Every year, the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) offices of Vernon and Beauregard parishes ask the children they represent what they would like to have for Christmas … a wish list.

Every year, the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) offices of Vernon and Beauregard parishes ask the children they represent what they would like to have for Christmas … a wish list.

Representatives of CASA look for people every year to try to fill these lists for each and every kid.

But this year, Jillybean's Foundation, a non-profit organization run by Jill Leonard, decided to step up, to ensure each and every child on the list got to have their wishes for Christmas granted.

“We want to make sure these children get to have a Christmas just like all other children do,” Leonard said. “We want them to have a Christmas. We want them to have a heart full of hope.”

Thus, with the help of those within her foundation, Leonard has created a “heart full of hope” ornament in an effort to raise enough money to fill all remaining wish lists.

The handmade, original ornaments, come in a variety of colors, with no two being exactly the same.

“There are 110 children total needing their wishes fulfilled, but our goal is to sell 210 ornaments at $12 each. None of the money raised comes to our foundation, it goes straight to CASA. And I also have a personal goal of making 110 more ornaments for each of the CASA kids.”

In addition to the ornament, which can be purchased at etsy.com/shop/jillleonarddesigns, author Jim West, who was raised in Vernon Parish by foster parents, is giving away a free E-book to everyone who purchases an ornament.

The book is his Amazon bestselling collection called “Leaving Home Behind: Poems from my Youth.”

These ornaments must be ordered by Wednesday, Nov. 30. Approximately 50 have been sold so far, so at least 160 more must be purchased by that date.

People who order the ornament can have them either shipped directly to their home address or they can be delivered to either CASA office in Leesville or DeRidder.

CASA is a national association created nearly 40 years ago that supports and promotes court-appointed advocates for abused and neglected children in order to provide those children with a safe and healthy environment in permanent homes.