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Mersch volunteers to make a difference for children

She and fellow CASA volunteer receive award

Darci Mersch, of Clare, appears to have a full plate with work and family life. But she still has space in her schedule and in her heart for kids who are facing some tough circumstances.

That’s why she volunteered two years ago to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).

Court Appointed Special Advocates work with children who have been removed from their homes or were placed under the supervision of the state. Their responsibilities include regularly visiting with the children, meeting with case workers and parents, and making recommendations to the courts.

It’s a role that requires a lot of time and effort. For example, Mersch has traveled more than 2,600 miles this year to fulfill her advocate duties.

Her work has not gone unnoticed. She recently received the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for her efforts in the North Iowa Court Appointed Special Advocate program.

Denise Wasko, of Rolfe, also received the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for her work in the program.

Mersch works as a paraeducator for the Fort Dodge Community School District, and she volunteers to coach T-ball for her grandchildren.

”It’s getting to know other volunteers and challenging myself to keep learning,” Mersch said of her volunteering efforts. ”With CASA specifically, it’s knowing I can make a difference in the life of a child.”

She has this advice for anyone thinking about volunteering: ”Do it. You get more out of it than you can imagine.”

We thank Mersch and Wasko for their volunteer efforts on behalf of children. They make our community and state a better place to live.

And we encourage anyone who has ever contemplated volunteering to follow Mersch’s advice and do it.