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12,000 Smiles--All In A Day's Work

Together with Kohl's Cares, the volunteer and community service arm of Kohl's Department Stores, we saved 3,000 toys from the landfills this weekend! This year, for our National Go Green Event with Kohl's Cares on April 25, we did something different. We coordinated 32 events across 5 states with more than 350 Kohl's employees volunteering their time and donating toys to organizations that directly benefit children. Those organizations included many Head Start locations, women's shelters, and low-income/free daycare programs. While on-site, the volunteers brought in and tagged their toy donations, cleaned toys that the organizations already had, organized toys by ages, removed broken toys from shelves, cleaned off toy storage areas, and they even built a new toy shelf at one location!

Overall, the day was a huge success. We want to thank the wonderful organizations we worked with, and especially the volunteers from Kohl's who donated toys and their time for this incredible event! We're sharing some of the photos from the day here. We've rounded up all of the photos and social media posts on our website. Take a look!

Evergreen Does it Again!

Students at Evergreen School in Scotch Plains, NJ helped clean and tag the more than 400 toys that were dropped off within one hour at their Earth Week collection. Toys were immediately delivered to organizations serving children in need in Passaic and Newark, compliments of 1-800-Got-Junk?.
 
Thanks Evergreen! 

Happy Earth Day!

Here at Second Chance Toys, Earth Day is one of our favorite days of the year. It's an excellent time to connect with children about the Earth, and talk to and show them the importance of the three Rs! Here are some of our favorite things to do with kids on Earth Day: 

1. Plant a tree. Now that warmer weather is on its way, April is a great time to get outside and plant a tree that your yard, park, or community needs. Some of the benefits of trees include reducing pollution and improving air quality, fighting climate change by reducing surface temperatures in hot months, providing shelter and food for wildlife, plus trees are fun to watch grow over the years! 

2. Take a walk instead of a car ride. Show kids that there are ways to get places without involving a motor that produces pollution. Double benefit--it's good for you, too!

3. Start composting. Many of the things we throw out every day could actually be composted. Things like apple cores, coffee grounds, and egg shells can be composted instead of taking up space in a landfill. At-home composting can be done easily, and larger cities including New York City even have compost drop-off areas.

4. Unplug. Take a break from the electicity-guzzling television, phones, and computers and enjoy a day outside with your kids! We come to depend on these devices, but it's important to take time and just enjoy your children. Play a game of soccer, roll down a hill, do a potato-sack race, do some hopscotch, or lay down in the grass and name the shapes of the clouds!

5. Donate unused toys. Recycling and reducing can be easier to explain to kids, but reusing is a little trickier. A great way to do that is to go through old toys and donate any toys that haven't been played with in over six months. And by donating those toys to children in need, your kids will also learn how it feels to do good for others. It's no coincidence that one of our two donation times is during Earth Month (April). Visit our drop-off location page to see if there's a place locally where you can drop-off toys. If there isn't, consider holding a toy collection next Earth Day!

If you can't get around to any of these tips today, maybe tomorrow works better. Or better yet, make EVERY DAY Earth Day!

Kohl's Cares National Go Green 2015

Kohl’s Cares and Second Chance Toys are partnering for the 6th consecutive year in honor of the Kohl’s Cares National Go Green 2015 Event on April 25th.

This year, associates from  74 different stores in Region 15 across Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia will be collecting gently used plastic toys for local children in need. Keeping the non-biodegradable plastic toys out of landfills is another mission that Kohl’s Cares is passionate about and they are always there to support Second Chance Toys in our efforts.

To take it one step further, the Kohl’s Cares associates will be volunteering at each recipient organization to help them unpack and organize the donated toys, clean and straighten up their already existing toy supply, build and paint new toy storage, as well as some other tasks that will allow the recipient children to enjoy their valuable playtime.

We can’t wait to share the toy results and event photos with you! 

Stay tuned, this is going to be great!

Kidville Spring 2015 Toy Collection

Our valued supporters at Kidville will be partnering with us once again to help kids and the environment!

The Kidville Spring 2015 collection locations in the NY metropolitan area can now be found in the Drop-Off Locations section of our website. Finish up your spring cleaning by bringing your gently used plastic toys to a Kidville location near you May 6th-May 13th.

Thanks for your support, we couldn't do it without you.

 

Got Toys? 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Regional Earth Week Collection

 

Want to be Good and Green this Earth Week? It’s easy and convenient!

Second Chance Toys is teaming up with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? this April to collect unwanted gently used plastic toys for children in need. Toys will be collected at 11 locations from Washigton DC to Boston. All toys will be donated to deserving children in and around the very same communities they were collected. 

To participate, simply gather all of the plastic toys your children are no longer using and find a location near you by clicking here.

Toy Guidelines:

  • Plastic only
  • Clean/gently used
  • No small or missing parts*
  • Batteries need to operate

*Parts that can fit through a toilet paper roll are too small

Thank you for helping kids and the environment! 

