05 Dec 2012

National CASA Blog: Business Leaders Speak Up For Kids

National CASA Blog: Business Leaders Speak Up For Kids

Posted: 05 Dec 2012 03:51 PM PST
By National CASA CEO Michael Piraino

National CASA CEO, Michael Piraino

Last week, I had the pleasure and honor of joining the staff, board, volunteers and supporters of CASA of Northwest Arkansas at their two Light of Hope breakfasts. Donnie Smith, the CEO of Tyson Foods, spoke at one event and Mike Duke, CEO of Walmart, spoke at the other. By all accounts, the events succeeded beyond expectations.

Business leaders like these are doing more than raising funds for our cause. They are inspiring others to say “I am for the child.” And when they do, to feel the satisfaction of lifting up the life of an abused or neglected child.

These were obviously not scripted emotions. Both men were clear about the value of our work. Both spoke with passion about the urgent need to provide a volunteer for every child who needs one. I have never heard a better telling of the starfish story than Donnie’s, or a more motivating personal story than Mike’s description of his and his wife’s service as foster parents, and her exemplary service as a CASA volunteer.

Leadership like this is inspiring and infectious. Staff members from these companies and many others in attendance spoke to me excitedly about their commitment to “the children’s cause.” They were extraordinarily happy to be an active part of the movement, sharing their business skills as well as their charitable dollars so that the children can have the volunteer advocates they need.

Our children should know that thousands of people they may never meet are there for them and care about their future, including the leaders of some of our nation’s largest and most successful corporations.

But you don’t have to be a corporate CEO to provide this inspiration to our kids. Anyone who takes the time to support the CASA/GAL network—through time, talent or treasure—is sending the most important message that matter to our children: that we honor them and believe in them as valuable human beings.