Gen Con is underway in Indianapolis and every year the popular event names a charity partner. This year’s partner is Child Advocates which is Marion County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, organization.
CASA volunteers, provide a voice in court for children who have been removed from their homes. The Marion County branch of this organization hopes to reach the estimated 200,000 people attending Gen Con.
Executive director Cindy Booth says the need for CASA services is growing with the opioid epidemic.
“That means many more children are coming into the child welfare system, double that we had two years ago,” says Booth.
Last year Marion County served almost 9,000 children, representing 40 percent of Indiana’s total cases. Booth says she’s been able to reach people from all over the state and send a message.
“You probably have a CASA program in your county so go home and check that out because you could be a volunteer,” says Booth.
Booth says in Marion County they have over 600 volunteers and could use another 600.
“So you think, how many volunteers we need to go out and that’s a very special thing to have a volunteer come to a child’s door and say ‘what can I tell a judge about you?’” Booth says.
Gen Con offers numerous interactive ways to raise funds for Child Advocates including opportunities to destroy card built structures and giant balloon sculptures. The group will use the funds for training and a children’s wish list.