For more than thirty-two years, Douglas County CASA has advocated for the best interest, safety, and well-being of young people in the child welfare system. We attribute our organization’s continued growth and local impact to our staff, volunteers, donors — and the outstanding leadership support of our board of directors. The board plays a critical role in CASA’s success, providing strategic oversight and holding us accountable to our mission. CASA board members are true champions of our work, giving of their time, energy, skills, and resources to help us thrive.
Our current board Vice President, Audra Fussell, exemplifies how a committed board member makes a powerful impact. As Business Development Officer at TRUITY, Audra has facilitated a meaningful partnership with the credit union, one of CASA’s foremost corporate sponsors. TRUITY not only provides CASA with financial support for events, but engages its staff and community in volunteer work and giving opportunities.
Audra demonstrates how, through volunteer service on a nonprofit board, individuals can make an important and lasting difference in the community. In this interview, she delves into her personal motivations for supporting CASA, the impact of TRUITY’s sponsorship, and her aspirations for how people and companies will support CASA’s child advocacy work.
What was your path to becoming a CASA Board Member?
In 2019 I worked for a local Chiropractor in town, and she picked Douglas County CASA as her “Give Back Charity of the Quarter.” At that time, I didn’t know anything about CASA at all. I learned so much about the organization through that experience, and wanted to become more involved by serving on the board.
What is TRUITY’s role in supporting the organization?
This year, TRUITY is a proud sponsor of CASA events, including Winds Across the Prairie (coming up September 15), and the recent Cornhole for CASA event.
Last year, TRUITY staff volunteered at Bo’s Hog Wild Brewfest and BBQ event. We also chose to work with CASA for our Community Cares program, which facilitated employee donations to CASA throughout the year. TRUITY employees also stuffed Holiday stockings for CASA kids.
How will TRUITY’s sponsorship support CASA’s ability to serve the community?
Giving to CASA through a corporate sponsorship helps the organization by getting the word out about what CASA does for vulnerable children in the community. TRUITY’s support also directly helps give a vulnerable child a caring, safe, trusted adult who will be by their side and look out for their well-being.
What is your “why” for supporting CASA? What appeals to you the most about the organization’s mission?
It is heart-wrenching to me to know how many children in Douglas County under the age of 18 are removed from their homes for their own personal safety. CASA connects these children with a caring, specially trained volunteer who will advocate for the very best for these kids. Sometimes the child’s CASA is the only stable, loving adult in their life.
What are your hopes for how the Douglas County community will engage with CASA while you serve on the board? How would people and businesses ideally show their support for CASA?
My dream is to get the word out to more people in Douglas County about CASA, what we do, how we help the vulnerable children in our community, and how we can make a difference as businesses and leaders in the community.
I want everyone in Douglas County to know: You can change the life of a child who is abused or neglected in our community by donating to Douglas County CASA. You can also help by becoming a CASA volunteer and give them a voice both inside and outside of the court while they wait for a permanent home.
About Audra Fussell
Audra Fussell has over 13 years of combined experience in management, networking, and marketing. As Business Development Officer, at TRUITY, she works with local businesses to offer credit union membership and services to their employees and family members. She currently serves on the Douglas County CASA Board of Directors and has roles as Lawrence Chamber Envoy Co-Chair and past President for the Lawrence Women’s Network. She is also involved in Lawrence One Million Cups and volunteers at Toys for Tots. Audra is married to a firefighter, has two daughters, and has been a part of the Lawrence community for four years.