The holidays will shine a little brighter this year for some local children, courtesy of a 12,000-pound delivery of Christmas cheer to a nationally respected Richland County department.
Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates (RC CASA) is one of the largest CASA programs in the nation, serving more than 1,000 mistreated children who could otherwise be unrepresented and unspoken for in the family court system. With more than 500 dedicated local volunteers, RC CASA works to establish safe, loving, permanent homes for these children and set them on positive pathways for the future.
The commitment of RC CASA Director Paige Greene — who was recently named the National Kappa Alpha Theta Program Director of the Year — the hard work of RC CASA staff and the success of the organization’s hundreds of volunteers have resonated across the country. When the National CASA Association received a large toy donation from Mattel, Inc., through a partnership with The Toy Foundation, RC CASA was selected to receive the generous gift.
“RC CASA staff, volunteers and board members strive to provide our children with gifts at Christmas,” Greene said. “On average, our volunteers distribute gifts to 1,000 children during the holidays. We will be offering some of the toys to the South Carolina Guardian ad Litem program volunteers and some to our partner agencies who also serve mistreated children.”
Earlier this week, a tractor trailer carrying nearly 12,000 pounds of new toys arrived from California, and RC CASA staff eagerly and gratefully unloaded the pallets at a storage facility.
“Just knowing how happy our children will be this Christmas is a milestone of accomplishment and dedication for the CASA program,” said RC CASA board member and County Councilwoman Julie-Ann Dixon. “The donated gifts are for children up to age 10, so the board is tasked with sponsoring gifts for children ages 10 and above.”
Dixon said the RC CASA board plans to raise funds for holiday gifts for the older children with its upcoming performance of “A Christmas Story” at the Town Theatre on Nov. 5.
For more information about RC CASA, including how to become a volunteer, visit www.rccasa.org or call (803) 576-1735.