CASA (Community Action for Safe Alternatives) is a dynamic 501C(3) non-profit coalition serving “at-risk” youth that live in Winthrop, MA as well as their friends and families.
CASA's Mission Statement is as follows:
CASA strives to improve the quality of life for all Winthrop residents and provide a safer community for children and youth by identifying and providing prevention resources.
We will educate families and individuals about the effects of substance abuse as a complex issue and assist them in creating healthier environments by recognizing and utilizing our community’s many strengths and assets.
Every city and town in America suffers from some form of substance abuse, overdose, and the negative affect on families and community. When someone is suffering, or dies, who among us has not said “How sad, I wish I could have done something to help.” Doing something about it is what has drawn our agency to this important issue, and the fine work that has been done and continues to be done by CASA.
CASA is of vital importance to the Winthrop community. In the last several years, CASA has continued to grow and to provide resources that are in need now more than ever. The substance use and mental health issues that have impacted the Winthrop Community has been significant. As of 2016, 18% of all Winthrop students grades 6 – 12 felt that there was no risk of harming themselves if they have 1-2 alcoholic beverages nearly every day. Additionally, 25% of students grades 6-12 felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that they stopped doing some usual activities. This is where CASA feels they can have a positive impact where they can make a difference.
Speaking of the personal importance of CASA in his life, one Youth Advisory Board member recently shared his feelings:
“You were there when times were the toughest and didn’t give up, you guys always helped or gave me hope when things seemed hopeless…I remember texting a friend about this CASA thing and she said, “you should come;” it’s a great, safe environment and I did and that night I met some of the most amazing beings in this world. Going was so worth it… That night I was planning to take my own life but instead I went here (to CASA) and you showed me there’s good in life…”
“I came to CASA because I felt supported with my gender and sexuality and feel safer than at my school’s Gay Straight Alliance Club.” C. H., Age 16
Elliot Whittier Insurance’s involvement with the substance use issue began long ago but recently, in 2012, with a group called Friends Helping Friends. Elliot Whittier Insurance’s staff members did a couple of Friends Helping Friends walks over the years to raise money and awareness for the issue of substance use in the Town. FHF has since joined forces with CASA and has become the primary resource on this issue in the Town of Winthrop. Last year, Elliot Whittier Insurance’s Business Development Manager, Christine Millerick O’Keefe, helped out at the “Fed-Up Rally” held on the Town Hall Lawn, an event which included speakers, music, and a sneaker donation, to help those that are affected. This year, Elliot Whittier participated in the “Going Live to Save Live” event where we Skyped in to a Facebook Live event to raise money, awareness, and also challenged other local insurance agents to give! You can search for the video on the Inc.Ubate Coworking Facebook Page. Other events we helped out at in the past were “Recovery Month” and “Balling for a Cause”. In addition, we regularly share CASA’s social media posts in order to help keep this issue in the forefront of the community. Finally, earlier this year, our nomination helped CASA to be awarded with the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award.
Here at Elliot Whittier Insurance, we are honored to support the mission of CASA in the community, and we hope that they will be around for a long time, until perhaps there is no longer a need.
With offices in Danvers & Winthrop Massachusetts, Elliot Whittier Insurance has been awarded The Five Star Award of Distinction from the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents. Elliot Whittier Insurance is also a Trusted Choice® agency and represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your specialized needs. You can visit Elliot Whittier online at www.ElliotWhittier.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-696-3947