Giving Back

Press Releases

Volunteers Judge Swears in 28 Foster Child Advocates

1faf241cc5173ec7c3da_d02515c65e76a03f96c1_casa_volunteers_11-2016.jpg
CASA graduating class Credits: CASA
1faf241cc5173ec7c3da_d02515c65e76a03f96c1_casa_volunteers_11-2016.jpg

Union’s Aáse Forbes Among New CASA Volunteers

Elizabeth, NJ — Union County Superior Court Judge Daniel R. Lindemann has administered oaths to two graduating classes of community members among them Aáse Forbes of Unionwho’ve stepped up to serve as extra eyes and ears for Family Court judges on cases involving the county’s abused, neglected or abandoned children currently in foster care. Of the two classes, one had 19 participants, including CASA of Union County’s new executive director, Marla Higginbotham. The second is the result of the nonprofit offering for the first time a five-session, intensive day training at its offices, and included nine volunteers.

The new CASA volunteers completed 30 hours of training. After performing the oaths, Judge Lindemann stepped off the bench and personally thanked each advocate for committing to serve children in need of a voice. Members of the organization’s board participated, and each new advocate received a commemorative pin and certificate. During celebratory luncheons that followed, advocates were matched to their new case and learned about their youth.

Sign Up for E-News

Volunteers with varied backgrounds and experiences make successful advocates, and these classes are no exception: They range in age from 22 to 75 and most have no prior knowledge of the foster system. They include parents, non-parents and empty-nesters; a recent college graduate and recent retiree; careers include health professionals, school personnel, counselors, legal professionals, former military, business entrepreneurs and homemakers. Languages spoken in addition to English include Spanish, German, French and Yoruba. Several experienced abuse in their own childhoods.

William “Joe” Goodson of Plainfield, a CASA volunteer years ago who returned to help another child now that his own schedule allowed, said this work is a calling. “I know the situation in the African-American community, and I want to give back. I’ve been there and done that. We need more positive role models for these children who need us. I can make a difference and be someone they relate to, and that’s what I’m looking for.” Goodson added that on Thanksgiving, his CASA youth weighed heavily on his mind: “I’m looking at a table full of food and family and thinking of him, wondering, ‘Is he ok, today?’ ”

CASA volunteers have court-ordered access to all parties in a child’s life, including foster parents, doctors, caseworkers, therapists and teachers, and incorporate into court reports findings from these contacts as well as time spent with the youth. Volunteers advocate both in the community and court to ensure their youth’s needs are met and time in care is as short as possible. There are 600 Union County children currently in foster care; CASA of Union County serves approximately one-third of those and its mission is to provide an advocate for every child that needs one.

For details on future training sessions, several of which incorporate new, flexible options and timeframes, contact Lisa at 908-527-7048 or lporis@casaofunioncounty.org. To inquire about other ways to support CASA of Union County, contact Marla at 908-527-7041 or marlah@casaofunioncounty.org.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Union

Friends of the Union Library Plan Trip to Longwood Gardens

April 19, 2018

UNION, NJ - The Friends of the Union Public Library and BCB Community Bank have planned a trip to Longwood Gardens for Sunday, May 20.

The $50.00 fee includes bus trip, entrance to gardens, and snacks.  RSVP by May 1.  The bus leaves the Library municipal lot on Morris Avenue at 9:00 a.m. and returns at 6:00 p.m.

Checks can be made payable to 'Friends of the Union Public ...

Second Annual "Spring into the Arts"

UNION, NJ - The Second Annual "Spring into the Arts" festival will take place this Sunday, April 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., sponsored by Photography by Rebimbas.

The event will feature local businesses, artists, music, dance and many activities, including pottery, jewelry, big band classics.  For more information, call 908-851-2701.  The event takes place in the area ...

Karate at the Union Public Library

UNION, NJ - Sensei Andrew Crescenzo from USA Karate from USA Karate & Fitness will be teaching a four-week series of 30 minute karate classes.  All levels welcome.

Classes run from Saturday, April 21 through Saturday, May 12.  Ages 3-6:  12:00 p.m.  Ages 7-11:  12:30 p.m.

Registration is required.  Email emacleod@uplnj.org for more information.

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_e70a780a818209478152_off_the_shelf

Mon, April 23, 6:00 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, Vauxhall

Hilton Readers Book Discussion: "Small Great ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_77caffd2e6b21a33d987_2nd_jazzd_up_4-23-18

Mon, April 23, 6:00 PM

O Lagar Restaurant , Union

2nd Annual Jazz'd Up For Autism Fundraiser

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_aa60a1e181b8b7d522db_mini_magick20180408-41107-g4zls1

Mon, April 23, 6:30 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Financial Wellness 101

Education

Carousel_image_e9e8fd58de8d6ed4f453_municipal_band

Mon, April 23, 7:00 PM

Hannah Caldwell School, Union

Union Municipal Band

Favour Garuba of Union nitiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

April 21, 2018

BATON ROUGE, LA - Favour Garuba of Union was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Garuba was initiated at Caldwell University.

