Twenty hardworking Viacom employees gathered at Fairlawn Recycling Center in New Jersey to clean and pack up an entire 1-800-GOT-JUNK? truck worth of perfectly usable and fun toys for children in need. This year's donation came in at 1,500 toys! The collection was done as a part of Viacommunity Day, a day of service for Viacom employees worldwide.
"It was three hours of fun, cleaning, and bonding for us. The best thing is that kids will get to play with these toys again," commented Patrick O'Sullivan, the Viacom Team Captian for the event. This year, toys collected were delivered to Greater Bergen Head Start, The Vince Lombardi Center for Hope in Newark, and the Apostolic Church in Newark. Excellent work, Viacom!
The 300 toys donated to the children at Vince Lombardi Centers of Hope this Earth Day marked the 10th straight year of toy donations to children in the City of Newark, NJ. In honor of that occasion, Mayor Ras J. Baraka presented us with a Certificate of Appreciation from the city. We'd like to pass that appreciation on to our wonderful collectors and partners who have made the past 10 years of donations possible. Thank you!
For their Earth Day collection this year, Booz Allen Hamilton found a way to collect over 800 toys for organiztions in Northern Virginia and Baltimore/DC. We wanted to share some of their strategies, in case your organization might be able to follow their lead for future collections!
1. Set up a visible collection spot. Booz Allen Hamilton holds a winter new toy collection, and already had the fencing seen here. Employees were already familiar with the fencing and idea of a toy collection, so it was easy to make the transition to collecting used toys instead of brand-new.
2. Open up the collection to everyone. Getting the on-site childcare involved in both collecting and preparing toys equated to more awareness and fun for everyone.
3. Use Earth Day as a day to gather everyone and work together. Earth Day fell on a Friday this year, so the employees at Booz Allen Hamilton's headquarters, the teachers and children from the on-site daycare, and employees from nearby locations all participated in cleaning up the toys on that day. Using Earth Day as a culmination of the drive helps drive home the message of the collection-- to reuse and recycle!
We would like to congratulate Booz Allen Hamilton on a successful Earth Day collection. We'd also like to thank their local moving vendor Office Movers, who donated their time and equiptment in delivering toys to three local organiztaions: Jill's House, Northern Virginia Family Services, and The National Center for Children and Families.
Image courtesy www.handsonaswegrow.com
Most of us have had an interesting Spring so far! But it seems like the warmer Spring weather might be here to stay. I don't know about you, but as soon as the weather turns I start to get the itch to clean out the house and get rid of toys and other things we no longer use. That's why Earth Day (April 22) and the weeks around it are such a great time for toy collections. Many people are already clearing things out.
If you come across toys to donate, visit our Drop Off Locations page to see if there's a collection near you. Some collections start as early as this weekend!
It's Read Across America Day! We thought today would be a great day to share Second Chance Books with you. Though we're unaffiliated, we certainly share a lot more than our similar names. Second Chance Books works much like Second Chance Toys, only with donated used children's books. Consider checking them out and donating books your children no longer need!
Founded by Nancy Dean, a retired librarian, Second Chance Books is a children's book donation group. In other words, the non-profit collects gently-used books and recycles them to communities in need. Ultimately, Second Chance Books is an on-going collaboration between parents, students and teachers.
"Recycling is important to me for the sheer fact of cutting down on landfill waste," said Karrie Dean, the organization's co-founder and daughter of Nancy Dean. She added: "So many items, like books and toys, can be 'upcycled' to kids in need. It's a win-win." When recycling like that happens, books are kept out of landfills while also getting a "second chance" to reach new readers. As 47% of fourth graders from low-income families read below the basic level -- while 26% of materials entering landfills is paper-based -- book-recycling expands access to books and spreads the joy of reading to more young minds.
Second Chance Books encourages groups to have book drives, and is able to pick up books in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York; books can otherwise be shipped to their headquarters for distribution. For more information on Second Chance Books and how you may get involved, click on over to www.secondchancebooks.org.
We posted earlier about the successful toy drive that Chobani had at its Idaho facility, but they were also massively successful at the company's New York headquarters! The employees in New Berlin and Norwich, NY collected enough toys to completely fill up a truck, inside and out. The toys were delivered to the non-profit Roots & Wings, which provides household goods, food, and clothing to 225 families going through emergencies or hard times.
