(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Wednesday night was the annual “Dudes and Brews” which, on the surface, may seem just like another social hangout. But, it actually has a serious mission.
“It is our effort to recruit more men to become CASA volunteers and speak up for boys in the community,” said Keri Kahn, communications manager for CASA of the Pikes Peak Region.
CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, said they’re focusing on men because around half of their cases include young men or young boys.
“And we don’t have that many — that same percentage of volunteers that are men,” said volunteer Carl Brantley.
Not only are the percentages off, but CASA said the male youths coming in need to see a positive male role model.
“A lot of times that abuse is perpetrated by the man. And so boys are around men who are abusing drugs, then they’re very likely to follow in that cycle,” Kahn said.
Brantley has been a volunteer of CASA for six years.
“We do care about you and there are people in the community that want you to succeed,” Brantley said.
And, many times, he said it’s been rewarding.
“We still stay in touch with them and they call and say, ‘I’m doing this… I got a new job… I have a child now…'”
Brantley recalled a time when he helped a kid whose grandmother wouldn’t take him in, and they found out the young man’s passion was music.
“He goes: ‘Oh, by the way, my dad is a head of music for a church in Jacksonville, Florida.’ Well, that hit us like, oh, this is great. We contacted the dad and the dad said, ‘I’ve been wanting to get back involved, but the grandmother wouldn’t let me’.”
Brantley said they flew him out to Florida and he was able to reconnect with his dad.
“He’s the assistant director of music in that church, and he’s on track to be a record producer. And he says it’s all because: ‘CASA took an interest in me’. We’re so proud of him. And he’ll still call us and say ‘if it hadn’t been for you guys, I wouldn’t be here’.”
If you’re interested in getting involved, you can follow this link.