Sometimes, monotony can make life a little dull. If you find yourself bored or with too much time on your hands, volunteering might be just what you need to spice things up. Many volunteer activities allow you to try things you’ve never done before and learn new skills. It may help you take a look at opportunities that are a little outside of your comfort zone. You may develop a passion you never knew you had!
That is exactly what transpired for one of CASA’s oldest serving volunteers. Rodney is 82 years young, a retired accountant, and has served as a CASA once in Minnesota a few years back, and now in Montana since 2019. He typically is assigned older teenager cases by choice, which on occasion, can prove to be difficult to navigate and build relationships. Not for Rodney. He has proven himself to be a staunch advocate for all three of his teenagers.
Rodney has consistently taken the time to call and video chat with his cases. One teenager is currently placed out of state and another out of town. Like clockwork, Rodney contacts his kids each month and reaches out to support, encourage, and be a friend. One teenager, Maria, has been in and out of foster care since she was 4. Due to neglect and heavy drug use by her mom, gambling, and a multitude of other reasons. Maria has been in the system for years. She is currently placed in a Youth Guidance Home, and is successfully attending high school, participating in farming, developing life skills, and helping in animal shelters. She hopes to, one day, work with animals. She is currently waiting to be adopted, as her biggest wish is to be loved by a family.
Rodney has committed himself to staying involved as a CASA for Maria, until she has permanency. Maria enjoys her monthly conversations and video chats with Rodney and to the outside observer, it is clearly evident that she and Rodney have a unique bond of respect for one another.
In addition, one wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Maria loves to hear about Rodney’s love of dancing and his favorite band is Counting Coups. This special CASA volunteer is making meaningful memories with teenagers in need while ensuring they have a support system in place to ensure their success.
By interacting with younger generations, older adults are able to share important life lessons. On the other hand, younger generations can teach seniors new ways of looking at life. By building a connection with each other, both generations can offer respect and affirmation. Rodney’s sense of purpose is strong and his contribution to the CASA program and community are invaluable. Hats off to Rodney! You’re never too old to volunteer as a CASA!!