Of course around Father’s Day my mind drifts towards thoughts of my dad.  He moved into his heavenly mansion on May 18, 2014.   After a short, but long, five month battle with cancer, the horrid disease took his life.  At this time I had already been pondering volunteer work as a Court Appointed Special Advocate.  This life altering tragedy just spurred me on.

As I navigated my own grief as well as the grief of my mother, I realized that I needed to focus on the needs of someone else besides my own.  I took the step — I called 406-259-1233 and signed up to attend an informative session on becoming a CASA.  In May of 2015, I was sworn in and began advocating for the abused and neglected children in our county.

The act of giving back helped me heal from the tragedy that I had experienced.  Giving myself away and helping others was a healing power for me.  I trust that just these few thoughts may encourage one person that may be experiencing pain, sadness, grief, or self-pity to consider volunteering your time.  Even when you think you have nothing left to offer, there is always someone worse off than you.  Find them.  Help them.  There is a paycheck at the end.

Now, seven years later, I see the loss of the kindest, gentlest, most perfect father as a huge stepping stone in my life.  His loss was devastating but something that made me stronger.  It took a while, but I see it now.

On my best days, I am my father’s daughter.

If you would like to find out more about how you can become a volunteer advocate for a child who has been abused or neglected, please call the CASA office at (406)259-1233 or email emily@yellowstonecasa.org