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BMC donates to CASA and toy drive

by Sharon Carter

BMC WEST Corp. (formerly Carson Building Supply) in Gardnerville is donating $500 to Douglas’ Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and $500 to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Toy Drive to mark the 1998 holidays.

“In the past, we’ve spent between $500 and $1,000 each year to buy chocolates or gift baskets as holiday presents for our contractor customers,” said Gary Anderson, site manager at BMC WEST’s Gardnerville lumberyard. “We know that our customers don’t buy from us because we send them a box of chocolates once a year, but because of our service, quality and price. So, this year we thought we’d donate the money we normally spend, in our customers’s names, to charities that benefit local children.”

Anderson said he got the idea from BMC WEST’s Puget Sound location, which last year donated the money it would have spent on contractor presents to local charities.

“It’s important to us and to our customers that the money goes for the children, they are the ones who miss out at Christmas time,” Anderson said. “We don’t see that many needy adults, except sometimes a few who might need some motivation.”

Youth Services Officer and toy drive coordinator Jennie Hill of the sheriff’s department, said the cash donation was very welcome.

“We have gotten great community support, with a lot of people bringing in toys for young kids,” Hill said. “But the older kids often get overlooked. So when we call a family to see if they want Christmas toys, we also like to ask if there are any older kids in the family. We’d like to make sure they get a basketball or a football or something, too. This money will help us make sure older kids aren’t forgotten.”

Hill said any toys that are left over from the holiday season are used throughout the year to comfort children.

“When kids are involved in domestic violence cases or automobile accidents or other (serious) things that bring them into the Law Enforcement Center, getting a new toy sometimes helps distract them,” Hill said. “You never know how just talking to children or having something to play with can take their minds off their problems and help them through things.”

Jenean Clement, CASA coordinator for the Douglas County courts, said BMC’s donation will help get the Douglas’ CASA program moving.

CASA recruits and trains volunteers to advocate for children who are somehow involved in the court system. The CASA volunteers see that the children’s rights are protected and, if the children are old enough, that they understand what is happening and how it affects them.

“The county provides for the bare bones of our program, but we’re always struggling if we need something extra for the special needs of a particular child or to recruit and train more volunteers,” Clement said. “This will add to the flexibility of the program.”

Clement said CASA is looking for adult volunteers to participate in its upcoming training program in January. Anyone interested in becoming a CASA volunteer may call Clement at 782-6247 for more information.

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