THE PERSON BEHIND THE BADGE: MARY MOODY
This month’s featured CASA Volunteer, Mary Moody, was born and raised in Bastrop, to a care-taker/stay-at-home mom and a millworker dad. Growing up as an only child, and a daddy’s girl, Mary was shy growing up, but always knew she had a giving heart. She later grew out of the shyness. In high school, a time in her life she fondly remembers, she became involved in sports and was a drum major. She was Outstanding Senior Girl of her class. Her higher education included Blinn College, Southwest Texas State University, Austin Community College and the University of Texas at Austin.
Mary met her husband of 27 years, Willie, at Fisherman’s Park in Bastrop. After dating a few months, they decided to go their separate ways. Their paths crossed again, and eight months later they were married. They have one son, Dominick, who is the love of their lives. Born from their hearts, she calls him “our everything” and praises God for giving them the son they never had. It was when they were planning to adopt Dominick, they first heard about CASA. She later heard about CASA from a friend who was a CASA Volunteer, and then later from her cousin, CASA Advocate Supervisor, Alicia Elam. Dominick is the reason Mary wanted to become a CASA Volunteer – to give back to CASA. Mary was sworn in as a CASA Volunteer in November of 2017 and is currently working her first case.
Mary retired from the Texas Workforce Commission after thirty years of service. She asked God to allow her to be involved in Dominick’s school years at a greater capacity and he allowed it by allowing her to retire. Her last and most rewarding role with the Texas Workforce Commission was Counselor/Employee Relations Coordinator. She was able to make a difference in the life of employees who felt they were treated different and/or had problems at work in any capacity. She also managed the Employee Assistance Program and helped employees to be accommodated on the basis of their disability. She wore many hats over her tenure with the Workforce Commission. Many hats, but always a servant heart.
Her servant heart was formed early growing up in the church that still holds a special place in her heart. It was at this church, Lone Star Baptist, where Mary wanted to be pictured to give praise to the founding pastors, Rev. and Mrs. Aaron Taylor. Volunteering in her church is her life, although she also devotes time serving on the areas’ Agency on Aging Board as well as being a CASA Volunteer, spending time with her mom and staying active in Dominick’s life.
Her most rewarding experience as a CASA Volunteer was meeting her precious CASA children – described as “beautiful in all ways.” Mary enjoys advocating for her CASA children – digging in and gathering information to make certain the children and family are receiving appropriate services and resources to help them in their day-to-day lives. And, she admits, she will never tire of loving on those babies! Mary tells of an instance when her CASA children’s caretaker was trying to move to a better home, but didn’t have the funds for a deposit. Wanting to support her efforts, because this relocation was in the best interests of the children, Mary reached out to her community contacts in an effort to find resources to help her out. And, she has recently helped identify resources to obtain school supplies for the children. Executive Director, Kristi Glasper provides more insight into Mary’s advocacy. “Mary has been appointed to a case that involves two little girls who are placed with their grandmother. She has been very involved with her case to ensure that the needs of the children are being met as one of her CASA children is autistic. She is working with the grandmother to seek services since the grandmother has relocated to a different city. Mary brings a sense of calmness to her case and has been a sounding board for the placement. Mary has been a wonderful asset to our organization!”
Mary believes in the CASA mission and believes that if we all step in and devote ourselves, no child will be left behind. She exclaims, this CASA Village is beautiful!! Beautiful, because of people like Mary Moody. A volunteer who loves God, loves people and her community. A person, who has a heart, a servant’s heart, for children.