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CASA volunteers unite to brighten up visitation rooms

"Being here, we don’t want it to feel institutional. This is a time for parents and kids to have special celebrations together."

SAN ANTONIO — Something amazing happened within just a matter of days this month at the Child Protective Services Pickwell Building.

Recently, Simeon and Laura Sutton, with Child Advocates of San Antonio, were supervising a foster visit when they took notice of how the visitation rooms looked. 

They didn’t like what they saw. And who would? The rooms were white walls with some tables and chairs; there wasn’t anything warm or inviting about them. So, Simeon and Laura set out do something about it.

It became their mission to remodel those rooms, with the help of donations and the community. The results are nothing short of wonderful. 

"My wife and I just posted a simple photo on Facebook of the visitation rooms and said, 'Who’d like to help?’" Simeon Sutton said. "'Does anyone have a chair or rug we could put in?’ It literally exploded with support. People asked us to put together an Amazon wish list. Literally in a week and a half, we (were) able to transform 17 visitation rooms."

‘When he got the heart for this, he asked me to come alongside and do some of the design work, and I was like, 'Yes!’" said volunteer Brittney Knight. "'As a social worker, I absolutely wanna do this.' The rooms look so good! Being here, we don’t want it to feel institutional. This is a time for parents and kids to have special celebrations together. We just wanted it to feel warm, and it feels warm in there."

The collaboration came together between CASA volunteers and CPS. The Pickwell building is located on 281, south of downtown San Antonio.