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FEBRUARY 2020
Volume 1 | Issue 2
 
A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
“Growth is never by mere chance, it is the result of forces working together.”

We believe these words by James Cash (JC) Penney capture the essence over the past year at Children’s Advocacy Center of Greater West Texas, Inc. (CAC). During this time, our organization has grown in its breadth and depth in an effort to better serve the community and make a positive impact on children and families.

In 2020, we have many great plans on the horizon, including moving to our new campus located at 3515 S. Bryant. With the majority of our programs under one roof, we will be able to seamlessly serve the children and families of our community. 

In addition to moving into this new location, CAC will have the ability to continue to expand our reach in the Concho Valley, bringing us one step closer to achieving our mission of ensuring every child has a safe and nurturing home. We intend to expand our specialized therapy and education services while working harder than ever in the areas of community engagement, partnerships, and CASA volunteer recruitment. 

I am excited for all of the changes and growth of CAC as we strive to ensure every child in the Concho Valley has a safe and nurturing home. 


Heather Ward
Chief Executive Officer
CHRISTMAS FOR KIDS
For most children, Christmas is an exciting time of year. However, without the support of the Concho Valley, some children in our community will not experience the joy of Christmas. Christmas for Kids is an annual Christmas event for children that have experienced abuse or neglect and receive services through Children’s Advocacy Center of Greater West Texas Inc. (CAC). Each year, children being served by CAC are invited to complete a Christmas wish list containing four items; wish lists are then shared with a community sponsor in hopes of inspiring tidings of comfort and joy for a child during Christmas. 

This past Christmas, community members and organizations of the Concho Valley outdid themselves during CAC’s 18th annual Christmas for Kids event. As CAC continues to expand services, more children and families are positively impacted and, in 2019, over 560 children were sponsored through the Christmas for Kids event. CAC sorted through approximately 2,240 gifts to ensure each child sponsored received at least four Christmas gifts.

“None of this would be possible if it were not for each individual community member and organizations that contributed to Christmas for Kids,” says Heather Ward, Chief Executive Officer of CAC. “This heartwarming act of love and generosity powered by community members of the Concho Valley will make a huge impact in the lives of children CAC serves.”

CAC would like to thank all of their Christmas for Kids sponsors, and especially the following: Holy Angels Catholic Church, Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo Health Foundation, Ballinger Memorial Hospital, Southgate Church of Christ, San Angelo Christian Academy, Angelo State University Softball Team, Howard College, Dr. & Mrs. Bradley Bundrant, Community Health Club, Concho Valley ER, Tom Green County Offices, Kiwanis, Edward & Kristen Studer, and PetSmart of San Angelo.

Gifts were delivered to CAC and distributed to children and families by staff members and their amazing CASA Volunteers just in time for Christmas.
NEW STAFF MEMBERS
Our talented staff is comprised of individuals working together for the sake of children that have experienced abuse or neglect. We are so grateful for the incredible individuals that make up the staff of the organization. Welcome to the CAC team!
MONICA ESCOBEDO
CHIEF PROGRAMS OFFICER
Though not a new employee, Monica now serves in a new role as the Chief Programs Officer at CAC. Monica was born and raised in a small town about three hours outside of San Angelo, but for the past 25+ years, she has loved calling San Angelo home. She graduated from Angelo State University with a degree in Psychology and worked in the medical field before joining the staff at CAC in 2009. Monica has always had a passion for advocating on behalf of children and families, and is excited to continue to serve families through her new role. She now devotes her time to overseeing the service programs and guiding and supporting the staff to have a positive impact on the individuals CAC serves. In her free time, Monica enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and friends, being outdoors, and attending sporting events.
CELINA HEMMETER
OPERATIONS MANAGER
Celina is a native of Texas, and grew up in the small town of Eden, Texas. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and married her high school sweetheart, Mike. After learning about CAC through a family friend, Celina landed at CAC! Celina is passionate about helping others and making an impact on her community through the work of CAC and spends her days overseeing finances and operations. When she’s not crunching numbers, Celina enjoys live music, volunteering at an art center in her hometown, and remodeling their old home.
DONNA AYCOCK
CASA CASE MANAGER
Donna grew up in Abilene, Texas, and attended McMurry University, graduating with a degree in Fine Arts. She moved to San Angelo in 2002 and worked in partnership with CAC through her position at Assault Victim Services and later as a CPS Caseworker. Donna is currently completing her master’s degree in Homeland Security through Angelo State University. She is passionate about protecting children in need, and loves working alongside CASA Volunteers and others to speak up for children that have experienced abuse or neglect. Outside of work, Donna loves horseback riding, crocheting, reading, and camping with her family.
KELLI GLISSON
DIRECTOR OF HOPE HOUSE
Kelli is originally from Ohio but now calls San Angelo, Texas home. Kelli received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Ohio and went on to complete her master’s degree in Human Service Management from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. After serving as director of a local non-profit in San Angelo, Kelli joined CAC’s staff. As the Director of Hope House, she has a sincere passion for ensuring children are safe and happy and keeping her staff healthy and well cared-for. Kelli loves unsweet tea, watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, watching her daughter’s sporting events, and loving on her four dogs.
THE RACE TO 100
The Race To 100 is here! From January 21 until April 30, we are racing against the clock to recruit 100 CASA Volunteers in 100 days. Sounds crazy? We think so too. We also think that our community has the opportunity to make a huge impact on the lives of children in the Concho Valley that have experienced abuse and neglect.
 
