Instead of asking for birthday gifts for themselves, five-year-old Harbor Grace and Whitynn Gray (also known as Biscuit) request backpacks and school supplies for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children).
Harbor and Biscuit are the daughters of Adam and Whittney Landrum of Kiln.
“My husband and I let them experience the joy of receiving gifts for their first birthdays, but after their first birthdays, we decided to focus on an organization that we really love,” Whittney said. “I want our girls to be thankful for all they already do have and experience what it is like to give to those who need it.”
Whittney said that, as a former CASA volunteer, the organization is “near and dear” to her.
“CASA is also just one of our favorite organizations around,” she said. “As a family, we are just passionate about helping in any way possible.”
CASA of Hancock County provides abused and neglected children with quality advocacy in the court system; and works to secure a safe, permanent, and nurturing home for them by recruiting, training, and supporting a diverse network of Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers.
CASA Executive Director Cynthia Chauvin said that the book bags are provided to every child in foster care. Each child receives basic school supplies to start off the new school year.
In addition to the children in foster care, Chauvin said that there are about 20 in-home cases. Those children are also provided book bags.
Whittney said that Harbor has been collecting supplies and backpacks for CASA since her second birthday and this year marked her fourth year.
Once Biscuit turned two, she also started collecting supplies.
“Harbor is getting old enough to where she now understands the concept of doing this,” she said. “She realizes that she is giving back to those who need it and that she is helping those who need it. We plan on having the girls continue this birthday tradition for many more years to come.”
To learn more about CASA or become a volunteer, call 228-344-0419 and through Facebook at CASA of Hancock County.