Legal Blog

A Video Conversation with Casey Baynes on How Casey Cares Works

Click here for Part 1 Making a difference in the lives and families of children living with critical illness Casey Baynes is the founder and executive director of the Casey Cares Foundation, a Baltimore-based nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting critically ill children and their families. Casey started the foundation in 2000 with five local families; in the years since, it has expanded across Maryland and into D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Casey is the recipient of a long list of awards and recognitions, such Baltimore SmartCEO magazine’s 25 Bravo! Women Business Achievement Award, designation as one of Kraft’s “100 Extraordinary Women,” and a Top 100 Minority Business® Enterprise Award. Casey Baynes spoke with citybizlist founder Edwin Warfield for this interview. EDWIN WARFIELD: Can you tell us how Casey Cares started? CASEY BAYNES: At Casey Cares, we understand that when families are diagnosed, this is the start of an incredibly difficult journey. So, we want to make the process as easy as it possibly can be. When a family is diagnosed, they receive a comfort kit, because a lot of times, they aren’t expecting this diagnosis. Picture this: You’re sitting in the hospital. You’re getting ready to get test results, but meanwhile, you’re sitting there putting together your grocery list, or wondering who has homework tonight, who has to be where, and all of a sudden the doctor walks in and gives you a devastating diagnosis of leukemia. What you do? Well, fortunately the social worker, with all of the other resources, walks in with a Casey Cares comfort kit. It has a fresh pair of pajamas in just your size and your child’s size because you weren’t anticipating staying. It has a pen and paper, so you can take down notes, because you weren’t expecting this at all. You were worried about your grocery list five minutes ago. We have gum in there, mints, because we don’t want to worry about, you know, “Oh, do I have bad breath? I don’t want to ask the doctor these questions or get too close.” We have oatmeal, because you’re not going to leave your child’s side but what you will do is you’ll go to the nurse’s station and get a hot cup of water and make yourself some oatmeal. These little conveniences along with an application for Casey Cares are in that comfort kit. The parent fills out a portion of the application. We always want the child to fill out a portion too, or somebody for the child, so we get to know exactly what they like, exactly what they need. The physician has a portion to fill out, and the social worker. That gets submitted by the social worker, or the parent—whoever it’s easier to do—and it gets submitted to Casey Cares. We approve this application in 48 hours and automatically get families involved in our programs. How can people support Casey Cares? It’s so easy for companies and people to get involved in the community. At Casey Cares, we have ways of folks coming in and volunteering. We have companies who do jeans days—5 bucks and it goes to Casey Cares, and that company can see an immediate impact on their donation in our programs, because we’re local. We get to know each and every one of our families. We get to know what they need, when they need it. We have folks that come in every single day to do a job in our organization, because they’re retired and they’re volunteers. They’re so talented and give up so much time. There are easy ways of things you can do at home. There’s organizing group events or coming out and joining us at one of our fundraisers, but the ways are endless to get into Casey Cares. And if your passions are dogs or the elderly, we encourage everybody just to get involved and to give back to the community.

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