Thaw Out and Sign Up! Earth Week Collection Now Open

It's time to combine two traditions of Spring: Earth Week and Spring cleaning! It's a great time to go through old toys and reevaluate what you need. And that's what your neighbors will be doing too. Why not hold an Earth Week toy collection to save some of the unwanted toys from ending up in a landfill? Toy collections can happen with as few as 50 gently used plastic toys.

Thanks to our volunteers' incredible efforts, Second Chance Toys has now placed over 200,000 toys at organizations serving disadvantaged children all across the country. As Second Chance Toys continues to grow, so does the number of toys requested. We currently have 520 recipient organizations who've submitted requests for toys totaling more than 250,000. Please help us make their wishes and dreams possible. Every single toy counts!

All that you need to know about holding a toy drive can be found in the email below. Know someone who might want to hold a collection this year? Forward this email to them!

Collection Registration Now Open
Registration for the Second Chance Toys Earth Week Toy Collection is now open. Click here to sign up.Take a look at our Getting Started Kit to see how simple it is to host a collection.
 
It's Fun to Do with SCT’s Support
We’ll provide you with all of the resources you need to make your collection fun and successful. Once you’ve collected at least 50 gently used plastic toys, we will match you directly with a recipient organization serving underprivileged children in your community so you’re able to deliver them.
 
Make a Bigger Impact
Feeling extra motivated? Make your collection public by opening it up to the community so they can drop their toys off and you’ll make an even bigger impact. You can post your public collection details in the Drop-Off Locations section of our website when we provide you with your own personal collector account.
 
Remember, Simple Criteria for Donated Toys
• Plastic • Clean/gently used • No small or missing parts* • Come with working batteries
*Parts that can fit through a toilet paper roll are too small

Kids are Depending on You
If you don’t have the 50 toy minimum and are located in one of our major metro markets, visit our website to find a drop-off location that is near your home. Drop-off locations are updated regularly during our collection periods so don’t give up if there isn’t one close to home right away.

You can also help us spread the word to create a groundswell of support by encouraging others to visitwww.secondchancetoys.org, or you can make a monetary donation to help us do even more good. 

Make A Real Difference…..Get Involved Today!

The Washington Post: Humans are putting 8 million metric tons of plastic in the oceans — annually

This Washington Post article proves why it is so important we all take care of the environment and keep plastics from harming the Earth.

Late last  year we learned that, thanks to human beings, the oceans are carrying at least 5 trillion pieces of floating plastic — or nearly 700 pieces per human alive on the planet. In weight, that’s some 250,000 tons of the stuff.

But new research suggests that even that haul is probably a serious underestimate. In a paper published this week in the journal Science, Jenna Jambeck of the University of Georgia and a group of colleagues tried to estimate the total amount of plastic going into the oceans annually from 192 coastal countries, whose total population is 6.4 billion. People in these countries within 50 kilometers of the coast, the study estimates, produced 99.5 million metric tons of plastic waste in 2010 — and 31.9 of those million tons, the study estimates, were in some way mismanaged.

Thus, the authors calculate, each year about 4.8 million to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic are entering the oceans — for a midpoint figure of around 8 million metric tons. This is vastly higher than the number cited above — and moreover, it’s an annual number.

“It’s much larger than what they’re finding in the water,” says Jambeck. “But of course, as you know, they only can count what they find, and they only can find where they look.”

Full Story

 

SCT Volunteer Spotlight: Walter's Signs

Like many other Second Chance Toys’ volunteers, Abby Schmidt had a few too many plastic toys at home. With the holidays quickly approaching, she knew she should donate some toys that her son had grown too old for, to make way for new toys that were sure to come at Christmas. And although she works across the street from a thrift store, the idea of donating her toys just for them to be resold didn’t sit well with her. She googled “toy donation” and “recycle used toys” and came across Second Chance Toys. There were no drop off locations near her, so she decided to go for it and hold a collection of her own at her family’s sign business in Berlin, New Jersey.

She put the word out on Facebook, placed a sign in the shop, and had her toy drive listed on the Second Chance Toys website. She was amazed when people just began stopping in to drop off toys. Many of them were first-time visitors to the shop.

“People seemed happy to be able to donate their used toys, rather than selling them at a yard sale or some other sale. You could tell it made them feel good. It made me feel good too,” noted Abby.

In the end, the people of Berlin collected a truck-full of toys that Abby was able to deliver to a local daycare center for children with special medical needs.

When asked if she’d hold another toy drive, Abby enthusiastically said yes. Knowing that the children at the daycare center will be enjoying toys that are basically indistinguishable from their brand-new counterparts makes any effort totally worth it. In fact, they may hold a toy drive in a few months for Earth Day.

We hope Abby’s story inspires some of you to try out a toy drive at your business. With not much time invested, you could bring smiles to local children in need. And who knows, maybe you’ll make a new customer or two from it!

