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May
18

In Spokane County, there are more than 1,000 children and youth currently living in foster care through Child Protective Service (CPS). These children living in foster care or relative placement commonly suffer from depression, behavior disturbances, poor health, learning delays, confusion, fear, and loneliness. CASA Partners helps support the lives of these neglected children in Spokane Country and children who are at risk of entering the system. 

CASA Partners is a volunteer-led 501 (c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1977. They started with a three-year $30,000 grant from the Junior League of Spokane and continue to grow with the generous support of many community organizations, businesses, and individual donors.

A "CASA" is a court appointed special advocate. CASAs are volunteers who have been through the training of the CASA Program. CASAs advocate for abused and neglected children in family court. After the initial training of 30 hours, volunteers are sworn in as officers of the Court, which gives them the legal authority to conduct research on a child's situation and submit to the court reports and their recommendations for a child's welfare. CASAs work strictly as volunteers and deal with abuse, neglect, and abandonment cases referred to them by Child Protective Services.

CASA Partners currently sponsors four direct service projects: My Bag, My School Bag, Bee Kind Garden, and Needs From The Heart.

Children who are placed in foster care often arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs. Through My Bag, CASA Partners provides these children with an age-appropriate duffel bag or backpack. Each bag contains a handmade quilt or afghan, clothes, toiletries, a stuffed toy, and books to give the child solace. No longer are the children in Spokane County's foster care system called the "garbage bag kids," a term applied when personal belongings were arrived in black plastic garbage bags. Since its beginning in April of 1998, My Bag has provided more than 17,000 bags filled with love, dignity, and comfort for these children.

My School Bag provides necessities for the start of school for over 200 children each year. The social workers provide sizes for each child and a monumental shopping frenzy begins. Through My School Bag, each child receives a new backpack filled with new clothes and shoes for the first day of school.

Bee Kind Garden project is a therapeutic program designed to teach gentleness, kindness, and empathy to children removed from violent homes. Each child is matched with a trained volunteer who gives his or her undivided attention to the child while together they explore arts and crafts, nurture plants, and interact with child-friendly animals. Especially important is the fact that Bee Kind Garden is a safe place 'to be a child'.

Over the years, Needs from the Heart has shopped for and provided athletic equipment, memberships for swimming lessons, strollers, cribs, school clothing, beds, dressers, mattresses, tricycles, toys, yearbooks. . . all to let a child experience the good parts of being a child and to help those who are helping the children. These are items or activities that foster parents and social workers may be unable to provide, but that Needs from the Heart can fulfill.

Lacie Gimeno began her involvement with Casa Partners a few years back and for a time being was a board member with the organization. She continues to support their efforts and be an advocate for the many ways people can get involved.

"I felt it was a way to give back to the community by helping those whom barely have control of their situation," Gimeno said.

For more information about CASA Partners, visit casapartners.org or call 509-462-2272.



Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months.

April
13

#CBTDenimDay

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It's a difficult topic, no question.

 

Removing the stigma surrounding sexual assault and abuse, bringing the conversation to the forefront and out of the shadows, educating, speaking out, ending victim-blaming, and supporting survivors are the best defenses. So much has been done, with so much more to do.

It's worthy of our time. Of everyone's time. Here at CBT, we decided to act on one of our mottos – BE BOLD – and do what we can to help. For our April #DoersOfGood campaign, we're taking the message to all our offices and asking our Realtors®, staff, and managers to come together to support organizations in our areas who work hard to assist women in our local communities. We've asked them to purchase a #CBTDenimDay button, donate gently used professional clothing, and wear their jeans on April 27th, the 24th annual National Denim Day. 100% of the funds raised in each region, along with additional funds from CBT, will be donated to the corresponding organizations listed below. Clothing donations will stay local, as well. 

Denim Day grew out of an Italian Supreme Court decision overturning a rape conviction of an 18-year-old girl because she was wearing tight jeans. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day is a visible means of protest against victim-blaming and sexual violence.

The organizations we are coming together to support are:

Spokane area:

YWCA – Our Sister's Closet, www.ywcaspokane.org

Tri-Cities area:

Domestic Violence Services of Benton & Franklin Counties, www.dvsbf.org

Lewiston/Moscow/Pullman:

Lewiston YWCA, ywcaidaho.org
Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, www.atvp.org

Boise area:

Women's and Children's Alliance, www.wcaboise.com

Idaho Falls area:

The Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center, www.dvsacac.org

To help, the ask is simple: wear your jeans on April 27th and speak out. To learn about more ways you can help – or if you need assistance, visit one of the sites above.

March
14

Beyond Pink is the result of two women, Charlie Brewer and Karla Porter, who wanted to celebrate the technology of Thermography and its powerful ability to aid in the early detection of breast disease. Their passion is that, when found at its earliest stages before a mass has formed, breast cancer can often be prevented by making lifestyle changes. Their goal was to not just to educate and raise awareness but to help provide funding for women who could not otherwise afford this potentially lifesaving screening as it is generally not covered by insurance.

