Tessa Lou Francis

CASA experienced a small miracle in late December when a beautiful young child named Tessa Lou Francis visited the CASA office at the Allen County Courthouse with her family. 

Aimee Daniels, CASA director, said Tessa had been encouraged by her parents Tim and Kelly Francis to downsize her toy collection before Christmas in order to pass on toys too young for her to others who need them and to also go through her clothing. 

With her own idea, Tessa had another plan. 

She told her mother she wanted to sell all of her stuff and take the money and make sure that children in foster care and away from their own families had presents at Christmas time – and some candy, too.

Her mom Kelly took that suggestion to heart and did her best to make Tessa Lou’s wish come true.

First, they had a garage sale at home; that moved some goods, but not nearly enough. Then they took to Facebook and up-cycle online with the idea and soon they were selling lots of stuff and also accepting additional donations of cash for their charitable cause. The fact it was the idea of a little girl with a big heart did not hurt either. Everyone likes a warm story during the holidays and people donated generously.

Knowing her grandparents, Joe and Mary Francis, are CASA Volunteers who advocate on behalf of foster kids, Tessa Lou knew where to go to help kids less fortunate. She carried her $354.44 cash donation and many small bags filled with her own candy to CASA. 

“CASA humbly accepted her gift, took her picture and used the donation as part of the money used to purchase nice gifts for all the children in the CASA program, to which judges have appointed CASA Advocates,” Daniels said.

CASA annually distributes gifts and this year paired them with little bags of candy for each child, too. Tessa Lou and Pump’n Pete’s Corporation brought presents, good cheer and goodwill to children through CASA this holiday season.


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