CASA is celebrating 42 years of serving the elderly in Marshall County. When you think of CASA, think of home!
CASA’s mission is to provide care assurance for the aging and homebound, enabling them to live safely, independently with dignity at home. The original concept was and still is to connect church and other volunteers to neighbors in need near them. Many churches in our area have been supporting CASA clients for years with contributions and volunteer teams.
We feel if volunteers do what they are good at and love, it will bless them as well as the person being served. Many of our wheelchair ramp team members and other volunteers have been with us for years.
CASA’s original services were building wheelchair ramps, providing fresh vegetables from the CASA Garden, checking on shut-in elderly neighbors, providing heaters, air conditioners and some very minor home repairs to make their home safe.
In the past 14 years, we have been able to add to our services each and every year as new ideas and needs are discovered. CASA is one of nineteen United Way agencies in our county. Each year as we discuss these needs, the United Way responds with support for new and much needed programs.
Sometimes these ideas are a test program for a year, but all new programs have been able to be added long-term. One vital program added in the last 14 years provides transportation to doctor’s appointments and the grocery store. This vitally affects the health and wellbeing of hundreds of elderly people. Providing medication assistance and safety equipment for the home to prevents falls is life changing in regard to serious health issues. New emergency food vouchers allow clients to purchase perishable items as well as paper and soap products. Also new, vouchers for adult pull-ups and protein drinks help our people who are returning from the hospital to have added nutrition when they can’t cook and dignity if not able to get to their bathroom.
The CASA Garden has been around for over 30 years. J.D. Swartzlander, who was instrumental in the ver beginning, still works in our garden today along with dedicated Master Gardener team members who are more like family. His mission in the beginning was to “care for the widows.” This purpose still resonates today as they work together to provide an abundance of fresh vegetables. “We deliver these vegetables on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week May through September!” Annette Swartzlander suggested we might want to send some protein with the vegetables, so now, we do premium canned chicken with each delivery.
Upcoming and growing every year are our fall projects. In November, we connect clients to churches who will provide a hot meal, collect and share 3 wishes from clients to the November Giving Tree at BankCorpSouth. This was amazing last year, providing 63 people with wishes simple and huge at a value of $6,000. From slippers to a motorized wheelchair, wishes were delivered last year and will be again this year.
December 14 is the Christmas Food & Gift Bag project. We will pack and deliver a full holiday meal including a cooked ham, veggies, tea, sweet potatoes, canned goods and home-made cookies from United Way Day of Caring sister agencies and companies. It is a community effort to provide 450 seniors with a meal and gift for Christmas. They love the visit as much as the gift. Donate, deliver, make a difference by calling CASA. The packing and delivering will be December 14, at 8:45 a.m. at Sand Mountain Toyota’s Community room.
CASA clients are age 60 and up with very limited income and some with no other family member or person to help with any needs at all. CASA also helps with homebound children such as paralyzed, blind and other reasons. Many times the parent has no income due to the care and time required for the child. It is an honor to provide a wheelchair ramp for them as well as our regular clients. Having a safe and easy exit from the home, helps provide freedom for the client and less injury to caregivers.
CASA has a small team, all with big hearts, who feel the responsibility and relish the chance to help others each day. I have felt blessed over the last 14 years to be a part of CASA, it matters so much to those supported.
Jerry Mosley has been up early and helping people each day over the last 14 years with hands on leadership in building ramps and providing care. Thankfully we started at same time. CASA is resource and volunteer driven and get contributions from The United Way of Marshall County, TVA, donors, legacy donors, board members and event sponsors to mention a few. CASA couldn’t do what we do without this continuous positive response to fill the needs of our elderly.”
Every contribution of time or money keeps our focus alive: To volunteer to drive clients to the doctor, work in the office a half day, deliver food or supplies, help with the Christmas project, call 256-582-7119 or email Shirleyholland7@live.com.
What you do in a day will change someone’s life forever.