What is Thermography?  It uses a kind of infrared technology that detects and records temperature changes on the surface of the skin. The camera displays these patterns as a sort of heat map.  Hot spots can indicate something needs to be looked at in more detail. A lot of women put off mammography as it can be unpleasant or painful, but thermography is painless, can be added earlier to other breast screening procedures, and it could save a life. It has seen spots that have turned out to be ruptured implants after further screening.

This fundraising public charity has raised over $1.2 million and helped thousands of women. The funds stay local and 100% of net proceeds are used to provide grants to women in the community.

Beyond Pink has many fundraisers throughout the year, however, the biggest and most FUN raiser for the year is the Designer Bra Fashion Show & Auction which is held in October.  This runway show is a fun production of choreography set to music that will inspire you.  The bra inspired fashion designs are auctioned off in packages that often contain a trip or experience.  If you have not attended a Beyond Pink Fashion Show in person, you must put this on your to do list.  It is seriously the most fun you will have saving a life. Coldwell Banker Tomlinson volunteers have modeled and performed in the show for many years, they have donated items for the live and silent auctions, and Coldwell Banker Tomlinson has sponsored a table at the event many times. 

One in 8 women will get breast cancer, and early detection is key to fighting this disease. Schedule a thermogram for yourself and share this opportunity with the women in your tribe. This can buy more time...it could save a life.

For more information about Beyond Pink, visit beyondpink.net, call 509-863-7776 or email info@beyondpink.net.


Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months.

February
15

For more than 25 years in Spokane, the Hispanic Business Professional Association of Spokane (HBPA) has been promoting and serving Hispanic/Latinx cultural, business, professional, educational and social justice interests in the Inland Northwest.

HPBA supports families and individuals in the community in many different ways with an ever-growing list of services. From scholarship programs and small business development assistance to food pantries and rental assistance, HBPA helps facilitate many social services to families and individuals needing support.

Abran Alvarez first found out about HBPA through social media and began his involvement by attending one of their monthly meetings. Their professionalism and passion towards their goals in helping the community is what sparked him to continue helping out where he could.

"I saw what they were doing offering various workshops, scholarships, food pantries and their ever-growing list of services, and I thought it'd be awesome to jump in and use my bilingualism to help in any way that I can," Alvarez said.

HBPA's membership is comprised of businesses, organizations and individuals, with the vision of connecting members to the community by build professional and personal relationships.

Alvarez is an active member and attends monthly meetings. They host many events and volunteers are often needed for setup and cleanup. They also request volunteers to help with their small business workshops in teaching and speaking to members, he adds.

"They've done a really good job at developing relationships, networking, and building a really good sense of community within the Hispanic and Latinx community, which is continuing to grow here in Spokane," Alvarez said.

For more information about Hispanic Business Professional Association of Spokane, visit hbpaofspokane.org, call 509-557-0556 or email hbpaspokane@gmail.com.


Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months.

January
21

IT GIVES US GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE ABBEY PARSONS, REALTOR® AND SUPPORTER OF JUNIOR LEAGUE OF SPOKANE.

Abbey Parsons, attended her first Junior League of Spokane (JLS) social meet in her first year of real estate in 2013. It was recommended to her from her "office mom" at the time, who had been previously involved with JLS for years. She thought it might be something Abbey would be interested in, and after one meeting, she's been involved with the non-profit organization ever since.

The Junior League of Spokane is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Since their founding in 1925, JLS has been at the forefront of social reform, identifying problems and finding solutions in the surrounding area – whose purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Over the years, their community involvement has included dozens of projects, ranging from the creation of a public radio station to the prevention of child abuse. Their current focus is on promoting childhood literacy skills in the Spokane community, particularly among low-income kids.

JLS welcomes all women who are committed to voluntarism and who hope to develop their potential to change their communities through volunteer training. While there are structured member expectations, involvement can vary from year to year.

"That is what I love about the JLS, you can be REALLY involved one year and then when things change (like having a baby) you can step back and just be on a small committee," Abbey said. "I know that when I want to get more engaged they will have a space for me!"

This year, Abbey is currently on the  committee that is planning a statewide event called Northwest Exchange, an event for Junior Leagues across the region to come together to network and share knowledge. The theme for this year's conference is Creating Connections: Bridging Our Past to Our Future.

The Junior League of Spokane is part of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI), which is comprised of 293 leagues across the US, Canada, the UK and Mexico.  Membership in AJLI grants access to resources and training opportunities, as well as the ability for members to transfer between leagues if they move.

For more information about Junior League of Spokane, visit jlspokane.org.


Join us in celebrating our Doers of Good by getting involved in one of the programs we will spotlight over the next several months.

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