You could say that Bruce and Cindy were destined to become Court Appointed Special Advocates. Bruce has been volunteering with children’s organizations all of his life – from little league to 4H, he has been invested in enriching the lives of children since he began a family of his own. Cindy comes from a different background; one that knows the trauma of neglect and abuse all too well. As a survivor or parental and ex-spousal abuse, she previously volunteered with the New Hampshire Children’s Task Force, and has always been eager to help those who “have a hard time talking about what happened.”
In 2017, after retirement, Cindy and Bruce began contemplating ways in which they might be able to help their community. While considering becoming foster parents, they learned they were about to become grandparents to not one, but TWO grandchildren and decided that becoming an advocate for children in the foster system would be a wonderful way to give back. When Cindy came to Bruce one night with information on CASA that she found at their local senior center, the spark was ignited and both were set on a path to help the foster children of Cecil County.
Choosing to advocate as a couple came easy to Cindy and Bruce. As Cindy puts it, “We share our own points of view, what one doesn’t see, the other one does, it completes the answer.” One wonderful strength as a married team is the ability to share duties and Cindy readily admits that while they as a couple discuss the entire case, Bruce is the one to type it up! Bruce relies on Cindy’s ability to speak up when he tends to be more of a listener.
Prior to committing to their case, they were dissuaded by a family member that is a professional in education that expressed fear that they may be disheartened by the system. Despite the dissuasion, Bruce and Cindy relied on the motto that “children deserve a second chance.” Watching the children that they are advocating for “learn what real love is” has been their driving force. Seeing the children progress physically, emotionally, and educationally drives Cindy and Bruce to continue their fight for the children they are advocating for.
The choice to advocate is never an easy one, but for Bruce and Cindy, it was a good one. “He doesn’t show a lot of emotion. It helps me to see his feelings and makes me realize just how much I love him.” And for Bruce, “there are times that we find things out that are very emotional, and when that happens it’s nice to have a partner to share it with”. Having the input of a partner team has been invaluable to the children Cindy and Bruce advocate for and we certainly hope to see more teams in the future that work together as wonderfully as they do!