Tons of Toys in Westfield

The Westfield Cub Scout Pack 171 and Wilson PTO SCT Toy Collection was a huge success over the holidays! 

Hundreds of toys were collected by the dedicated volunteers and our friends at 1-800-GOT-JUNK picked up two truck-loads of gently used toys to deliver to some very deserving local kids. Great job everyone! 

From The Very Beginning

Even as a little girl, our Founder Sasha was promising to help the Earth. Too cute!

21,584 Toys Collected for the Holidays!

We're excited to share that this holiday season, 21,584 gently used plastic toys were collected! Because of your help, we have reached a new milestone and exceeded our goal of over 200,000 toys donated to date.

Thank you for being a part of Second Chance Toys!

 

Happiness at P396k School

The children at P396K school in Brooklyn received hundreds of beautiful gently used plastic toys from their Second Chance Toys holiday donation. All toys delivered to the school were collected by our devoted friends at Kidville and were absolutely perfect.

P396K provides special education services to a multicultural, multi-ethnic school community. All staff members work collaboratively in a nurturing environment to ensure that the students make the most growth possible throughout the twelve-month school year.

The school has 269 special needs students between the ages 4 and 14 years old. The teachers, staff and students were all so excited to receive the donations. The entire school community will be using the toys to have lots of fun, but more importantly, to help the children with their developmental progress. 

 

Exploring New Territories

Take a look at our Drop-Off Locations page—notice anything different? That’s right! Second Chance Toys has expanded our national metro locations.

This holiday season, with the help of some amazing new volunteers, SCT held successful public toy collections in both Boston and Washington D.C.

We want to thank Greenovate Boston and the Weinberg Early Childhood Center for volunteering with us this year. The toys were amazing and the recipient children were so thankful to receive their holiday surprises!

We hope to have even more volunteers in the Boston and Washington D.C. areas sign up to make their collections open to the public for our Earth Week collection in April! Registration for all Earth Week collections will open March 1st.

Old Spice HoliSPRAY Toy Donation Exchange

In a boy's journey to manhood, toys provide laughter, fun and exploration of the world. Building off of the new “Dadsong” ad, Old Spice partnered with Second Chance Toys by bringing attention to the massive quantities of good-as-new children's toys taking up space in garages and attics around the country.

Old Spice worked together with student volunteers at Hollywood High School, along with actor Nolan Gould and Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa, to hold an exciting toy donation event! In addition to the successful event, Old Spice  reached out to volunteers in communities all over the country requesting gently used plastic toy donations as part the inaugural HoliSPRAY Toy Donation Exchange. As a reward for all of these grown-up gestures, Old Spice gifted all toy donors with Re-fresh Body Spray.

Together, Old Spice, Second Chance Toys, and all of the national HoliSPRAY Toy Ambassadors, were able to collect and donate close to 5,000 toys to children in need this holiday season! Thank you to everyone who participated to help us bring smiles to deserving kids and keep plastic toys out of landfills. 

Choka Lyme's 5th Annual Toy Collection

Choka Lyme’s 5th Annual Holiday Toy Collection was a huge success! Their volunteers were able to collect 600 gently used plastic toys and donate them to SCO Family of Services in New York.

Second Chance Toys would like to thank Choka Lyme and their community of supporters for taking part in this amazing event that is only getting bigger as the years pass. The motto at Choka Lyme is, "Simple people doing simple things in a big way” with their mission being to help people activate their own power to work together and positively transform their communities.

Your dedication is truly appreciated, Choka Lyme! Thank you for all you do for Second Chance Toys.

Kidville Does It Again!

Our amazing friends at Kidville have blown us away once again!

The participating NY Metro Kidville locations have collected over 1,500 gently used plastic toys for the holidays. All toys were donated by Kidville constituents as well as many other dedicated members of the surrounding community.

Working with Kidville the past three years has been extremely rewarding for everyone involved. Keeping non-biodegradable plastic toys out of landfills and helping  thousands of kids who might otherwise go without toys is something we all truly believe in. We look forward to doing even more great things together in 2015.

Thank you Kidville Team!

3 Trucks Full of Toys!

Our volunteers at Fair Lawn Recycling Center in New Jersey collected 3 truck-loads of toys for the holidays from passionate donors in the surrounding towns. That is over 2,500 toys collected and donated around Bergen, Passaic, and Essex counties-- including 20 gorgeous and much sought after larger toys.

One of the family shelters in Paterson that had received part of the toy donation called us to say thank you;

“You donate toys to us twice a year and when the big blue 1-800-GOT-JUNK? truck pulls up, the kids know to expect something special. They are so happy to have toys to play with and we also share with our two sister shelters and those children. Thank you so much again”.

We want to thank Ron and his staff at Fair Lawn Recycling Center, everyone who dropped by to donate their toys, and of course, our partners at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? for delivering these toys year after year.

We appreciate you all more than you know!