Freedom to be a kid

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

This time of year always reminds me of the summertime classic The Sandlot — the fireworks scene in particular. Warm, clear nights with the neighborhood kids running down the street with sparklers; A pickup game of wiffle ball in the Jackson’s backyard; Getting distracted as the fireworks boomed overhead. It reminds me of the freedom of childhood, when the biggest worry I had was getting home before the streetlights turned on. Unfortunately, there are thousands of children in the state of Iowa that don’t have that luxury. Iowa’s abused and neglected children are often robbed of their time to just be kids. Instead of pickup games, these kids have meetings with lawyers. Instead of seeing the fireworks, they see the inside of a courtroom. A time of freedom is taken away as they work through the child welfare system.

As we move forward as a community, we owe it to our children and families to make sure Iowa’s children make it through the system safely and efficiently, and there is a way for you to help. Volunteering with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program gives Iowan citizens the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child. Children with a CASA spend less time in foster care, and are less likely to reenter the foster care system. By working one case at a time, CASAs are able to give that child or family the dedicated and detailed attention they so desperately need. This summer, give a foster child a little more freedom by becoming their voice in court as a CASA volunteer. For more information, visit iamforthechild.com or call 1-866-295-5265.

KATHY FRITZ

Storm Lake