Tattoo artists give ink to help kids in DHS custody

Tattoo artists give ink to help kids in DHS custody

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - A Waveland tattoo shop is doing its part to help abused or neglected children in Hancock County. Friday, the artists at Gulf Coast Tattoo Co. offered special $20 tattoos, with all the proceeds going to Hancock County's CASA program. People turned out in droves to support the cause. Each customer took on the colorful ink for different reasons.

"CASA is a good cause, it supports the children," Valarie Cusick said. "I work at Walmart, and Walmart also supports CASA and other charities."

CASA is short for Court Appointed Special Advocates. CASA volunteers become the voice of a child placed in DHS custody. The problem in Hancock County is there are more than 400 children in state custody, and there just aren't enough volunteers to go around.

"Children should never have to suffer. I don't think they should be made to suffer for things their parents do or grandparents or whoever they're living with," explained Cusick. "I think we should help them learn that not everything in the world is bad."

That's why she and her daughter decided to get matching tattoos for the cause.

The money raised during Friday's special event will be used to help recruit and train more CASA volunteers. Shop owner Scott Wiecek said he just wanted to do his part to help.

"My wife has recently become an advocate. That got my attention and I feel like it's a good cause; it need some support. So I'm just trying to do our part," said Wiecek.

The CASA logo was made available to be tattooed, but it was the adoption logo Julie Burdg opted for in honor of the recent adoption of her grandchildren.

"They're my son's children and they were taken away from their mother and he's no longer with her," Burdg explained. "They were taken from her, put into the state, and we got them in 2013. And the adoption was just final last month, thank God!"

Gulf Coast Tattoo Co. is located in the West Coast Shopping Plaza on Highway 90 in Waveland.

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