CASA’s antiviolence programs

By Trish Snyder

At 4 A.M. on January 24, it might have been dark, cold, and dreary, but the dedicated CASA staff and supporters brightened the night with their enthusiasm. We were a bona fide group in the Pilgrimage to San Juan de los Lagos. We were CASA staff, CASA volunteers, and CASA supporters participating in the 9thAnnual San Miguel Walk Against Domestic Violence. We were walking to educate about violence and to raise money for the Domestic Violence Prevention program at CASA.

Some of us walked for a half day; some for a full day. Ten of the CASA staff walked for three days among thousands of pilgrims. This was not an outing or a vacation for the CASA staff. They were working. They were spreading the message of No Mas Violencia.

For this 9th Annual Walk, as in years past, each of the committee members tapped all our friends for contributions.   There were boxes for donations placed in businesses; volunteers showed up at La Pulga, the Organic Market and the Fair at the Instituto. The CASA theater group took donation cans to the busy streets. Cars stopped to make a donation when they learned that the money would go to the domestic violence prevention program.

The money raised pays for the salaries of the two psychologists for counseling and emergency intervention, covers legal services, medical help, the teaching materials for the many workshops on prevention of violence, and more.

This year Dulce Ortíz, the Mexican CASA psychologist—born and raised in San Miguel —attended the planning meetings of the celadores, the planners and organizers of this centuries-old pilgrimage. She invited the celadores to visit CASA and took them on a tour to meet the staff and learn about their many programs—the Midwife School, the CASA hospital, the radio program, the day-care, the community health educators who go into communities and teach.  The work of CASA is integrated and the theme of stopping and preventing familial violence is taught over and over again. The celadores told Dulce they were proud that CASA has decided to join their pilgrimage with this message of promoting healthy families and zero tolerance for violence.

The CASA violence prevention program reached thousands of people last year – Mexican women and their families in distress and danger, as well as American women who were assaulted and had no place else to turn.

Our committee faces a big challenge and we need your help. We’ve raised US$24, 249. We’re short US$5,751 to be eligible for a US$20,000 match from a group of successful businesswomen who strongly believe in CASA.  We need to hit that US$30,000 mark.

We know we can do it with your help. Thank you from the bottom of our collective hearts.

How you can help CASA meet its goal

-Go to the CASA website and make an online donation: Specify San Miguel Walk.

-Drop off your check made payable to San Miguel CASA, Inc. (or to Amistad Canada to receive a Canadian tax deduction) or cash donation at La Conexión, Aldama 3, PMB 264. Specify San Miguel Walk on your check or envelope.

-Call Trish Snyder at 121-0612 or Ana Marquez at 154-6060 for more information or for a donation pickup.

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