CASA seeks “Purses for a Purpose” to benefit advocacy for child victims of abuse

By Giving List Staff   |   April 3, 2021

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Santa Barbara County plans to hold its first ever online auction of designer handbags, Purses for a Purpose, due to an increased need for volunteer advocates.

COVID-19 has not only impacted the non-profit’s ability to fundraise and recruit volunteers, but there has been an increase in the number of children experiencing abuse and/or neglect in the Santa Barbara County community. All resulting in a waiting list of more than 200 children in need of a CASA volunteer – a drastic rise compared to previous years.

With a need to find additional volunteers for the children waiting and support the 185 CASA volunteers working on behalf of 311 children, CASA plans to launch Purses for a Purpose, an online auction to take place April 21 – 27. The event was kickstarted by a generous CASA supporter, donating more than 15 designer bags to the program. 

“These kids can’t wait until we hold our next big gala event, they need our immediate help. Everyone has that purse in the back of the closet that just doesn’t get out enough, especially now! Why not give it a new purpose?” asks Associate Director of Donor Engagement, Kira Cosio. The organization hopes to collect an additional 10-12 new or slightly used purses, valued at or over $200, to help fund the next training class of CASA volunteers. 

Those wanting to contribute a handbag can reach out to Kira at or call 805-739-9102 ext 2595 to set up a contactless pick up. All donations received are tax-deductible. To learn more about CASA of Santa Barbara County, visit


Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Santa Barbara County
Phone: (805) 739-9102 ext 2595
Kim Colby Davis, Kira Cosio


The mission of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Santa Barbara County is to assure a safe, permanent, nurturing home for all abused and/or neglected children by providing a highly trained volunteer to advocate for them in the court system.

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From Donor to Volunteer

“By supporting CASA, you can change the trajectory of a child’s life. For me, investing in our youth is the most important thing we can do, because they are the most vulnerable.”
– Kerrilee Gore, CASA donor and volunteer

A CASA for Every Child

In 2018 and 2019, CASA of Santa Barbara County managed to pair every child in the county’s child welfare system with a trained, volunteer, court-appointed special advocate.
But in August 2019, overall numbers of children entangled with the dependency court have jumped from 520 to around 650, straining the agency’s capacity.
Executive Director Kim Colby Davis is undaunted by the challenge. After all, she and her board launched a plan to serve every child in 2013, which they accomplished ahead of schedule.
“The advantage is we have done this before,” Colby Davis says. “We hit our growth targets over the past five years. We know what to do and we will do it.”
For Colby Davis, the path to ensuring a CASA for every child is straightforward. She needs to hire 1.5 full-time staff and recruit 125 volunteers. The cost: $125,000.

Board of Directors

Heather Ames
Martin Lynch
Vice President
Andrew Dowen
Jim Burge
Governance Chair
Tony Papa
Governance Chair
Jeff Hearn
Julie Henley
Veronica Sandoval
Lindsay Soleimani
Virginia Benson Wigle