Kansas native and longtime Marion resident, Sharon Campbell, has helped many children in Marion & Grant County find hope out of hardship and safe, stable home lives through volunteering with the local CASA agency.
Campbell earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from combined education through Bartlesville Wesleyan College in OK, then Indiana Wesleyan University. After graduation, she began working for RCA, then worked 20 years for Taylor University. During that time, she saw an ad that CASA of Grant County needed volunteers to work as “Court-Appointed Special Advocates” for children of families going through judicial proceedings. She answered the call, then took about a 4‑week training to start her first case. Over the course of 30 years, Campbell has worked with about 20 families developing relationships with the child or siblings as well as parents, while handling casework in conjunction with the Department of Child Services and the court system.
The 30-year CASA veteran believes in the organization’s mission. “There are children who can get lost in the system. Through CASA, we have time to spend with a child…working just one to two cases at a time…to investigate how they are doing in foster care or in a relative’s care, etc.”
Campbell explained she had several families take advantage of opportunities offered to them to better understand how to parent their children. “They have worked hard, and have been able to have their children come back into the home for trial visits and eventually home permanently,” said Campbell. “Our goal is to reunite children and parents if we can do it safely.”
For individuals interested in volunteering with CASA, Campbell said it’s not necessarily easy, but mainly knowing how to work with people. “You really need to examine and ask yourself if you really want to do it. You don’t realize what it involves until you get into it. I have found a lot that I didn’t realize that goes on with struggling families.” Campbell emphasized that drugs bring a lot of trouble in many cases she sees in Marion. “Sometimes I think I don’t want to continue, but in working with these families, you start to care about the kids and want to see good things happen with them.”
Campbell is married with two children and four grandchildren who keep her busy with sports and family activities. Her passion for helping children came out of her love for her kids and grandkids.
Campbell also volunteers with the Ladies’ Bible Study and Children’s Ministry at Lakeview Wesleyan Church.
CASA currently needs about 30 volunteers according to their local website. To learn more, call CASA of Grant County at 765.664.1891 or visit casaofgrantcounty.org.