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Couple Uses Creativity to Help Abused Children

Creative couple Phil and Casey Green discovered a shared love of home renovations after they bought their first house in Lakewood. Using those learned construction skills, a liberal dose of design acumen and a strong desire to serve others, the Greens began donating handmade items to Dallas CASA in 2013 to auction at the annual Cherish the Children luncheon. This year’s luncheon was April 5 at the Omni Dallas Hotel. All funds raised benefit the children served by Dallas CASA.

Casey, senior creative director at Fossil, and Phil, a self-employed web developer, have built toy chests shaped like a boat and a school bus, as well as dinosaur chairs and other creative items. This year’s design, which Phil calls “sort of a monster, sort of a Muppet,” features giant googly eyes, polka dot sock puppet arms and painted feet. A giant green mouth serves as the toy box’s lid.

After seven years of designing items for Dallas CASA’s event, the pair can now bring in “creative” assistance from their children, a second-grader and one in Prekindergarten.

“I’m always inspired by something the kids are into at the moment or a book we’ve just read. Our son is really into dinosaurs right now, so this year’s project started as a dinosaur but then morphed into a Muppet toy monster,” Casey said. “We love seeing what’s possible and that keeps motivating us to try a new project each year. Can a toy box look like a boat? A bus? A tiger? Once we get an idea in our heads, we have to see if we can make it a reality.”

“We let the children help where they can, like choosing paint colors or sanding the wood. We’re hopeful one day they’ll take over for us,” said Casey.

Beyond design inspiration and a little elbow grease, the Greens’ children have begun understanding and contributing on a much deeper level.

“We think it’s important our kids see us putting our talents to use to help others,” Casey said. “Our daughter was so inspired that three years ago she started her own yearly art sale to raise money for charity. This year she worked for months creating art that raised almost $400 for the SPCA.”

The pair’s creations are about so much more than fun or design or family bonding, Phil says.

“It’s always a fun project to do, but at the end of the day we never forget what it’s for,” Phil said. “There are children right here in our own city who need so much more than a chest or toys. They need someone to stand up for them, and Dallas CASA stands ready to do that.”

“Phil and I are passionate supporters of CASA. Our children are lucky enough to have us as their advocates, and we love the opportunity to help other children get the same support,” Casey said.