Usborne Books effort to benefit CASA

A publisher of children’s book is launching a project to benefit local abused and neglected children who must go to court because their parents can no longer care for them.

The “Whatif … you could help a child?” project, which begins today and continues through July 14, will put a book, “Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster,” and a plush toy that supplements the book into the hands of children represented by Jackson County Guardian Ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocates.

The project is the idea of three local independent consultants with Usborne Books & More, Linda Kamman, Peggy Stark and Shane Bode, who came up with the program as a way to help abused and neglected children, who often are afraid and worried and forced to leave their homes with very little to call their own.

The book by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt is designed to help ease some of the fears and worries of those children, Kamman said.

The children’s author and illustrator travels all over the United States to share her message — that persistence and hard work can overcome almost any obstacle. This past year, students at Seymour Community Schools, St. Ambrose Catholic School and Medora Elementary School in Jackson County and Brush Creek Elementary School in Jennings County were treated to her presentations.

Kamman said the goal is to initially raise enough funds for 300 books and plush toys, but the hope is make the program ongoing and perhaps expand it to Jennings and Bartholomew counties.

At this time, a $100 donation will buy 7½ sets; $50 will buy 3¾ sets; and $27 will buy two sets. A $1,000 corporate donation would buy 75 sets; $500 would buy 37½; and $100 would buy 7½ sets.

Donations, which are tax-deductible, should be made payable to Jackson County GAL/CASA, 113 N. Chestnut St., Seymour, IN 47274. A GoFundMe account also has been set up at gofundme.com/WhatIfYouCouldHelpAChildCASAJacksonCountyIN.

For information or to start a campaign, email whatifyoucouldhelpachild@gmail.com.