Story and photo provided by CASA for Kids of Payne and Logan Counties
Stillwater native, Randy Blake is the CASA Volunteer of the Month for January. The husband and father of four works for the Stillwater Fire Department. New to the program, Randy has been a CASA for about a year. He is working on his second case and is currently serving two children.
“I’m always looking for a place to serve,” Randy said. “In talking to people about CASA, it seemed like there was a need there, especially for male volunteers.”
In Payne and Logan County, only 15 percent of the CASA volunteers are men. Children are matched with a CASA who is the best fit for their needs. Many of the children awaiting a CASA need a positive male figure at this point in their lives.
It is a common misconception that most CASA volunteers are retired or not working outside the home. Like Randy, nearly half of local CASA volunteers work full-time. When asked how he balances his commitments to his own family, his work and his CASA duties, he replied that it is actually simple, just a matter of priorities.
“There are lots of things you could fill your day doing,” he said. “You find time for the things that are important. You’re invested in these kids.”
As a father, Randy was already comfortable with children. As a firefighter, he was comfortable helping families in crisis. The biggest learning curve for him was navigating the legal system.
“I’m learning about the rules and laws,” he said. “There are a lot of moving parts, and it’s surprising how long things can take.”
Luckily for everyone involved in the process there is a strong support network and team of full-time staff to lead the way. “The staff are the ones who are awesome,” Randy said. “They deserve all the credit.”
Will you be the one to help transform a child’s life? Visit casaforkids.com or call 405-624-2242 to learn more about how you can join the movement and make a difference in a child’s life.