Volunteer Spotlight: Mark Rushing, Quarterback for Kids
Name: Mark Rushing
Length of Service: 7.5 months; inducted in August 2017
Tell us about yourself before you entered the world of CASA.
I have been retired since 2012. During my working years I served in a number of different roles as a school teacher, in the chemical industry and as a management consultant. For the last ten years prior to retiring my consulting clients were in the Federal Government working in the Department of Homeland Security.
How did you find your way to CASA?
A couple of things drew me to CASA. First, I had the opportunity to facilitate a planning session for the Bedford County DSS Foster Care team as a favor. Doing that, I gained a respect for the importance of the work that the foster care team does. I felt a pull to find other ways to help. When I saw two CASA volunteers on a television show discussing what they do, I realized that this could be a great opportunity to serve. Every experience since since making the first contact with Susan Shutt has proven that instinct to be correct for me.
How do you pass the time when you're not doing casework?
When I am not serving as a CASA I spend a lot of time with my church, Good Shepherd Lutheran in Roanoke. I enjoy Bible study and serve as an Elder there. I also greatly enjoy fishing in the warm weather. My year round hobby is playing stringed instruments including the guitar, mandolin, banjo and ukulele. Of course, playing with and spoiling my grandchildren is a gift I take advantage of often.
What's a memorable moment for you in your CASA work so far? What keeps you going as a volunteer?
Being a CASA has its unique rewards. My favorite experience is the time when I had explained the role of the Guardian Ad Litem to one of my children, apparently not as clearly as I should have. The next week when I introduced him as the lawyer, the child said "I know you--you're The Guardian of Light!"
Four words I have heard from each of my CASA children, either verbally or in their eyes, visit me daily in my memory. Those words are "Do You Have Time?" These four words were respectfully asked on either the first or second visit with each of the children I serve who were old enough to speak them. They were followed by different requests. I realized that time from an adult that a child can trust is the most important thing to them, and that their trust will be fed by time given. The time that I give to being a CASA is energized by the voices and looks from children speaking those four words.