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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!

Evergreen School Success!

Students from Evergreen School in Scotch Plains, NJ helped clean more than 600 toys that they had collected in only one hour!  All of the toys were delivered to organizations in Newark and Elizabeth that same morning by our generous partners at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?.

 

Introduction to Winter Toy Collections

Like many, the holidays are our favorite and busiest time of the year. This year has been even busier than normal with our founder, Sasha, appearing on Good Morning America Thanksgiving morning, and with our exciting toy drive partnership with Old Spice and Kidville. To everyone who is just discovering and donating to Second Chance Toys™ for the first time, welcome!

Here’s a brief overview of how toy collecting works:

Our volunteers collect used plastic toys

  • We accept exclusively plastic toys (that's because they clean up easily, rarely show age/overuse, and they won’t biodegrade in landfills)
  • Please wipe down toys to clean them before donating
  • Toys should be in working order, new batteries installed if necessary
  • Make sure toys are big enough to reduce choking hazards for little ones (they should not be able to fit through a toilet paper roll)

Dropping off toys

  • Our website has drop off locations listed by metro area
  • This year's drop-off deadline is December 15
  • Toys are then delivered to organizations who have expressed a need for toys
  • Don't see a drop off location near you? Consider starting a collection next year! It takes just 50 toys to be matched with an organization
  • We hold two toy drives annually: One for the holidays and for Earth Day in April

Our Guarantees:

We vet and confirm EVERY ORGANIZATION requesting toys to make sure they are who they say they are. We also vet every toy collector to make sure they intend to donate the toys they collect. We GUARANTEE that every toy you donate goes directly to a child in need. That means toys are either donated to an organization and kids play with them on-site, or they’re gifted directly to children as a gift to open for Christmas. 

Since the term giving something a "second chance" is common, we want you to be aware that similarly named businesses might exist. But, as we state above, your toy donations through Second Chance Toys™ are always going to go to a child in need. Thank you for your support and for giving your/your kids’ toys a second chance!

Our Dedicated Friends at OLMC

A big THANK YOU to all of the amazing parents and kids at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Doylestown, PA!  

Year after year you have collected hundreds of beautiful gently used plastic toys so that we are able to donate them to less fortunate children in the local community. An equally big thank you goes out to our Board Member, Craig Scott, for being the local SCT team cheerleader for OLMC toy collections since the beginning.

It's because of passion and dedication like yours that we have been able to accomplish all we have these past years.

Want to help Second Chance Toys and our volunteers do more around the country? Consider a monetary donation this holiday season and help us grow our mission to help more children and the environment.

Happy Holidays!

 

Kidville & Second Chance Toys Holiday Collection

Once again, our dedicated friends at Kidville have partnered with us to collect gently used plastic toys for children in need!

How You Can Help: 

Bring Your Gently Used Plastic Toys* to Kidville

Donate the toys your children have outgrown as you make room for the new toys that will arrive for the holidays. We'll take care of getting the toys to children who might not otherwise receive gifts this holiday season. Click here to find a participating Kidville location near you.

* Donation Requirements: Toys must be plastic, gently used, clean and in good working condition. Battery powered toys must come with working batteries.

Make a Monetary Contribution

In addition to donating toys, you can help Second Chance Toys grow the programs that bring smiles to so many deserving children and help save the environment by making a tax deductible donation. Cliick here to make a contribution.

Thank you for your support!

 

Greenovate Boston & Second Chance Toys

In the spirit of giving and merriment this holiday season, Greenovate Boston is partnering with Second Chance Toys to host a used-toy drive December 1-15. With 21.6% of Boston’s population living in poverty, it’s important to remember that the Holidays can be a challenging time for many people, from providing warm winter clothes, to putting food on the table, to gift-giving. With your help, the City of Boston hopes to alleviate some of this stress, while also helping minimize waste.

For the first time ever, the city will be collecting gently used plastic toys, in addition to the Toys for Tots drive.  All toy donations must be clean, 100% plastic, no small, missing or broken parts, and come with working batteries.

