Winter has arrived, and to kick it off, the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal (RCTLJ) hosted a toy drive resulting in over 80 toy donations. With 2020 being a year of subsided hope and low levels of cheer due to a COVID-focused holiday season, RCTLJ wanted to spread joy this year!
Starting this semester, the journal formed a Community Outreach Committee to spearhead initiatives focused on giving back to the Newark Community. And the current Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Emily Menendez, believed a toy drive would be a great initiative to kickstart the committee to give back to the children of Newark.
As a journal based in Newark, RCTLJ searched for an organization that accepted toy donations for children in the area. And via an internet search, very appropriate given RCTLJ is the technology journal at Rutgers, the journal found a non-profit organization a skip and hop away from the law school called Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children across Essex County.
CASA provides support and services for foster children in Essex County, NJ, which includes Newark, NJ. The organization is the oldest of its kind in New Jersey and was founded in 1987. The organization supports foster children by promoting “the welfare of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, [and] or abandonment.”
Essentially, CASA forms a safety net of support, care, and hope for children ages 0-18 by advocating for and mentoring children in abusive environments. “CASA trains and supervises volunteers to speak up for the best interests of these children in court, to ensure that each child has the opportunity to thrive by receiving needed services and assistance while helping to move the child toward a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible.”
Given the integral role of advocacy that comes with being the legal field, the journal believed CASA an excellent organization to collaborate with for the toy drive.
RCTLJ is grateful for the opportunity to have worked with CASA in supporting foster children in Essex County. And with the support from Rutgers professors, staff, students, and other toy givers, RCTLJ proudly collected over 80 toys for CASA! All the toys were wrapped by members of the journal, including current associate editors and E-board members.
The journal members took time from exam studying to help wrap the donated toys and enjoyed taking a break from hitting the books to wrap. All toys were wrapped with bright bows and successfully delivered to CASA, ready to bring a moment of joy to children across Essex County.
With such a successful toy drive this year, the journal plans to make the RCTLJ toy drive an annual tradition outreach event from this year forward.