Dauphin County CASA Lights “Giving Tree” to Uplift Foster Children Through Volunteer Court Advocacy

With students from the Susquehanna Township Middle School Select Choir performing holiday classics, Dauphin County Court Appointed Special Advocate Program (CASA) illuminated the star and lights on both a community “Giving Tree” and an online “Virtual Giving Tree” to launch their major annual fundraiser. CASA, a 501c3 nonprofit, uses the proceeds to recruit, train and supervise volunteer court advocates who represent the best interests of abused and neglected foster children in court. Currently more than 360 children — nearing a record number — are in the county’s child dependency system.  CASA’s goal is to match each one of these children and sibling groups with a dedicated, trained special advocate.

Donors who contribute to the Virtual Giving Tree can upload personal messages and photos for the children at www.DauphinCountyCASA.org/tree, and choose from a pre-set list of ornaments to decorate the tree. Visitors can see the Community Giving Tree, donated by Bill Hornung, owner of Hornung’s Hardware, outside American Legion Post 272 in Harrisburg. The campaign runs through December 31, 2023.

“Your financial gift to CASA during this Season of Light helps our volunteer advocates illuminate the path forward to move a child more quickly into a permanent, safe home,” noted CASA Executive Director Will Foster. “A gift from your heart to a child in need embodies the spirit of this magical time of year. With your donation, anything is possible for these foster children!”

Renewal by Andersen of Central PA, the region’s award-winning window- and door-replacement leader, answered the call — pledging a $10,000 sponsorship today for the 2023 CASA Giving Tree campaign and encouraged other businesses and individuals to join them.

“Renewal Cares about the safety of every child in our community. We are proud to sponsor Dauphin County CASA’s Giving Tree campaign to bring hope, healing and permanent homes to vulnerable children in the foster care system,” added Linda Johnston, Chief Culture Officer of Renewal by Andersen of Central PA.

NEW FOR ’23:  With an online contribution of at least $50, donors will receive a Commemorative Giving Tree Ornament designed by a 12-year-old girl served by CASA.

Susan Ewing-Rathfon, Mrs. Pennsylvania American 2023, also spoke at the ceremony. When substance use disorder took the life of her sister, Ewing became primary guardian of her sister’s young daughter. It was an act of giving that turned her family’s tragedy into triumph. She encourages all Central Pennsylvanians to join Dauphin County CASA’s mission for at-risk children.

“Spread the joy of the season and help us ensure that children in the Dauphin County foster care system can shine — thanks to your financial contribution and the dedication of Dauphin County CASA volunteers who make their spirits and futures much brighter,” commented Ewing-Rathfon.

Megan Weber, Community Impact Officer of Tree Top sponsor Mid Penn Bank, helped light the Giving Tree.

“Mid Penn Bank is proud to be the Tree Top sponsor for this year’s Giving Tree. Dauphin County CASA does critical work for children in foster care. We are honored to continue our support of this incredible organization as it positively impacts at-risk youth in our community,” Weber remarked.

Other sponsors include: The Robert H. Hoke American Legion Post 272 under Commander Adrienne O’Brien; Capital Blue Cross; UPMC; SunStone Consulting; Tucker Hull LLC; Stonebridge Financial Group; Conrad Siegel; LinkBank; Marzzacco, Nivens & Associates; Fort Pitt Capital Group; Fresh Market at Hershey Towne Square; Serratelli Dispute Resolutions LLC; Schiffman, Sheridan & Brown PC; Boles, Metzger, Brosius & Walborn; The Law Offices of Heather Paterno; and Nell McCormack Abom Communications.  CASA extends special thanks to Susquehanna Twp. Middle School Select Choir Director Josie Stalcar and her students.

In 2022, the Central Penn Business Journal chose Dauphin County CASA’s “Giving Tree” as the Nonprofit Innovation Award winner for Brand Identity/Unique Marketing Campaign. Please direct all sponsorship and donation inquiries to Will Foster, 717-888-9973.