CASA of Southern Oklahoma volunteers work Festival of Lights

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This file photo shows one of the more than 160 displays at the Ardmore Festival of Lights. On Christmas night volunteers from CASA of Southern Oklahoma were on site to direct visitors as they drove through.

For many families, driving through the Festival of Lights on Christmas Day is an annual tradition. This Christmas, volunteers from CASA of Southern Oklahoma were on site to help direct traffic as visitors drove through.

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, and their volunteers advocate for the best interests of abused, neglected and deprived children in the court system. After a judge appoints a volunteer to a child or group of siblings, that person will work with that child until he or she is placed in a permanent home.

Valerie Bynum has been a volunteer with CASA for over two decades and she described the organization’s work.

“We help children when they are at their most vulnerable — when they’ve been removed from their homes, when they’ve been abused and when their families are falling apart,” Bynum said. “We’re there to help them weave their way to a better place. We’re with that child until they are permanently placed.”



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