We love when different groups work together, especially when it's centered around a collection of toys for children in need! The Enivornmental Club of Pascack Valley High School got together with Daisy Girl Scout Group #96970 of New Milford, NJ for a successful toy drive this holiday season. Thanks to everyone involved!
We were excited to partner with Chobani for the first time last year. At their facility in Twin Falls, Idaho, they collected hundreds of wonderful used toys for children at One Church One Child, a state-run organization that helps place foster children in their forever homes. Chobani has industrial-sized scales, so they decided to weigh their donation. It tipped the scales at 541 pounds of donated plastic toys (see photo). Amazing!
Thank you, Chobani!
I never fully understood the idea that a toy can change a child’s life – until I met Anthony.
Anthony was one of the first children to receive a toy from Second Chance Toys – back in the early days. He and his brother were living in a homeless shelter in Newark, NJ at the time. Anthony picked the plastic dinosaur from the pile of gently loved toys we dropped off that holiday season. Like hundreds of thousands of other kids, Anthony was the recipient of one of our toy drives where we collect, clean and redistribute plastic toys to children in need. We do our part to help save the earth from non-biodegradable plastic – and we recycle love for kids.
Anthony’s mom recently told me that Anthony’s plastic dinosaur is still at the top of his toy pile today. You see, Anthony is really interested in science and the way the world works. And that toy dinosaur is inspiring him to pursue an education in the animal sciences – and become a scientist – to buy his mother a beautiful home so that she will never be homeless again.
This year, Second Chance Toys will mark its 10th Anniversary. I can’t believe it has been ten years since Sasha collected her first pile of toys off the curb one autumn day. It changed our lives forever. And it has changed the lives of more than a million disadvantaged children.
We now have requests from more than 650 recipient organizations for over 250,000 toys. We’ve come a long way from that first pile of toys but we still have so much more to accomplish. And we hope more businesses and families join us in this mission that could really change the world – and make a real difference in the lives of children.
Our Road to 10 kicks off this month. It’s a 10-month countdown where we’re asking for your help to keep efforts at Second Chance Toys going full throttle these upcoming 10 months.
So please donate $10, 10 x $10 or whatever you can afford. Tell 10 friends or colleagues about second Chance Toys. Think of 10 new ways you can help a child in need. And join us on our Road to 10 as we unveil a series of events, activities and funding opportunities.
Wishing you and yours – and all the children we serve through SCT – a fabulous 2016!
Shelly Lipton, SCT Board Chairman
Tashua Elementary School in Trumbull, CT held its 5th annual Second Chance Toy Drive this year and it was--once again, hugely successful! Families from the school and surrounding area (especially the 5th graders, who tied the toy drive into a service project) collected close to 1,000 toys. Below are some photos of their efforts, which also grabbed the attention of their local newspaper. Well done, Tashua!
A big thanks and congratulations to our partners at Kidville (and 1-800-GOT-JUNK?--who delivered the toys) for collecting more than a thousand toys at its multiplie collection locations across the NY Metro area. Way to go!
Another successful Toy Drive from Kidville!
Members of Johnson & Johnson's EarthServe Team from Raritan, NJ hand-delivered hundreds of toys to Refugee House Community Development in Bound Brook, NJ. Pictured below are some of the organization's employees with portions of the donation. Thanks, Johnson & Johnson!
Established by three school psychologists in New York, The Successful Child was created to help children become successful individuals, both academically and behaviorally. Providing an interactive approach to learning, The Successful Child team provides instruction related to reading, writing and math. Their curriculum is collaborative with schools and families, further customized to meet each child's particular abilities and needs.
In this SCT blog submission from the The Successful Child staff, it is explained how toys can actually prepare a child for long-term success both in and out of the classroom. A variety of skills can be developed from a play session, which emphasizes how learning is something that happens in more places than we realize. More information on their wonderful organization can be found at www.thesuccessfulchildny.com.
Photos from The Successful Child NY's first toy donation this holiday season,
delivered to the NY Council on Adopted Children
Toys: Kids’ Tools for Success
Guest post by The Successful Child NY
Why are toys so important for children? Often, they are simply used to keep kids occupied, but in reality, there’s so much more toys can do than “babysit.” Toys are actually instruments that can help children learn and discover the world! They are vital tools that stimulate child development, including cognitive, social, emotional and motor skills.
