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CASA brings awareness to Child Abuse Prevention Month

By Dawn Burleigh

Dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com

CASA of the Sabine Neches Region is helping the community become more aware of child abuse while bringing awareness to April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The organization has a booth at the River Festival selling T-Shirts in preparation of ‘Go Blue’ on Friday, April 22. Residents are encouraged to wear the apparel, take a picture and post it on the groups Facebook page as part of bring awareness to the 171 children who lost their lives in Texas in 2015 as a result of abuse or neglect.

The shirts range in sizes from children to an adult XX-Large are $10 a piece.

The second Tuesday of each month, CASA holds an information meeting to answer questions on how to become a CASA representative. The meetings are at 6 p.m. at the CASA office located at 2120 Gloria Drive in Orange. To reserve a seat, call 409-886-2272. The next meeting is Tues, April 12 and a special session will be held on Thurs., April 28.

Blue Sunday will be April 24. Residents are encouraged to wear blue and pray for the children.

In Texas last year, 17,151 children were removed from home due to abuse or neglect and there were 66,721 confirmed victims of child abuse or neglect. Two of those children were from Orange County, and included in the seven from the region served by CASA of the Sabine Neches Region.

A candle light vigil to remember and honor those children will be held 7:15 p.m. Mon., April 25 at the Orange County Courthouse lawn. The group is asking for 171 children to attend and represent those whose lives were lost. For those who wish to participate as representatives may email casaocbishop@sbcglobal.net for more information. The number of those in the children whose lives were lost in 2015 is 20 higher than the previous year.

The candlelight vigil will consist of a hot air balloon release for each of the 171 children.

CASA is Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Sabine Neches Region giving voice to abused and neglected children in Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Orange, Sabine and Tyler Counties in Texas. They are part of the National CASA Association, a network of more than 900 CASA programs serving children in 49 states and Washington, D.C.

For more information on CASA visit the official website at http://www.casasnr.org/