Hearts of Yolo: Ginny Cahill

Thursday, Jan 25, 2018

Ginny Cahill found her calling to be a CASA volunteer through reading Executive Director Tracy Fauver’s monthly column in the local newspaper. “She explained Yolo County CASA’s mission and purpose in such a persuasive way, I knew I needed to become a volunteer someday.”

That someday came when Ginny found herself fully retired from her profession as an environmental attorney. She also had just finished volunteering as a mentor for a guardian scholar at UC Davis. “The time just felt right and I remembered the columns that had inspired me.”

Since Ginny’s practice area of the law was different from the dependency court, she found the training to be informative and thorough. “Being an attorney raised my comfort level when I went to court as a CASA volunteer for the first time but you by no means have to be an attorney to be a CASA volunteer. Coming from an area of law completely different than dependency hearings, I can say that the training is very informative and the staff supports you whenever you need it.”

Ginny has had her CASA child for six months. She is an elementary school-aged girl. Ginny fondly remembers one of their visits. “I am an environmentalist and I have a passion for showing kids different things about nature. On New Year’s Day, I took my CASA child to the Yolo Basin and we saw hundreds of birds. She’s never done anything like it and it was so fun to hear her ask questions and see her look of wonder. When the days get longer and lighter I look forward to more of those types of activities.”

In addition to exploring nature, Ginny also likes to take her CASA child out for treats and draw with her. “We have some of our best conversations over crayons and something sweet.” Ginny says that there are emotional ups and downs. “Sometimes it seems like everything is going well and sometimes you have to step back and say ‘okay, where do we go from here now that the situation has changed. It really underscores the importance of a consistent adult who is constantly listening and learning about the child’s needs.’”

To anyone considering becoming a CASA volunteer, Ginny says it is never too late. “I am 75 years old but I am still active and able. If you are inspired to be a CASA volunteer and still have the energy, by all means sign up for the training. You will be so glad you did.”

 

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