Here are some areas in which toys can play a crucial role in a child’s development:
Cognitive: Toys offer an opportunity to increase one’s concentration skills, promote problem-solving strategies, encourage imagination/abstract thinking and develop language skills. Items like board games and puzzles can also help increase dialogue and improve math skills.
Social: Toys help teach children about the society we live in and facilitate social skills. Playing with peers or adults helps to promote respect, cooperation, negotiation and sharing. Toys also allow children to actively explore many other important societal rules in a natural and safe environment.
Emotional: Toys offer children an opportunity to openly express themselves. Through playing with toys, children may gain the ability to identify, navigate, understand, process and work through feelings. By using pretend play with toys or creating a fantasy world, children are provided with an outlet to act out feelings and emotions. As a result, there is potential to increase emotional stability.
Motor: Beginning at birth, toys are used as motivators for children to use muscles and develop fine and gross motor skills. Toys assist children in discovering balance and coordination. Dolls and figures offer an opportunity to increase fine motor skills, by engaging in dressing, undressing and pretend feedings. Children also enhance their sense of touch and sight, which increase fine motor skills.
Tricycles, walkers, cars and playground equipment increase gross motor skills. These toys work on strengthening arms and legs. As a bonus, these activities give children further motivation to begin exercising at an early age, potentially avoiding the risks of childhood obesity.
In addition, a single toy can help children develop in a variety of areas.
For example, crayons and plastic blocks can enhance a child’s well-being in three areas at the same time.
Cognitive-Providing a creative outlet
Emotional- Insuring a visual outlet
Motor- Enhancing hand-eye coordination
Cognitive- Promoting mathematical concepts
Social- Providing an opportunity to build and create with others
Motor-Using fine and gross motor muscles to build
When your child is “just playing” with toys, please understand that they are doing so much more -- they are learning and developing all at once!
Since it’s clear that toys may be crucial for a child’s development, it’s important that children play with toys beginning at an early age. Unfortunately, not all children have easy access to toys; those that do often outgrow toys quickly. Instead of tossing out perfectly good plastic toys that could be valuable to other children, consider sorting through old toys with your child. Explain the importance of giving back to others by recycling those toys to Second Chance Toys. They can go a long way in helping another child maximize his or her development.
The Successful Child offers a holistic and integrative experience in addressing behavior, social and academic skills. We offer custom-tailored services and fun classes that engage your child in learning and give them a competitive edge. For more information visit: www.thesuccessfulchildny.com
We just love this comic supporting Tashua School's toy drive!
Thanks goes out to two of our tremendous corporate sponsors, Viacom and 1-800-GOT-JUNK, who've been working with us for many years. This year the Viacom Controllers Team collected close to 150 toys for Room to Grow NYC, a non-profit organization that provides support, supplies, and an inviting space for babies born into poverty. Our transportation partners at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? are generous enough year-after-year to provide their trucks and manpower to deliver toys all across the US, and they were on hand to deliver the toys to Room to Grow NYC.
Thanks again to Viacom for their collections and to 1-800-GOT-JUNK? for their support!
Part of the reason people donate toys this time of year is to make room for new toys aquired during the holiday season. Since recycling and toys is our specialty, we thought we'd put together some thoughts on what to look for as you're shopping for your little ones!
1. Materials matter. Look for toys that use recycled plastic, paper, or eco-friendly woods. Some of our favorites are toys from Green Toys. They are made from 100% recycled plastic (mostly milk jugs) and are made in the USA. They've got a great selection of new sure-to-please products for 2015, including a block set. Shop here.
2. Look for toys that give back. Toys have come a long way in teaching children the imporance and relevance of giving back. Some companies do it as a portion of sales, and some include special codes and online portals that allow children to log in and choose who recieves their donation. We like ShelterPups, adorable plush 100% wool animals, made in the USA using cruelty-free and flame retardant wool. Kids can login and choose where to donate their Rescue Points (earned with purchase) to one of the 5,000 SPCA shelters on their website.
3.Recycle and DIY! You know the joke about kids loving the box that toys come in more than the toy itself? It really holds up. Kids love cardboard boxes! We bet you'll have a few after holiday shopping, so make good use of them. There are a ton of really fun ideas on Pinterest if you search "DIY Cardboard Toy." A car wash, mailbox, rocket ship, doll bed... the possibilites are endless! We thought this guitar DIY was pretty clever!
Happy shopping (or crafting)! And remeber to donate your used toys at a local drop-off site.