01-03-2011 4:36 PM, EST
Dear Child Advocate,
You might not know our name, but you have probably heard about our work: keeping abused and neglected children safe, while giving parents the tools to build healthy, successful families.
Like you, we believe that good parenting skills can be learned. That’s why Families First Parent Educators conduct over 1,400 in-home visits annually. Eighty-five percent of the families we serve face poverty; many are single parents who didn’t complete high school and most need parenting guidance to give their children the skills they need to thrive.
Last year, 739 Idaho children – most under the age of six – were removed from their homes because their parents abused or neglected them. Of these, 600 were represented by CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) guardian ad litem volunteers, who visited the child regularly, researched the situation, prepared a detailed profile, and provided an unbiased opinion of what was in each child’s best interest.
Aleesha is an example of someone for whom your support was critical this year:
When police visited 10 year-old Aleesha’s house, they discovered she and her younger sisters were home alone. Their mother had been arrested two days earlier for drug possession and their father, also wanted by police, left the night before and didn’t come back.
When CASA guardian, Kathy, met Aleesha, she saw a girl who was withdrawn and expressionless. By Kathy’s sixth visit, Aleesha trusted her enough to whisper in her ear; “I’m so sad and I feel like crying all the time.” Kathy alerted a social worker, and with counseling Aleesha blossomed. Now, more confident and secure, she plays center on her school basketball team, joins in class activities, and even has a new best friend.
For the last 31 years, we’ve been helping families and children like Aleesha. We’ve been able to do this because of people like YOU…People who see that strong healthy families are the key to creating healthy adults. You and your fellow contributors every year help us train more volunteers and provide more visits to parents eager for the skills they need to help their families thrive. I have included more stories like Aleesha’s so you can know exactly what your support means to these children and families.
01-05-2011 9:34 AM, EST
Thanks for posting. I'm a little concerned that this seems to be addressed to people who don't know your organization - where did you get your list?
As for the rest, great job with the story - I'd lose the first 3 paragraphs and open with that - it will resonate a lot more than the cold statistics - and end with your last paragraph.