National CASA Association and the Toy Industry Foundation Unite to Provide 50,000 Toys for SoCal Foster Youth
More than 125 Volunteers Participated in the Toy Industry Foundation's "Play Your Part" Event
Los Angeles, CA | April 5, 2013 — National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Association and the Toy Industry Foundation partnered on April 5th at the Play Your Part volunteer event to provide 50,000 brand new toys to children in the Southern California foster care system.
More than 125 volunteers donated their time to sort and package toys given by supporters of the Toy Industry Foundation, who donated toys or helped to sponsor the event, including Mattel, Leapfrog Enterprises, Funrise Toy Corporation, as well as the toy industry group Women in Toys. The event’s logistics partner Wal-mart donated the use of two tractor-trailer trucks to ship the toys to destinations throughout Southern California. The event took place in Los Angeles, CA, at a center provided by humanitarian organization World Vision.
National CASA, a network of 946 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities, will be working with CASA programs across the country to identify and distribute the donated toys to children in the foster care system.
“Today’s event was a fantastic success and the impact these toys will have on the lives of foster children throughout California is indescribable,” said National CASA CEO, Michael Piraino. “We want to thank all of the organizations whose partnership made this possible.”
“The partnership we have forged with National CASA is one that will continue to grow, through events like this one today and via collaborations on an even grander scale in the future,” said Toy Industry Foundation Executive Director Jean Butler. “It was a wonderful day, and our foundation couldn’t be happier to help reach so many children.”
Former foster youth, CASA volunteers and special guests were on hand to share their personal stories, and were joined by organization leaders including: Michael Piraino CEO, National CASA, Kristine Templin – Chief Marketing & Development Officer, and Jean Butler – Executive Director, Toy Industry Foundation.
About National CASA (www.casaforchildren.org)
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is a network of 946 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. The only program of its kind, CASA volunteers are empowered by the courts to provide children with one-on-one advocacy. CASA volunteers see their assigned children regularly and interview all the adults who impact their lives. Volunteer advocates offer judges the critical information they need to ensure each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care, staying with the child until she is placed in a loving permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives.
About Toy Industry Foundation (www.toyindustryfoundation.org)
While other organizations provide food, shelter and support services to children and their families, the Toy Industry Foundation sees to it that these children have toys and opportunities to play in an attempt to restore both fun and a sense of normalcy to their lives. The Foundation currently fulfills its mission through core programs including The Toy Bank™ and grants to organizations whose missions are in line with that of the Toy Industry Foundation. The first industry-wide program of its kind, The Toy Bank receives donations of newly manufactured toys from members of the toy industry and distributes them through local charities to underserved, at-risk and homeless children throughout the United States and around the world.