CASA Collects Squishmallows To Comfort Children Going To Court

CASA Collects Squishmallows To Comfort Children Going To Court

CASA is a nonprofit that sends volunteers to court with children to advocate for them and support them. CASA Stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Going to court can be hard on kids, especially testifying, but CASA has found a way to make it easier.

There are quite a few more smiling faces around the office of Tulsa CASA. "When you walk into work and immediately see happiness."

That happiness is why the organization is collecting Squishmallows. They provide a smiling face and something to snuggle with during a hard time.

The Squishmallows are a way to provide comfort to kids while they are testifying in court. So far, people have donated 500 of these stuffed animals.

Volunteer Camdyn Ellis said the drive started because of a case where a child had to testify against her abuser.

"She has been through years’ worth of trauma,” said Ellis. “Judge asked her if she would like to pick any toy to comfort her during that process, and she chose a Squishmallow that was donated by Tulsa CASA. And she held onto it the whole time, and it helped her so much."

She and the other volunteers thought if a smiling stuffed animal could help one child in the courtroom, it could help others.

"You are the last line of defense for a child. You are their best friend. They trust you. You form relationships with them, and I was just so proud of her,” Ellis said. “She's so brave, and I was really glad she had that Squishmallow to hold onto."

The children will pick out a Squishmallow of their choice to hug while in the courtroom.

Executive Director Elizabeth Fisher said she doesn't mind the extra clutter in her office.

"I think it's a boost to us, our staff, our volunteers. I am really constantly amazed at the kindness and generosity of the Tulsa community and last month during March and April. I am just floored," Fisher said.

The goal is to have just as many smiling kids as there are smiling Squishmallows.

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