Sandra Weinger had a confession. After each new CASA case she accepted, she vowed it would be her last.
“This is it! No more!” she recalled thinking in regards to her volunteer work. Then her CASA director stressed how much the organization benefited from her services, and she was hooked again.
Eighteen years, 18 children and 13 cases later, Weinger has set the record of being the longest-serving volunteer for Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
“I found out about volunteering with CASA in the newspaper when my children were very young,” said the Chantilly resident. “It was always something I thought about doing some day.”
Weinger is no stranger to lending a hand to those in need. Since 1993 she has worked for an international health organization as a program officer and advocate for people from all walks of life who have health-related issues.
“Because I come from a public health background, I know health doesn’t just mean free from disease," she said. "Health involves all the different parts of life -- spiritual, emotional, physical -- all have to be in harmony for things to be working well.”
Weinger is fluent in Spanish, and thus has worked mostly with Hispanic families. "I feel strongly about serving the people in this community because they oftentimes have more detrimental issues than other ethnicities," she said.
"There aren’t enough Spanish-speaking case workers or volunteers," Weinger said. "I continue to work with this sector to help prevent families from being torn apart," she said. "People are more comfortable and feel safer with people who speak their language.”
Weinger appreciates the positive outcomes she has encountered in her volunteer work with CASA. "I'm overjoyed to see a child go through the evolution of being in this terrible place when you first find them and then getting to a point where they’re OK and on their way to healing,” she said.