Jordan was 14 years old when he entered the foster care system. He had been living in and out of various hotels with his drug addicted mother when one day the police showed up and took Jordan's mother away for drug testing.
"I was left to sit alone in the hotel for over an hour, not knowing what was happening. It was torture." said Jordan.
"I was scared because I did not know what was going on and knew that I would be moving again, but did not know where. I had no idea that would be the last day that I would get to live with my mom ever again."
There was constant change in Jordan's life. After going through a series of caseworkers and living situations, Jordan was feeling more alone than ever.
All that changed when Jordan met Stu.
Stu was Jordan's CASA, which is short for Court Appointed Special Advocate. A CASA is a volunteer who goes through training and is appointed by the court to advocate on behalf of a child in the court system.
The first thing that Stu asked Jordan the day they met was: "What can I do for you?"
"No one else was asking this question," Jordan said. "Stu helped me see my mom. Right after I was taken into care, I wanted to go see my mother in the hospital. Stu reassured me that he would work so that I could see her."
Stu was an outlet for Jordan to talk to and he helped Jordan cope with going into care and being removed from his mother. Above all, Stu truly cared about Jordan.
"He was there for me when my mom died and when my best friend committed suicide," said Jordan. "He was always there."
Stu also helped Jordan achieve a sense of normalcy while in the foster system. Foster kids do not always get to do the normal things that other kids do, like going on class trips. Jordan enjoyed playing and competing in chess, but he didn't have his social security card so he wasn't able to travel with the team. Stu helped Jordan get his social security card and get permission slips signed so he could be a part of the team.
"Not everyone gets a CASA but I did," said Jordan.
"My CASA stayed with me and gave me support when I needed it the most. He was the only person in my life who wasn't paid to care about me. And that mattered. I believe in CASA so much that when I turn 21 this March, I am going to start training to become an advocate."
CASA of the South Plains is one of United Way's 23 Community Partner Agencies. Your donation to United Way helps CASA train volunteers, like Stu, who advocate for abused and neglected children in the Lubbock courts. Their goal is to secure permanent placement in safe and caring environments.
Every day Lubbock Area United Way is working in the community toward our mission of Giving · People · Hope. Hope may sound like a simple word, but it has a BIG meaning. To some people it means a safe place to sleep at night. To others, it means learning how to read. Hope means something different to everyone and that's why we partner with 23 local agencies to make sure that people have hope in whatever area of their life they need it. Read below to find out what hope means to an individual impacted by your donation.