It’s a new year, and we’re really excited to continue introducing you to the wonderful people who make our work possible here at CASA!
Our first Volunteer Spotlight for 2015 features Gerald Davis, who chatted with us earlier this week about how he initially got involved with CASA and how it has impacted his life. He also shared some important information regarding questions and concerns potential volunteers might have.
After retirement, Gerry sought out ways to occupy his time through the exploration of his passion for volunteering, stating, “I still wanted to do something to give back to the community.” The idea of CASA hadn’t crossed Gerry’s mind until one day he discovered an ad in the Sunday paper. “I had never even heard of it,” Gerry said, “but I saw that they were looking for volunteers.”
Today Gerry is going on two years of volunteering with CASA. In these two years he has worked on four cases and with nine different children ranging from toddlers to teenagers. “It was really good helping them. I’ve enjoyed each and every one of my cases,” he said.
Prior to his retirement, Gerry worked in Cool Springs and admits that he did not do anything specific in the workplace to help him prepare to be a CASA. As for life experiences that helped to prepare him for his role as an advocate, Gerry told us that, “If anything it was raising my little girl. I have always related to kids and always wanted them to have it better than I had it.”
For those that are on the fence about becoming a CASA volunteer, Gerry explains that doing so is a rewarding experience that will not occupy as much time as one might think. He told us, “It is a job that is flexible, not a big time commitment, and is a good outcome. Always.”
When not working on cases with CASA, Gerry loves to spend his free time reading and volunteering for adult literacy, which he has done for the past three years. His other volunteer work includes 14 years (and still going!) with Donate Life Tennessee, as well as spending with patients who are waiting for transplants with Vanderbilt’s lung transplant program.
Gerald includes that people should not be intimidated by dealing with the court system through CASA. It is important to him that prospective volunteers are aware of “how friendly and easy to work with the judges and magistrates are and how understanding they are and respectful of your position in the case.”
“I’ve made many friends through CASA. The people there are terrific. And all the work is really beneficial,” Gerald concluded.
Gerry, pictured with his wife, Jeannie, and granddaughter, Shelby.