NEW LONDON, Wis. (WFRV)- In Wisconsin, there are about 7,000 children who come to court because of their parent’s abuse or neglect. In many cases, officials have to move these children to alternative living arrangements to keep them safe.
Advocates for these children tell Local Five News that the pandemic has caused them to have to stay in these alternative housing arrangements for longer periods of time on average because of court delays.
Wisconsin’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association did a campaign in December to try to help out some of these children. They titled the campaign ‘My stuff, My bag’ and the goal was to give kids their own suitcase full of items that they can take with them as they move from living situation to living situation.
In New London, a school club at the high school caught wind of CASA’s campaign and wanted to contribute.
“It makes me very happy and excited that our students are learning ways to give back,” says Jennifer Doran who is a science teacher at New London High School.
Doran is also the faculty advisor for the HOSA club at New London High School which is for students that aspire to work in the healthcare industry someday. In December, the group collected pajamas and books and donated what they collected to CASA’s campaign.
“I didn’t expect to get as many pajamas as we did, but I’m really thankful when I saw that both boxes were filled,” says Briley Bolen who is a senior at New London High School and a member of the HOSA club.
The club collected 40 pairs of pajamas and 30 books. The students in the club did all the advertising and organizing for the fundraiser.
“We’re able to get things easily, but they (children in abuse and neglect situations) aren’t and we just wanted to make that a little easier for them,” says Mara Doran who is another student who is part of the HOSA club.
Both girls say they hope to get into healthcare one day and say this project gave them an early taste of what it feels like to help people.
Wisconsin’s CASA Association tells Local Five News they are still in the process of counting how many items they received through the ‘my stuff, my bag’ campaign.