On February 1st, the Peninsula Health Care District awarded CASA of San Mateo County a $25,000 grant for our Healthy Futures Program and chose CASA volunteer Ricky Ono as the "Volunteer of the Year".
At CASA of San Mateo County we have always trained and supported our volunteers to respond to the unique needs of their assigned children. For some children this means signing them up for their first sports team, for others it means representing that child in a special education meeting, and for others a volunteer helps ensure a child's healthcare needs are met. Most recently, we have redoubled our commitment to making sure all of the children we represent have their regular medical and dental check ups while also supporting any specialized care a child may need in collaboration with caregivers and professionals. To formalize this effort, CASA of San Mateo County created the Healthy Futures Program, for which the Peninsula Healthcare District awarded us $25,000.
Prior to CASA creating a formal program to support this work, CASA volunteers, like Ricky Ono, have been stepping into the breech for their CASA children's healthcare needs for years because that's what our CASA volunteers do. A shining example of this, Ricky has been a CASA volunteer since 2008 and has worked with three young men. He is not only able to build trust through consistent visits with his youth, but he does the hard work of following up on their social-emotional, educational, and health needs, facilitating communication among the adult's in his youths' lives, and diligently reporting these to the Court, His combination of interpersonal and advocacy skills is special and allows him to be a particularly effective volunteer. If that wasn't enough, Ricky regularly helps us plan special events, most notably our Major Donor Appreciation Event. We feel extremely fortunate that he has committed to work with our kids and to make our program that much stronger.
We cannot thank the Peninsula Health Care District enough for recognizing Ricky's work and providing CASA with the funding necessary to build on our healthcare advocacy work.