Los Angeles, CA, April 29, 2014 — The LA Women’s Circle of Giving (LAWCOG) has announced that CASA of Los Angeles will be one of the recipients of its first annual giving cycle, receiving a grant of $30,000. CASA’s 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, and this grant will specifically support advocacy services for older foster youth, aged 12 to 20.

The LA Women’s Circle of Giving is a group of women who have pooled their charitable dollars to make a difference in the lives of women, children and families in Los Angeles County. During its first giving cycle, two grants were gifted, the first to CASA of Los Angeles, and the second to “No Limits,” an organization that works with deaf children. The grant will be awarded to CASA at a dinner on May 14th.

“We seek to select causes that reflect our passions and we focus on community needs that can benefit from our time, commitment, abilities and insights,” said LA Women’s Circle of Giving founder Mindy Freedman. “CASA’s work with transitional age youth is an area that is difficult to find funding for and the women of LAWCOG saw this as an opportunity to help a vulnerable group during the critical stage prior to transitioning out of the foster care system.”

“The due diligence process illuminated for us the importance of a CASA, which is not a volunteer in the casual sense,” Freedman continued. “The CASA is the most important person who is always holding the child’s best interest at heart. It was clear that the CASA is a highly respected voice in the court system and that they successfully advocate for the children they represent. As we learned more about the agency, we became aware of the expertise and commitment of its staff and saw the uniquely important work that they do.”

“The grant from the LA Women’s Circle of Giving is meaningful on so many levels,” said CASA/LA Executive Director Dilys Garcia. “Not only does it help us financially, but also provides additional confirmation that the work we are doing is being noticed and making an impact on the lives of foster children in our community. We cannot express our thanks enough.”

In addition to advocating for their needs, volunteers working with older foster youth encourage them to develop vision and initiative and seek to provide them with the tools, motivation, support, and opportunities that they need to become independent, successful adults, leading fulfilled lives.

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