Veterans Day Media Release Template FILL IN OR DELETE ALL HIGHLIGHTED AREAS. COPY AND PASTE THE TEXT INTO THE BODY OF AN EMAIL TO YOUR LOCAL MEDIA. IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF PLACEMENT BY INCLUDING A PHOTO OF YOUR VOLUNTEER. IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE IDENTIFYING YOUR LOCAL MEDIA, PLEASE CONTACT THE TRAINING AND COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT. PLEASE SEND A LINK OR PDF OF ANY COVERAGE YOU GET. GOOD LUCK! FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: DATE YOUR CONTACT’S NAME PHONE, CELL PHONE EMAIL YOUR PROGRAM Honors Veterans Who Continue To Serve CITY, Texas -- YOUR PROGRAM NAME is celebrating Veteran’s Day this Nov. 11 by honoring CASA volunteers who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and continue to serve their community by speaking up for children who have been abused or neglected. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers are everyday members of the community who are specially trained and appointed by judges to advocate for abused or neglected children in court. Their mission is to help the children move out of foster care and into a safe home environment as quickly as possible. At YOUR PROGRAM, volunteers who are veterans, such as VOLUNTEER’S FULL NAME, continue fulfilling their duty to serve others. VOLUNTEER’S NAME served in the MILITARY BRANCH in FIELD OF SERVICE (IRAQ, IRAN/VIETNAM/KOREA). “VOLUNTEER’S NAME protected the citizens of our country in FIELD OF SERVICE (IRAQ/IRAN/VIETNAM/KOREA),” said YOUR ED’S NAME, executive director of YOUR PROGRAM. “Now he/she uses words and information to protect and defend the most vulnerable citizens on our own soil by speaking up for abused or neglected children in the foster care system.” “QUOTE FROM CASA VOLUNTEER ABOUT HOW REWARDING HIS/HER EXPERIENCE AS AN ADVOCATE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN IS,” said VOLUNTEER’S NAME, a volunteer with YOUR PROGRAM’S NAME CASA volunteers are professionally trained to advocate for children in foster care. They get to know one child or sibling group and speak to others involved in the children’s lives, including family members, teachers, doctors, lawyers and social workers. Their recommendations and the information they gather help the court overseeing the cases make informed decisions. They commit to the children until the case is closed and they are in a safe, permanent home. # volunteers advocated for # children in foster care in our community last year. Unfortunately, more than half the children in care do not have CASA volunteers to speak up for them in court. For more information, visit www.becomeacasa.org AND/OR LOCAL PROGRAM WEBSITE AND PHONE. The next INFORMATION/TRAINING session is TIME, DATE, PLACE. -30- News Hook for Nov. 11, 2014 Every year the media does stories about Veterans Day. Usually the stories involve interviewing veterans. By offering a creative new angle on an standard story that the media will be doing, you can gain positive exposure for your program and generate interest in prospective volunteers. Tips for Pitching the Story 1. Identify a CASA volunteer who is a military veteran to suggest as a story for the media. Discuss the talking points below with the volunteer so he or she is comfortable telling his or her story. 2. Highlight volunteer’s story of how his/her experience with CASA and how he/she serves by protecting children through advocacy for safe, permanent homes and appropriate services. Connect advocacy to previous military service. 3. Get a quote for the press release from the volunteer about how rewarding it is to serve young children in need. 4. Contact the assignments editor at your local media outlet to share the story with the media. Here’s the suggested pitch: “I have a great story about CASA volunteer who is also a military veteran. He/She continues to protect and defend our most vulnerable citizens, abused or neglected children, by serving his/her community as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children. We need more volunteers like him/her and think his/her story will inspire others to speak up for the # abused or neglected children in foster care in YOUR County/Counties who don’t have caring adults to speak up for them. I’d be happy to arrange for you to interview him/her.” 5. Be prepared to explain why you choose this particular volunteer to share his/her experience. Talking points to discuss with CASA volunteer to prepare for interview: Ask the CASA volunteer who is a veteran to talk through his/her experience as an advocate and a veteran. Ask what it means to serve as an advocate for abused or neglected children after serving in the military. Discuss with the volunteer’s a generic description of a case that he/she has worked on and his/her experience during and after to illustrate impact. You want to encourage the volunteer to talk in broad terms about the case so the child or children involved are not identifiable. If you have the information, how many volunteers are veterans in your program? Don’t forget to make the pitch for more volunteers.