Garuba is among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by ...

Vauxhall's John Jenkins Passes Away

UNION, NJ -  John Jenkins, a Newark native and resident of Vauxhall, passed away on April 12.  Jenkins was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and community member.

Jenkins was the devoted husband of Wimphrey (Williams) Jenkins; the beloved father of Jay (Vicki), Jerraune (Teressa), Jermel and Jeoffrey Jenkins; the grandfather of Monique, Jai (Leslie), Jazmyne, Jermel ...

Plainfield's Assemblyman Jerry Green Is Dead at Age 79

April 19, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22) has died at age 79, according to an email to TAPinto Plainfield from Councilwoman-at-Large Rebecca Williams. (Williams also shared the information on her Facebook page.)

On Jan. 24, Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22) resigned as Chairman of the Union County Democratic Committee "to focus his energy on recovering from an ...

CFESPTA Tricky Tray Set for May 18

April 17, 2018

UNION, NJ - The 5th annual Tricky Tray at Connecticut Farms Elementary School will be held on Friday May 18.

Door open for the CFESPTA Red, White and Blue Tricky Tray at 5:00 p.m.  Calling begins at 7:00.  Contact Kathy McGee (908) 377-1164 or email kathymcgee74@gmail.com for additional information.

Union's First United Poetry Slam

UNION, NJ - Poets and performers from Kawameeh and Burnet Middle Schools and Union High School will get together to perform at the United Poetry Slam on Friday, May 11 at the high school.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the American Red Cross.  There is a suggested donation of $1.  The event begins at 5:30 p.m.

Student Led #Rally4 Action to Protest Gun Violence Held Friday in Springfield

April 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Fueled partially by their disappointment that students were not allowed to leave school for the nationwide student protest last month, student leaders planned a rally Friday on the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine massacre in Colorado. At 4:30 p.m., students, parents, families, community members met at Chisholm Community Center to register voters, make ...

Unveiled Sunday: Springfield's Meckes Street Renamed Reverend Clarence E. Alston Way

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Reverend Alston lead the congregation at Antioch Baptist Church for 53 years. He died October 8, 2017. According to the Proclamation issued by the Township of Springfield, he attended the Union public schools and earned his degree from Trinity Bible College in Indiana. Reverend Alston was ordained November 1964. He presided over the building of the Church and several ...

Cranford Man Dies After Wrong-Way Crash on Route 9

WOODBRIDGE, NJ – A Cranford man died after his car collided with another vehicle on Route 9 on Sunday.

Thomas McHugh, 88, was driving north in the southbound fast lane on Route 9, where he crashed head-on into another vehicle. On impact, one of the cars caught fire, according to Sgt. Jim Chessere of the Woodbridge Police Department.

 McHugh was taken from the scene to Robert ...

Union Catholic's Surles and Trower Sign National Letters of Intent

April 21, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Two members of Union Catholic's Class of 2018 gathered with their families, classmates, coaches and school administrators for a special ceremony in the main lobby on Thursday morning to sign their National Letters of Intent.

Goldera Surles signed to bowl at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, N., and Connor Trower signed to play baseball at Elmira College in ...

Touch a Truck Event to Take Place Sunday, April 29 at the Loop in Watchung Reservation

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ—The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Recreation invite families with children of all ages and adults alike to climb aboard a variety of public safety vehicles at this year’s “Touch A Truck” event on Sunday afternoon, April 29. The event will run from 11:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M., weather permitting in the ...

How to Report Potholes in Union County

With the winter weather finally winding down, potholes are a frequent issue for drivers. The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders would like you to know there are resources you can use to report them to the proper agency.

"We certainly encourage drivers and commuters to report any pothole they encounter on roads throughout Union County to the responsible authority," said ...

Union County Freeholder Board Reminds Seniors on New Medicare Cards

Union County, NJ – In recognition of May as Older Americans Month, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds Union County’s senior adults that they will receive new Medicare cards from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this summer.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the federal agency that runs the Medicare program. It is a branch ...

Columns

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

What Union is Reading: Month ending March 2018

April 10, 2018

It is often said that you can tell a lot about a person by what they read but can you tell as much about a community by what they read? Take a look and see what you think. The top five circulated print books in six categories for the Union Public Library in March 2018 follows. The top circulated digital books from RBdigital make up the seventh category, download the app today and start borrowing ...

Letters to the Editor

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 22, 2018

After Bruce Patrson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. A the the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (http://www.sjeliz.org).  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...