Rutgers-Camden: Animal Shelter Blanket Drive

The
Rutgers University School of Law-Camden Student Animal Legal Defense
Fund chapter was nothing more than an empty space on the Student
Organization bulletin board when Amanda Nordstrom and her 1L classmates
arrived on campus in Fall 2006. The group had long fallen inactive, all
its former members gone and graduated, with no one left to lead the
way…but not for long. Nordstrom came to law school determined to study
animal law and find other like-minded law students, and so she wouldn’t
let this small bump in the road stop her. She saw the need for
leadership and reorganization and so she took up the challenge. After a
few months of emails, paperwork, and talks with the administration, the
group was up and running again, better than ever!

Since
its official first meeting in late September, the Rutgers Camden SALDF
chapter has been busy working on projects to benefit the local Camden
County Animal Shelter. Members of the group attended the volunteer
training for the shelter, and have quickly become treasured members of
the shelter’s volunteer team. SALDF volunteers also helped organize and
staff the shelter’s “Halloweenfest,” a fall-themed adopt-a-thon and
fundraiser, and helped make the event a great success.

The group also organized a Blanket Drive for the
shelter, encouraging the law school community to bring their old
sheets, towels, quilts, blankets, and comforters in to school to donate
to the shelter. SALDF volunteers posted signs, sent emails, and spread
the word about the drive to encourage donations and help educate the
community about the needs of their homeless furry friends right next
door. Volunteers tabled for two days in the lobby of the law school to
collect blanket donations from students and faculty, and ended up
collecting over two car-loads of donations for the shelter! The group
also hosted a bake sale and sold shelter t-shirts and sweatshirts at
the table and was able to raise over $200 for the Camden County Animal
Shelter. The drive was a great success, and the shelter was incredibly
appreciative for the group’s efforts to help bring some comfort and
warmth to their homeless residents.

The Rutgers Camden SALDF chapter is not planning to
slow down anytime soon, either. They have many events lined up for next
semester, including a Dog-Fighting Teach-In and a special guest speaker
event featuring Peter Young, an animal rights activist convicted under
the Animal Enterprise Protection Act. The group is also looking forward
to helping local attorneys with legal research related to animal law
issues. Nordstrom encourages fellow law students at schools without
SALDF chapters: “If you have a dream and you see a way to make it
happen – go for it. If there isn’t a SALDF chapter at your school,
start one yourself! Send out emails, talk to the ALDF and your school’s
administration, and get the word out. You will be surprised how many
like-minded students come to the first meeting and the overwhelming
support you’ll get from the community. Don’t wait for someone else to
lead the group; take charge and become the leader your community
needs.”

This spotlight was submitted by Amanda Nordstrom, Rutgers Camden SALDF president.

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