TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation recently donated a total of $47,000 to two area Court Appointed Special Advocates organizations.

CASA is a nonprofit organization that trains volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system. The CASA organizations receiving tribal contributions serve Cherokee children in eight counties.

“The Cherokee Nation has long been a supporter of organizations like CASA, which helps ensure the voices and needs of children who are caught up in unfortunate situations aren’t lost in the court system,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “CASA volunteers are changing the lives of our youngest and most vulnerable Cherokee citizens, and I commend the work they do every single day in and around the Cherokee Nation. The impact of their efforts will be seen for generations to come.”

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Northeast Oklahoma received $26,320. The group serves Rogers, Mayes, Craig, Ottawa, Delaware and Washington Counties.

“This is a terrific donation and we are thankful for it. We are going to use the funds to expand our operation and try to serve more children,” said Angela Henderson, executive director of CASA of Northeast Oklahoma. “We serve about 50 percent of the kids across the area. It’s very important that we give those kids the best possible advocacy so they have good outcomes.”

The tribe also donated $20,680 to CASA of Cherokee Country, which serves children in Cherokee and Adair Counties.

“Without this donation every year from Cherokee Nation, we simply would not have the ability to continue to operate,” said Jo Prout, executive director of CASA of Cherokee Country. “Cherokee Nation gives us an underpinning of support and it’s been that way since the start. We are in our 24th year of service to abused and neglected children. I’ve been there for 18 of those years and every year we receive wonderful donations from Cherokee Nation.”

The Cherokee Nation’s annual donations and charitable contributions fund assists advocacy groups such as CASA as well as food pantries, shelters, churches and other organizations.