Our amazing CASA Volunteers make a huge difference in the lives of foster children every day. They inspire and motivate. They are role models and advocates. They connect one-on-one and they are the only consistent relationship a child has during such a rough time. But most importantly, our San Mateo County CASA’s listen to the child they are serving when no one else is listening.
Every month, we like to spotlight one of these amazing individuals as CASA of the Month. This month we are pleased to feature David Mariani.
Like, comment, and share to help honor this fantastic CASA Volunteer as well as spread awareness of what being a CASA for a foster child really is like and how incredible the process is not only for the child, but for the CASA.
Introducing: David Mariani
1. Why did you decide to become a CASA?
o Many years ago, my banker was an active CASA. I remember thinking that if my business schedule ever gave me the appropriate amount of time to become a CASA I would do so someday.
o Becoming a CASA is very different form of giving back to society. It is very different from donating to causes that may not put the money to good use. Becoming a CASA is a very hand’s on direct assist to kids in need with very tangible positive impacts on our vulnerable youngsters. It is a different kind of satisfaction than giving to a cause or an institution.
2. What motivates you to continue your journey as a CASA, or to keep you meeting with your child, or to pick another case?
o The primary motivation for me to keep connections with a CASA client is the understanding that consistency in the lives of our young people is a very important influence on their social adjustment in society.
o The challenge as a CASA’s is not the joyous heartwarming encounters that make it easy to call again the following week; rather the challenge is when the encounters are difficult for a variety of reasons. These youngsters need us even more; they need us to be consistent, even though they may have a hard time showing it.
3. How long have you been a CASA Volunteer and how many children have you served?
o I have only been a CASA for a few years, but I have been given two difficult cases and understand more than most the importance of consistent regular connection with your CASA client and how difficult it can be at times.
4. What do you like best about volunteering with CASA?
o What I like best about volunteering with CASA clients is knowing that you are often at a tipping point in their live. By our gentle guidance with support professionals and our CASA’s often result in a new trajectory paths that will influence their lives for decades.
5. How has being a CASA Volunteer positively impacted your life?
o CASA volunteering has given me a sense of satisfaction that no material “want” can give me. It is the comfort that being good by doing good provides a certain peace to the soul.
6. Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
o When I am not working or volunteering, I am busy with my five daughters and fourteen grandchildren and outings with my wife of 46 years that I love more today than the day we got married. I clearly married way over my head!