Ali Azarvan volunteered for 25 local non profits in May and shares his chronicles:
After recently becoming a father, my entire outlook on life has changed. I’ve become a hell of a lot more sensitive and aware of all the things wrong with the world. I’ve also been exposed to so much that I was not aware of during my May Days campaign. Recently, I spent an unbelievable day with some amazing women with Casa of Santa Barbara County who made me very aware of a serious problem – there are so many abused, abandoned and neglected children who have nobody fighting for them in the court system.
Casa’s goal is to assure a safe, permanent, nurturing home for every abused and/or neglected child by providing a highly trained volunteer to advocate for them in the court system. An amazing goal, right? Sure beats my “shed a few pounds of fat in the next 30 days” goal. . .
I spent the first-half of my day with Crystal Jensen-Moreno (Volunteer Manager) and Tara Gross (Outreach Coordinator) who gave me the ability to witness something that most people do not get a chance to see – juvenile court in session. It is extremely difficult for me to articulate the emotions that overwhelmed me throughout this morning.
I knew I was going to see some heavy stuff. . . I just didn’t know how intense it would be. I saw parents losing all parental rights to their children. fathers and mothers in shackles, and children getting verbally reprimanded for smiling at their incarcerated father (“it’s illegal to communicate with an incarcerated person in court”). This was the stuff you only see on TV shows. The most disturbing scene for me was a VERY pregnant woman losing all parental rights to her 3 year old – and she showed NO EMOTION whatsoever. She didn’t care. Oh, where was the father? Nobody knows. He has disappeared and has never shown up to any court date. They had to serve the father via publication (ie publish it in a newspaper) that his parental rights were terminated. That child has to overcome more obstacles right now than I have ever faced in 37 years.
After just a few hours, it became VERY clear to me that these children need help, they need support, they need someone to look after their best interest. Casa does exactly that. Continue Reading →