“Volunteer Of The Year”
Los Angeles, CA, April 10th, 2014 — CASA of Los Angeles is very proud to announce that one of its most dedicated volunteers, Helen Louise Schwartz, has been named “Volunteer of the Year.” The Volunteer of the Year is selected by a committee of program staff and volunteers from among several highly qualified candidates, who have been nominated either by other volunteers or others involved in the child welfare system. The award is presented at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, which took place Wednesday at the California Endowment Center in Downtown Los Angeles. LA Dependency Court Commissioner Marilyn Kading-Martinez, who nominated Ms. Schwartz for the honor, presented the award.
Helen Louise Schwartz has been with CASA/LA for 9 years, working on one difficult but rewarding case during her tenure. She began advocating for her foster youth when he was five years old, helping him navigate multiple placements throughout his life, and maintaining a constant, trusted adult presence for him with her involvement. She continues to be a mentor, friend and advocate on his behalf.
“It’s a great honor to be named the Volunteer of the Year. We have great CASAs but there is always a need for many more,” said Helen Louise Schwartz. “As Richard’s CASA I have an evolving role as a loving adult who advocates on his behalf to the Court to help him grow, learn and find work.”
Ms. Schwartz joined CASA after reading friend Mark Saltzman’s book, “True Notebooks: A Writer’s Year at Juvenile Hall,” in which a boy on trial recounted his one memory of someone being nice to him – a teacher taking him to a museum after his mother had died. That such a simple act could mean so much to a child inspired her to become a volunteer.
“Helen Louise provides a shining example to which every CASA volunteer should aspire,” said CASA/LA Executive Director Dilys Garcia. “Her dedication and her watchfulness over the needs of her foster youth have not only impressed the court, but all of her peers as well. But most importantly, she has touched a child’s life and made that life better.”
Helen Louise Schwartz is a lawyer, from Stanford and Georgetown Law School. She practiced Environmental, Property and Family Law. Ms. Schwartz volunteers at the The Gabriela Charter School in Echo Park in addition to her work as a CASA.
Pictures from the event are available upon request. Contact Brian McWilliams of Spelling Communications – firstname.lastname@example.org / 310-838-4010
Founded in 1978, CASA of Los Angeles is a community-supported 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to mobilize community volunteers to advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children in the overburdened foster care system of Los Angeles County. CASA’s vision is of a Los Angeles where every foster child has an advocate and the opportunity to thrive. Through committed, highly trained everyday citizen volunteers, CASA brings the voice of a concerned community into the child welfare system. Studies have shown that children with CASAs receive more assistance and support than children without, and are more likely to be adopted or returned to their families and less likely to reenter the child welfare system. For more information, please visit the CASA of Los Angeles website: www.casala.org.