Category Archives: Newsletter | September 2017

The CASA Family is Growing

To reach our lofty goal of serving every child in need by 2020, we knew we needed to expand our incredible team this summer. We couldn’t be more excited about and grateful for our additions.


Kim Kearbey                                    Dick Levin                                     David Wurm

Joining the Board of Directors are Kim Kearbey, S. Richard “Dick” Levin, and David Wurm. Kim Kearbey is the Vice President of US Total Rewards at Walmart. With her years of human resources experience, Kim brings a valuable perspective to our organization. Dick Levin is an attorney and shareholder at the law firm of Hall Estill in Fayetteville. Having served on the United Way and Smile for a Lifetime boards, Dick has committed years of his life to improving the lives of children in Northwest Arkansas. Finally, Dave Wurm is the Vice President of Sales – Walmart for General Mills. As a 28 year veteran of General Mills, Dave offers a strategic and action-based focus to our team. Together, these three individuals bring decades of experience and insight to our Board of Directors.

Abra Morgan is the newest addition to the CASA of Northwest Arkansas staff. Abra comes to us after ten years at the Children’s Safety Center of Washington County where she worked as a child advocate and forensic interviewer. We are thrilled by the knowledge, experience, and passion she brings to her role as Advocate Supervisor.

“It has only been a month since I started, and I’ve heard stories that bring tears to my eyes because of the difference a CASA made in the case. I’m honored to be part of this amazing organization!” says Abra. A special thanks to the United Way, and its thousands of contributors, whose Children Living in Poverty grant make Abra’s position possible!

Volunteer Spotlight: Nene Weaver

To most, Nene Weaver appears as a loving wife and dedicated mother to two children.  That she is. But, to her friends at CASA, she’s much, much more.

When Nene and her family first moved to Northwest Arkansas from California in 2014, Nene immersed herself in the community by volunteering with the Gives Back Program in Bentonville schools and starting in 2015 with the Junior Auxiliary of Rogers/Bentonville. As a volunteer with these programs, Nene discovered the large number of foster children in need in our area. After hearing of CASA, she was immediately interested in getting involved. But, because CASA volunteers advocate for children in court, Nene assumed a law degree would be required. Fortunately, a friend cleared up that misconception (a common one), and Nene completed CASA training in January 2016.

Nene in training

Her CASA supervisor, Chris Collins, describes Nene as a quiet, unstoppable force. Nene isn’t a big fan of the limelight. She works diligently behind the scenes to solve problems and find resources. When a door shuts, she is relentless to find another avenue. Her humility and compassion attracts people to her and in turn, the kids she serves get what they need – be it medical care, DHS referrals, etc. Nene says her role as a CASA advocate all comes down to respect, understanding, and communication.

To illustrate the kind of advocate Nene is, we return to a day in court many months ago. While waiting for her case to be heard, Nene heard a case of two children whose CASA advocate had passed away. The CASA had become a very important part in the children’s lives. While the siblings were closing in on a long journey in foster care, Nene insisted on taking the case and seeing it through to the end. Nene wanted to honor the advocate and her “CASA kids” and be there, with donuts, to celebrate on adoption day.

When Nene talks to others about being a CASA volunteer, a quote from Colin Powell often comes to mind: “If you want to save the world, start by saving one child.” While Nene may never admit it, we can vouch for her . . . she’s saved many more than one.

CASA License Plates

Since launching in 2015, the CASA license plates have generated enough revenue to provide a CASA volunteer to a foster child in NWA for a year and a half. That’s no small thing. If your car is already sporting a CASA plate, thank you! Not only does CASA of NWA receive $25 from each set of plates annually, the plates also support our efforts to spread the word about CASA around town.

If you would like to get them, CASA plates cost an extra $35 per year and can be purchased at the Revenue Offices in Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, and Fayetteville. Show your support for CASA and help us be the voice for all foster children in need by 2020!

Sponsor Support

The nonprofit world relies heavily on our for profit partners. Not just for corporate sponsorships – albeit those are important – but also for talent, employee engagement, and connections. This month, we want to thank our Silver level, In Good Company sponsors, Rockfish Interactive, Truity Credit Union, and Mercy, for their extensive and widely varied contributions.

Our oldest sponsor of the three, Rockfish Interactive, first supported CASA back in 2013. Through the years, their staff have been strong advocates of our Light of Hope event and provided volunteer support around the CASA office. Most recently, their CFO, Cyndi Dye, joined our board and is lending her financial acumen to strengthen CASA’s financial position.

Truity Credit Union came on-board as a sponsor in 2014. Whenever we talk to our Truity partners, we appreciate their focus on business development and relationships. As they understand our need to grow and diversify our advocate base, Truity has connected us with multiple colleagues and agencies who bring us steps closer to our goal to serve every child by 2020.

Our newest supporter is Mercy which joined as an In Good Company sponsor in 2016. When we think Mercy, we think CASA volunteers! Currently, 7 of our 281 advocates are employees of the Mercy health system. These employees are compassionate and knowledgeable and are strongly encouraged by their employer to use their many talents to help children in need.

We are so grateful to these important partners for being allies in the fight to protect and defend the children we serve.