Dear Editor,

I want to express my sincere thanks to the Ripley County Community Foundation for its generous support of our program, and the children we serve, through the 2018 large grant donation of $4,500. This grant is being used to assist us in our mission to serve more abused and neglected children in Ripley County when they need us most.

Voices for Children is the local CASA program for Ripley and Jefferson counties. CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers are community members who step in to help children who are involved in the child welfare system because they have been abused or neglected by their own caregivers.

Our mission for 2019 is to serve more children than we ever have before, ensuring that no child has to go through this difficult time in their lives, or navigate the system, without an advocate. The RCCF grant is funding additional trainings for our program so that we can bring on more volunteers to serve more children, decreasing our wait list.

So far, since receiving this grant in October, we have served 147 children in Ripley County. Of these, 79 have been newly assigned to advocates in this period.

We very much appreciate the support of our local community and the Ripley County Community Foundation for not only recognizing the needs of these children, but also for standing alongside us in serving them.

Tonya Ruble-Richter

Southeastern Indiana Voices for Children Inc. executive director