For Impact Giving Sponsoring Partner and Volunteer of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County, Marie Crosson, serving her community through local organizations has always been a priority. With over 25 years of service within organizations that primarily aid women and children, such as Working Wardrobes and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, Marie has been a long-time contributor within her Orange County community.
Upon graduation from UCLA, Marie pursued a career in computer technology. Soon after, she her family and realized that the long hours and frequent travel required were not sustainable. Marie approached her company’s Board Chair and offered to develop and run a corporate giving program. It was a tremendous learning experience that forever changed her path. Within two years, Marie left her corporate job and began working within the non-profit sector.
When Marie first heard of CASA, she was both intrigued and inspired by the essential service they provide our foster youth. CASA is a non-profit organization with over 950 chapters nationwide, which through over 93,000 volunteers, serves over 270,000 foster children. CASA’s advocate for foster youth and ensure that judges have all of the information they need to make the most well-informed decisions for each child. This includes visiting a child regularly, interacting with all professionals involved in their case, addressing a child’s educational needs, and above all else, providing the mentorship and guidance necessary to help our foster youth transition to independence.
Volunteering for CASA requires a substantial commitment. Volunteers are rigorously screened and trained by their local programs, but Marie acknowledges that it is a worthwhile investment! Marie admits, “When I first learned of CASA, I was apprehensive about the level of commitment required. But a little more than two years ago I took the initial step to enroll in the 30 hours of required CASA training and quickly recognized that this volunteer opportunity was right up my alley!”
This past year, Marie sponsored CASA Orange County through Impact Giving’s grant application process. Now as a 2019 Grant Recipient, CASA Orange County is using the funds to help train CASAs, match them with the over 225 youth on the CASA waitlist, and provide direct support to CASAs by trained supervisors.
Reflecting on her service as a CASA volunteer to a teenage girl for the past two years, Crosson shares, “I have gained valuable insights about myself, been robustly supported by the CASA organization, and been enriched by my relationship with my CASA youth more than I could have expected.”
In addition to CASA OC, Marie has served on Impact Giving grant committees, led grant committee trainings, and at times, has acted as a committee chair for the past 9 years.
Initially supporting Impact Giving because a good friend was very involved, Marie quickly found the organization to be much more than simply a vehicle to support wonderful non-profit efforts. For her, the unexpected value in her partnership with Impact Giving is in the relationships she has built with like-minded, caring, intelligent and diverse women from whom she has learned so much through their varied perspectives and experiences.
She has also become considerably more aware and inspired by the tremendous good works being done in our community. In fact, she, like many other partners, has reached out privately to support some of these efforts that likely she would never have known about had she not been an Impact Giving Partner.
Impact Giving is grateful for Marie’s ongoing support since the beginning and so proud of the service she has provided her CASA youth and the Orange County chapter of CASA. Thank you for all that you do for your community.