Story by Katlyn Mackie, Staff writer
Murray State’s chapter of Kappa Delta recently assembled 50 comfort bags for neglected and abused children.
On Saturday, April 8, KD members and alumnae made bags of goodies including toys and coloring books for needy children ages 2 to 18, and donated them to CASA by the Lakes.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. According to the CASA Facebook page, It is a non-profit organization that “recruits, trains and supports quality volunteers whose mission is to advocate for the timely and safe placement of abused children in the Calloway-Marshall County.”
Kelcy Navrkal, advocate coordinator of CASA, said the volunteers advocate for children by getting to know the child, writing a report and testifying in court on the child’s behalf.
“Ultimately, they make sure the child is getting everything they need and that they eventually have a safe and permanent home one day,” Navrkal said.
This is the second year KD organized the event, and Angelia Boyd, executive director of CASA, said both years KD reached out to her wanting to do something and decided to create the comfort bags.
“This was an idea that I had been working on, and they brought it to life,” Boyd said.
Each semester, KD is required to do an event with their alumnae, and the sorority decided to combine the event with a service project to give back to the community. The CASA project also intertwines with the national philanthropy of the sorority, Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA).
“We thought it would be a good event to really get to know our alumnae and at the same time, seeing what it is like serving our local community,” said Julie Graham, junior from Belleville, Illinois.
Graham—current vice president of public relations—said it is one of the events she helps organize and has to put on, though that is not the only reason she participates.
“I really love PCAA, and I love what CASA stands for; they are such giving people and willing to help anyone that is really in need,” Graham said. “I love working with people and helping out.”
KD made 50 bags to donate to the children at CASA by the Lakes.
Boyd said the comfort bags are taken to the children the first time the volunteers visit them, and because the children are removed from their home unexpectedly and have to leave everything, it is nice to be able to give them something that is their own when they are placed.
“It’s a simple way to show that we are thinking of them and they are not alone,” Boyd said.