Court Appointed Special Advocate dedicates 20 years of service to Henrico children
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - For two decades, a Henrico woman has dedicated thousands of volunteer hours as a “Court Appointed Special Advocate.”
Volunteers speak on behalf of abused children in court, and one woman has advocated for nearly 90 children.
“Claudette has been a volunteer with Henrico CASA for 20 years,” said Kristin Blalock, the Community Engagement Coordinator. “We’ve crunched some numbers, and she has served 88 kids, representing 32 families, and she’s given 6,800 hours of her time to these kids.”
She’s an advocate for children who have experienced some of life’s most traumatic moments, including physical and sexual abuse, witnessing domestic violence, and substance abuse in the home.
“I think all children deserve a safe and happy home. I believe that, and it isn’t happening, unfortunately,” said Claudette Moore-Dale.
She is the guiding light, helping these children make it through the darkness.
“She is absolutely amazing. That time is time she’s taking to get to know the children, maybe visiting them at school, visiting them at their homes, getting to know their families, their caregivers, coordinating resources, social workers and teachers and therapists, all the people that are involved in this child’s life,” said Blalock.
Claudette makes it a point to be there for the kids, day or night.
“They have my cell phone number. Some of them call me just to say hi, just to talk. But I make sure the child knows they can call me, and I am there for them at any time. I always want to be available for a child because that might be the time when they can discuss what’s going on,” said Moore-Dale.
The stability she provides is invaluable. Pair that with her selflessness, creating a space for significant healing.
“It changes their present, but it really changes their future. She’s helping them think ahead, helping them break cycles that may exist in their families. So, to me, we can’t overestimate the impact Claudette has,” said Blalock.
For that, Kristin wanted to thank Claudette for her two decades of service with the NBC12 “Acts of Kindness.” Claudette was awarded $300 and a $50 gift card to Mexico Restaurant.
When asked what she planned to do with the money, Claudette didn’t hesitate.
“I’m going to do blessing bags for the homeless,” she said.
Each bag comes with toiletries, water and other snacks.
“This is what a life of service really looks like, and we are all just honored to know people like Claudette,” said Blalock.
As for Claudette, she says her work will continue at CASA, and she hopes that her impact will lead to a brighter future for the children.
“I sleep well knowing that each day I’m doing something to try to make their lives better,” Claudette said.
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