in a day. Start with one kid. Just one. And build from there.
That was the motivation I needed to reach out to CASA El Dorado to schedule a meeting regarding a possible partnership. Reaching out to this incredible group has been on my to-do list but I just wasn't feeling confident that we were "ready". But honestly, we've been "ready" since the moment we filed with the Department of Corporations. It's time to start moving.
So this week I met with Kathyrn Mathews, Executive Director, and Michelle Vien, Sr. Program Manager, of CASA El Dorado. What a gift these two women are! A gift to me and a gift to the children of El Dorado County. Not only are they excited about the AspireKids mission, they gave me an arsenal of ideas for fundraising, spreading awareness and improving our program. I can't thank them enough.
CASA El Dorado (Court Appointed Special Advocates) currently serves 189 at-risk, abused and neglected kids in foster care in El Dorado County. (There are currently 113 kids on the waiting list.) The CASA volunteers are specially trained to work with children and spend time to get to know them so that they can report back to the judge and be sure that the child's needs are being communicated appropriately. CASA's will also try to help to get the children into activities to help them connect with their peers and other adults in their communities. The problem? The funds are rarely there.
So that's where we come in. AspireKids will be accepting nominations from CASA's in El Dorado County so that we can help to make dreams accessible for kids in foster care. It's literally the perfect partnership!