Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016
For the past 25 years, Bud and Ann Oliver have donated their time and money to help create better outcomes for foster children.
The two got involved with Child Advocates when Bud was volunteering at the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ) office in San Jose. Child Advocates had opened a small office in the NCCJ’s headquarters and Bud was curious about the new organization that helped foster children. After reading a newspaper article on how the NCCJ was helping Child Advocates, Bud convinced Ann to attend a volunteer orientation to find out about becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Bud liked the concept and wanted to learn more.
Once there, Ann shared Bud’s enthusiasm and they both took the training to become CASA volunteers. “You read these children’s files and your heart goes out to them. You know there are so many children out there who need help,” says Ann.
Even though Bud and Ann were busy with four children of their own, they knew they wanted to be involved in the program. Over the next several years Bud was a Child Advocate to three boys and Ann was a Child Advocate for children in four families. Bud also served on Child Advocates’ board of directors for six years.
“These are children who haven’t committed any crimes or done anything wrong. They are simply born into dysfunctional families or have no parent or relatives to care for them,” Bud explains. When one of Ann’s former foster youths was married, he introduced them to his friends as his grandparents. Today, he’s a contractor and has done some work on the Oliver’s home.
Investing in Children’s Lives
The Oliver’s have also enthusiastically donated to Child Advocates’ throughout the years because they know the value a CASA can bring to a foster child’s life. They’ve even named Child Advocates in their Living Trust.
Bud and Ann believe Child Advocates is a great organization they are proud to support. They know their money is being used to support foster children and help them succeed. “It’s amazing how much better these children perform in school with a CASA,” exclaims Bud.
Last year, 93% of Child Advocates’ teens completed their high school requirements compared with 58% of all foster youth in California. “These children want to finish high school but they need a CASA to show them the way,” he adds.
“We’re just glad we’ve been able to help,” says Ann. “Being involved with Child Advocates has been extremely fulfilling.”