Hearts of Yolo: Moyra Barsotti

Wednesday, Aug 10, 2016

When Moyra Barsotti became a mother, she had a strong desire to volunteer to help children in need. “Becoming a parent spurred me to think more about how some kids are born into a wealth of support and others are not; I had thought about this before becoming a parent, but post, it hit me viscerally.” A friend of a friend happened to be a CASA in Oakland and Moyra always admired the difference she seemed to make for her CASA child. Moyra also admired that this CASA was a full-time teacher and a mother of two. Moyra states, “It showed me that despite being a parent and having a full-time job of my own, I could find time to volunteer as well.”

Moyra manages sales on her husband’s family farm, Capay Organic. She focuses on produce sales to local grocery stores, restaurants and wholesalers. She also has three children under seven years old. “I called Yolo County CASA’s Executive Director, to see where I might be able to help in the organization. With multiple children at very young ages, my schedule made the weekly visits that CASAs make too unpredictable for me. However, I had event planning and fundraising experience and wanted to see how I could use those skills to benefit the organization.”

After Moyra met with a few board members, applied to and was accepted on the board, she got to work right away. “I love how mission-driven Yolo County CASA is. There is such a linear connection between the weekly visits CASAs make and how they directly support outcomes for foster children. The relationships they form are crucial for the child and sometimes the only steady relationship a child has during an unsteady time. They also have a real, tangible impact through the court reporting system.”

An unexpected benefit of Moyra’s work as a board member is what her kids see. “When I go to meetings in the evening, my kids ask what I am doing and I tell them I am going to help foster kids. They have a very clear understanding that I am helping kids just like them but who are facing very difficult circumstances. They have learned a lot through my stories and my actions and it has really broadened the way they see the world.”

While Moyra has been on the board since 2014 and has plans to continue her service for quite some time, she would also like to be a CASA someday. “When my children get a little older and my schedule is more predictable, I definitely want to be a CASA. CASAs are amazing—they are a steady presence in the lives of children who need consistency most and they are the voice of the child at court, championing for the best home for their child.”

Moyra cites Yolo County CASA’s goal of providing a CASA to every foster child in Yolo County by 2020 as one of the most powerful calls to action she’s ever been a part of. “All you have to do is hear about one thing a CASA was able to help a foster child with and you are addicted. It’s such an incredible and worthy cause.”


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