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The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program of the Second Judicial District has selected Jerry Wilcox as its Volunteer of the Month for April 2017. A retired teacher and pastor, Wilcox has served as a CASA volunteer since October 2016.
“My wife, Cathey, was a volunteer for a year when I decided to become one too. I knew she was traveling a lot for her case and I thought if I became a volunteer too, I could travel with her and could help her out on her case.”Wilcox enjoyed working alongside of his wife; he eventually decided to take a case of his own. “My first case went very well. I was able to be a big help for the judge, the child, and the family. Now I am taking my second case and am working with a teenager.”
“Jerry worked his first case diligently and with immediate interest. The case had many complications with all the different people involved. He sorted through all of this and continually kept the interest of his child in mind. I never had to remind him to visit his child, never had to refocus his efforts or redirect his purpose. He is a natural advocate that uses his life experiences and our training to guide him to the best solutions,” says Wilcox’s Advocate Coordinator, Michael Graham.
When asked what surprised him the most about his volunteer experience with CASA, Wilcox states, “the positive response from the people involved in the case surprised me; everyone genuinely wanted to help. I was also surprised to see how overburden the department is with so many cases and so few people to work the system.” Wilcox realizes there is a need out there for people to work with these children in the foster care system. “Anyone who has a genuine concern for children should investigate on how to become a CASA Advocate. I do not have to take any case, but I can choose to take a case that is requested of me and that is big on volunteering.”
Wilcox is from Black Oak, Arkansas. He retired from pastoring churches in Arkansas in 2014 and retired from teaching school in Trumann in 2006. His wife Cathey is an Advocate Coordinator for Poinsett County and they have three children and six grandchildren.