Rudlin Torah Academy’s Toy Drive brought a lot of smiles to a lot of children, at a time when most needed.
The toy drive was launched in memory of RTA’s beloved 8th grade student Skyler Legano of blessed memory, who tragically passed away this past October.
Skyler was a young man who enjoyed giving, and he loved being able to share games and treats with others.
The drive was the brainchild of RTA teacher and guidance counselor Sorah Plotnick, and run by RTA’s 7th/8th grade class.
“When we came up with the idea to do a Chesed Project, I knew that Skyler would have been the first one to support it and he would have been at the forefront of all the details,” reflected Sorah.
“We, the RTA family, are so fortunate to have been able to come together both in person and virtually to support this amazing drive in merit and in memory of our dear friend who we all have been missing so much.”
RTA collected toys, books, games & gift cards for local children in need and in hospitals. Everything collected was distributed to Jewish Family Services ‘Lights of Love’ program, the Chai Lifeline organization, and ASK pediatric oncology foundation @VCU.
“This toy drive was so special as it was done in memory of one of our patients,” observed Katie Barber, C.T.R.S./Child Life Specialist.
“The student-collected toys and gift cards will be used to help celebrate our patients at the ASK pediatric hematology/oncology clinic. It’s always meaningful when the community helps to support our patients.”
Teresa Baldwin, JFS’ Director of Human Resources and Volunteer Services, added, “We are so grateful to RTA for choosing JFS as a beneficiary of the toy drive. Many of the children in foster care who JFS Connecting Hearts works with live in residential centers
or group homes, so a special gift is very meaningful.”
She continued, “The holidays can be a hard time for these kids and having presents to unwrap makes it feel more normal.”
The response to this drive from RTA families, friends and family of the Leganos and the entire community was overwhelming.
It was almost like RTA had become the new FAO Schwartz for Chanukah, as hundreds of beautiful new games, toys, dolls, books and more were collected, more than enough to share generously with all the participating organizations.