Diana Acker is retired. But like some people who have departed from their careers, she desired to return to some avenue of work. And so she did.
This new job isn’t one that comes with a corner office, vacation time or a salary. It is, however, one that is richly rewarding. It’s being a CASA volunteer.
“It’s an opportunity to work on a team and represent children who do not have a voice,” Diana said. “You can have an attorney that [represents the] legal perspective, but I was intrigued by the prospect of representing the children -- being available as a mentor and friend.”
Since 2008, the Oak Hill resident has committed her time and talent to Fairfax CASA. She has been a part of the same case for the last several years, and her involvement has become one of the most consistently good aspects of her CASA child’s life.
“I reached a point where the child cheerfully requested I be there for her,” Diana said. “We formed a bond.”
Diana admits that it was tough to initially gain the child’s confidence. “It’s challenging to break down the wall of distrust that children naturally build up when they have been exposed to neglect or abuse,” she said.
Diana is able to stay strong and committed as a volunteer because the management team at CASA Fairfax provides a solid ground on which to stand. "Any time of the day or night, I can call my supervisor and get guidance with how to proceed with my child,” she said. “This is a commitment in capital letters.”
CASA volunteering is a great option for retirees, empty nesters or anyone with sufficient time to advocate for a vulnerable child. To learn more, attend Fairfax CASA's information session this Saturday, July 21, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., at Reston Regional Library.