CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Northeast Oklahoma is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that trains volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children before the court system in Northeast Oklahoma.
Each month, CASA recognizes a volunteer as the Featured Volunteer of the Month for their work in changing a child’s story.
For the month of February, CASA recognizes Ray Wert from Claremore.
CASA volunteers and staff work to help change a child’s story. They ensure that children who have been removed from their homes due to evidence of abuse and neglect are not left alone in addiction court and foster care.
“What got me involved with CASA was that I had a friend in Tulsa who was a volunteer,” Ray Wert said.
Ray was a volunteer advocate at Rogers and Mayes County for two years. During this time, he saw great need in the community. What motivates him is seeing the smiles of the children he helps.
“Anyone who meets Ray can see that he is physically a big, tall man, but what they can’t see is that his heart for helping children in need is even bigger,” said Sandra Rains. , senior attorney coordinator for the 12th Judicial District, which includes Rogers, Mayes and Craig County. “It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to work with him to help change a child’s story. I’m so happy to have him recognized as our featured volunteer for the month of February.”
The CASA movement is essential to fulfilling society’s fundamental obligation to ensure that a qualified and compassionate adult will fight for and protect a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect. and to learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family.
“Ray is in the unique position of being one of the few men we currently have among our CASA volunteers,” Rains said. “We hope that more men will consider becoming CASA volunteers and helping these children in need. They can have a particular impact, especially in the case of children who have not had a strong father figure in their life.”
“If anyone is considering becoming a CASA volunteer advocate, I would tell them to volunteer. There is a great need,” Wert said.
Something interesting that most people might not know about Ray is that he recently got married.
Congratulations Ray Wert for being CASA of Northeast Oklahoma’s February Spotlight Volunteer of the Month.
Incorporated in May 1995, CASA (then Tri-County CASA) was formed to serve Rogers, Mayes and Craig County. It is now a regional program serving six counties (Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Ottawa, Rogers and Washington) in Oklahoma, as well as the Quapaw Nation and Shawnee Tribal Courts. They envision a world where every abused and neglected child has an appointed CASA volunteer to represent their best interests, a world where all children have a safe and forever home, and where children experience improved well-being.