Court Appointed Special Advocates of Southcentral Kentucky is inviting residents to take part in the group’s first-ever Pajamas for CASA donation drive for abused and neglected children.

The initiative will start Oct. 1 with the group accepting pajamas, robes, slippers, underwear, socks and bedtime stories to give to the almost 300 vulnerable children of all ages CASA is currently or will advocate for in 2021.

Individuals and companies can sponsor children via bunny slippers placed on Christmas trees housed at regional electric companies in the region. Each slipper found on a tree will represent one child and include his or her hobbies.

Bunny slippers with a child’s information can be acquired once the drive begins from one of these four locations: BGMU (Bowling Green office), Farmers RECC (Barren and Hart County offices) and Warren RECC (Bowling Green office).

Items can be dropped off at these locations, or they can be brought directly to CASA of South Central office at 316 E. 10th Ave. in Bowling Green by Nov. 17.

CASA Executive Director Jana Sublett said she wanted to do the drive last year, but chose this fall because of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years,” she said. “A lot of stuff we do is very confidential. I think that by having this drive it will be able to put a child’s characteristics and traits to a real person. It will be very good for exposure. It’s a way bring notice to our mission, and it has the potential for people to use this as a new way to see us. It’s a way to recruit new volunteers.”

Sublett said she hopes more than 200 area children will go to bed on Christmas eve with pajamas donated from the public for the drive.

She said multiple businesses have already agreed to help the drive.

Besides the utility companies, Fruit of the Loom is donating underwear and Salameh Plastic Surgery will place anyone who drops off donations there in a drawing for beauty packages.

Monetary donations can also be made directly at http://casaofsck.org/.

“I’m happy to be partnering with the electric companies here in town and other entities,” Sublett said. “I definitely want to give them props for stepping up and seeing the need. We want to give these kids the basic needs to get them through the winter.”

During the 2020-21 fiscal year, CASA’s 101 volunteers advocated for 261 abused, neglected or dependent children in the region.

They tracked more than 1,850 advocacy hours throughout the last year. CASA currently has more than 40 children waiting for a volunteer advocate to be a voice on their behalf in the court systems.

“At BGMU, we feel that one of the best ways to be active in our community is to help local nonprofits through event sponsorship and volunteerism,” Christy Twyman, BGMU customer relations and communications manager, said in a news release. “BGMU and CASA have a long-standing relationship, and we are excited to help with this new endeavor.”

– Anyone interested in volunteering with the organization can do so by calling (270) 782-5353 or by emailing Sublett at director@casaofsck.org.

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.