Volunteer Spotlight: Yvonne Gish

yvonne gish

Yvonne Gish, Volunteer for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Washington County

Name – Yvonne Gish

Service Site – Washington County

How long have you been a CASA volunteer? Served? – Since December 2014

Work Experience outside of CASA – Computer programmer, consultant, trainer, newsletter designer.  I have also volunteered as a peer counselor for Hagerstown Pregnancy Center and am currently a children’s teacher for Community Bible Study.

How did you hear about CASA, and what made you decide to volunteer? A friend mentioned it to me so I looked into it.  I thought it would be a good way to help a child through a difficult time.

Describe your current case – I have been working with a teen for the last 14 months.  They have gone through many types of counseling to deal with several issues.  They are now in counseling with their birth parents.  Progress is being made so hopefully, a positive outcome will be the result!

What sorts of activities do you and your CASA child/youth like to do together?  EAT! Eating is a great venue for sharing conversation.

 What is the most rewarding part of being a CASA volunteer?  Many of these kids have been through so much.  They just shut down.  It’s hard to get them to open up.  But seeing the spark in a conversation that makes you realize they are beginning to trust you, the effort is worth that glimmer.

What is one thing you would say to someone else interested in volunteering?  There isn’t anything quick about this process.  You have to be patient and take small steps.  If you are willing to be enduring, the rewards are tremendous.

What are CASA volunteers doing to help overcome the challenges faced by today’s youth?  You have to be a listener. Slow it down a bit for them, enjoy the moment, help them be thankful for the little things.  Kids are so overwhelmed.  CASA volunteers are a calming presence and amazing listeners.   It is one of our greatest strengths.