Saturday, April 10, 2010

Water, Wind and Forgotten Children

Civic Center Plaza on Wednesday and Thursday was the site of a publicity event called "The Forgotten Children" Campaign, consisting of 433 cardboard cutouts of children, representing the average number of kids who are put into San Francisco's foster care system each year.

Unfortunately, the central plaza in Civic Center is often a wind tunnel, particularly at this time of year, so the children were flying away, even with gallon plastic jugs of Crystal Geyser anchoring them to the ground.

By Thursday afternoon, the organizers had pretty much given up and were simply holding down the props horizontal to the ground with the Crystal Geyser anchors.

The national organization behind the event is called CASA, which is an acronym for Court Appointed Special Advocates. It was started in Seattle in 1977 by Superior Court Judge David Soukop:
"[He was concerned about trying to make decisions on behalf of abused and neglected children without enough information. He conceived the idea of appointing community volunteers to speak up for the best interests of these children in court. He made a request for volunteers; 50 citizens responded, and that was the start of the CASA movement. Today, there are more than 68,000 advocates serving in 1,018 state and local program offices nationwide."

The San Francisco branch started in 1991, and it consists of a professional staff enabling a network of trained volunteers who become individual advocates in court for children lost in a maze of police, social workers, foster parents, and problematic biological family.

Before its engagement in Atlanta next week, The "Forgotten Children" campaign moved on to Union Square on Friday, where there was perfect weather. I hope they picked up some new volunteers.

1 comment:

JRD said...

Compelling photos, indeed.