If you want to be a part of this campaign, here's how you can help!
1. Become a CASA Volunteer! CASA Volunteers speak for the best interest of children who have been abused or neglected and whose home will be determined by a court of law. CASA Volunteers provide stability, love, and guidance for the children they serve. You can help change a child's story!
 
2. Know someone who has the heart, strength, and compassion to speak up for children? If you know someone who you believe has the qualities to give children a voice in court, send us their name, email, and phone number and we’ll send them information on becoming a CASA Volunteer and let them know you think so highly of them.
 
3. Spread the word about CASA! Share about CASA through social media, at your work place, or by hosting a CASA presentation. You can amplify CASA's impact and help make a difference in the lives of children in the Concho Valley.
 
For more information on The Race to 100, contact Rebekah Beltran at 325-653-HOPE or rbeltran@cacgreaterwtx.org.
WOMEN OF HOPE
Women of Hope completed their first project in November by completing a Safe Space project for one of the children served through Hope House. Safe Space Projects are conducted when a child’s case has been closed and the bedroom in their home is completely remodeled in hopes to remove any memories of the traumatic experience they endured during their abuse. This helps give new life to a room where a traumatic experience occurred. Women of Hope repainted, purchased brand new furniture and accents, and decorated the bedroom in one day.

For more information on Women of Hope or Safe Space projects, contact Justin DeLoach at 325-653-HOPE or jdeloach@cacgreaterwtx.org.
 VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
      Become a CASA Volunteer

      Host a Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse Training for your
             school, church, or group

       Sponsor a child for Christmas

      Become a trained facilitator for Circle of Parents

      Raise awareness, promote prevention, and financially strengthen CAC
             by becoming a Woman of Hope
CASA VOLUNTEER HIGHLIGHT
It is an honor for CAC to be entrusted with recruiting, training, and retaining CASA Volunteers for the 10-county region of the Concho Valley. Over the years, we have had phenomenal CASA Volunteers that we want to introduce to the community. This edition, meet Jennifer Lisson.
JENNIFER LISSON
   
I am originally from Reno, Nevada but have called San Angelo home for the past three years. I have been an AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) judge for the past 15 years and was a professional horse trainer for 27 years. I’ve had many opportunities to travel to places like Japan, France, and Israel. I attended culinary school and developed a passion for trying different types of food, so I love to cook and entertain in my free time.

I became a CASA in May 2019. I lost my daughter several years ago due to a drunk driver. She had a loving heart and always desired to help others. After she passed away, people shared the deep impact she made on their lives, and it caused me to want to give back and help others in need. I am passionate about ensuring no child goes unheard – every child deserves a voice and deserves to be heard.
Jennifer exudes the very essence of CASA as she advocates and interacts with the children she serves. Her  passion and drive to ensure their voices are heard in court is always at the forefront. She is genuine, dedicated, and a joy to have as a part of our CASA family. She takes initiative and does what needs to be done. She is thoughtful and encouraging to the families she serves. We are very grateful to have Jennifer advocating for the children of the Concho Valley through our CASA program. 
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Quilters for CASA is a group of women from multiple churches that meet weekly at Emmanuel Episcopal Church and use donated material to quilt small quilts for the children served through CAC. To date, the group has quilted over 1,000 quilts for CAC! We are so grateful for our community that seeks to make a difference in the life of a child that has experienced abuse or neglect. Anyone can help by donating materials or showing up to Emmanuel Episcopal on Mondays to quilt. For more information on Quilters for CASA, contact Justin DeLoach at 325-653-HOPE or jdeloach@cacgreaterwtx.org.
UPCOMING EVENTS
Group Connections
 January 28, 2020 | 6:00-7:00 PM
Recognizing and Reporting
Child Abuse Training

January 29, 2020 | 6:00 - 7:30 PM
 
Parents as Teachers
Ongoing
CASA Volunteer Training
Ongoing
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CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY CENTER OF GREATER WEST TEXAS, INC.

P.O. Box 5145 | San Angelo, TX 76902
325-653-HOPE
cacgreaterwtx.org

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Children's Advocacy Center of Greater West Texas, Inc. · 317 Koberlin Street · San Angelo, TX 76903-3611 · USA

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