This month’s Volunteer Spotlight shines on father-daughter duo Nathaniel Wechsler and Amanda Fish. Nathaniel has been a volunteer advocate for just over 2 years, and encouraged his daughter to become a CASA volunteer last summer. Nathaniel and Amanda agree that “the family who serves together, stays together.”
“CASA has re-ignited the passion I have for helping others,” Amanda said, adding “Volunteering is important because it humbles you. It reminds you that there are people who are suffering, struggling, and that no matter what their circumstances are, they are worthy of attention. It takes you outside of your personal bubble, keeps your eyes open to what is easily ignored, and forces you to be selfless. “
Amanda is currently working with a 2-year-old boy. “When he climbs on my lap and gives me a hug, it feels amazing. He is so trustworthy and innocent- a reminder of why he needs to be protected and advocated for by CASA volunteers.”
Case Supervisor Lindsay Osborn said, “as a social worker, Amanda has had terrific insights into the case, which she has shared with me, the caseworker and resource parents.” She added, “Her CASA child has moved from placement in a relative resource home to his successful reunification with his biological mother in a Mommy and Me program. As this case moves toward closure, I am already hoping to be lucky enough to work with Amanda again. She is a gift to CASA.”
Nathaniel has seen two cases through to completion. His last case, where he advocated on behalf of a 6-year-old boy, lasted 19 months and closed in February with successful kinship legal guardianship.
“Volunteering in general is the gift we give to others and I am grateful for the various people who gave of themselves for me; it is important for me to ‘do unto others as they have unto me,’” Nathaniel said.
With regard to his most recent case, he said, “The last time I was in court, I witnessed the successful conclusion of my case and am confident this child stands a better than average chance of becoming a reasonably healthy adult. CASA has made me appreciate the need for children in distress to know that people care about them.”
“Nathaniel is a true advocate and consistent in his attention to the case,” said Eve Cella, Case Supervisor. “He demonstrated good insight and developed a very communicative relationship with the child and his caretakers. He remained non-judgmental and advocated for the best interest of the child; truly a wonderful volunteer.”
Thank you, Nathaniel and Amanda, for sharing your perceptiveness and enthusiasm with CASA; we appreciate all you do on behalf of vulnerable children in our community.