Each weekend, we feature one B who’s making a difference in her community. We wonder: how can we give back, especially when money is short? When we feel so overburdened ourselves, how can we find the energy/time/resources to help others? With these questions in mind, we bring you examples of women who find creative, meaningful ways to give. Click ‘comments’ above and tell what you do! You might be featured here as inspiration next week.

Today’s Queen B of Giving Back is Kelly Stirling, a native of New Orleans who now lives in Westchester County, NY. She volunteers for CASA and strongly encourages others to do the same. Here’s her powerful message:

I am a volunteer CASA — Court Appointed Special Advocate — and work with children who have been abused and/or neglected by their parents or guardians consequently ending up in the foster care system.  It’s extremely rewarding, but heart breaking at the same time.

Each year, approximately 780,000 children IN THE US are caught up in the court and child welfare maze because they are unable to live safely at home.  Imagine what it would be like to lose your parents, not because of something you did, but because they can’t—or won’t—take care of you. Now, into these children’s lives come dozens of strangers: police, foster parents, therapists, social workers, judges, lawyers, and more.  CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home.  They stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence—the one adult who cares only for them.  Last year, more than 68,000 CASA volunteers served more than 240,000 abused and neglected children through 1,018 program offices.  CASA volunteers have helped more than two million abused children since the first program was established in 1977.

Being a CASA volunteer does not require any special education or background, simply the desire to help abused and neglected children find safe, permanent homes.

CASA is a wonderful organization, with chapters all across the country.  I can’t encourage everyone enough to be apart of it.

Helping one another is good, but helping our own great!  And I feel we all have a responsibility to look out for the children of our communities; there are far too many of them needlessly falling through the cracks.

p.s. We’ve just learned Kelly also has a cool business! She helps keeps kids safe AND makes women more beautiful. Talk about raising the bar. Check her out at http://OnCallStylist.com.