DID YOU KNOW? Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times. Plastic takes up to 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill.

Are you cleaning out your children’s toy closet before Santa comes? Do you have a plastic toy in need of a new home? Bring these toys to the collection sites at City Hall and 1010 Mass Ave. Donated toys will be delivered to local Boston organizations serving kids in need. If you want to go the extra mile, collect additional used toys from your neighbors, friends and/or co-workers at your holiday party or other event. We hope you join us in rescuing toys from the landfill, and giving them a second chance.

Visit GreenovateBoston.org to learn more

SCT Volunteer Spotlight: Mark Ciccaglione

The goal of an Eagle Scout Project is to demonstrate leadership while performing a project to benefit the community. It’s hard to find a more fitting description of what our toy collectors do. They demonstrate leadership and they certainly benefit their local community. So, it should come as no surprise that one 17-year-old’s successful toy drive collecting close to 1500 toys in New Jersey earned him the title of Eagle Scout.

Mark Ciccaglione’s project began in the summer of 2013, and culminated this past summer when he was officially awarded his Eagle Scout title, medal, and badge. He estimates that he put in over 50 hours of planning, executing, and managing the immensely successful toy drive.

Mark first got word out by distributing flyers to all of the houses in his town, going door to door and speaking with homeowners if they were home. Mark also reached out to his community in other ways, which included speaking at a few masses at his church, leaving drop boxes at the library, and setting up a table for donations outside of a toy store in town. Scouts ages 11-18 from Troop 80 in his hometown of Park Ridge, NJ, helped out by picking up toy collections and bringing them to his house.

Looking back on his project, Mark is very proud of what he and his community accomplished. Children at the New Community Corporation’s Early Learning Centers in Newark have a huge selection of good quality and educational toys to play with now. To show his appreciation he sent a thank you letter to his local newspaper, which was published.

To anyone who is in need of a non-profit organization to partner with, be it for an Eagle Scout Project or something else, Mark highly recommends working with Second Chance Toys. “It was my first choice and it was the best choice. They were easy to work with and they’re so supportive of people doing independent projects like mine needed to be. It was fun, but hard work at the same time -- it’s so rewarding when you look at the quantity of toys being donated to kids in need. That makes it worth it.”

Old Spice Partners with Second Chance Toys for a HoliSPRAY Toy Donation Exchange!

In a boy's journey to manhood, toys provide laughter, fun and exploration of the world. Building off of the above “Dadsong” ad, Old Spice is helping 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. Together, we are encouraging moms, dads, sons (and anyone with gently used plastic toys that they’ve outgrown) to donate them to kids in need. As a reward for this grown-up gesture, Old Spice will be gifting them with Re-fresh Body Spray in exchange for their donation.

Click here for more information on donation drop off/HoliSPRAY Exchange locations across the U.S.

Eco-Friendly Halloween Tips

There are so many ways to celebrate the spookiness of Halloween without compromising the environment. Check out these great ideas:

Crafts

When it comes to crafts it’s simple, use what you already have in the house. You can make some creepy crafts from food jars, paper plates, recycled plastic bags-- even the leaves on the ground outside. For more info on these fun activities, visit inhabitots.com.

Costumes

Costumes and accessories don’t have to break the bank and they can be healthy for the planet. Sometimes the best costumes come from your own closet so don’t forget to take a look at what you already own before going out and buying new.  Reusable trick-or-treat bags instead of plastic are best, and so is using face paint instead of purchasing rubber masks. Check out more ideas at Boston.com.

Parties

It’s easy to plan an eco-friendly Halloween extravaganza! Start by saving paper and using electronic invitations through Evite or email. Organic snacks and recyclable packaging is the next step. Using regular plates instead of paper is a good choice, and you can even recruit some goblins for help with cleanup later in the evening. For more eco-friendly party tips, visit Planetsave.com.

 

Happy eco-friendly Halloween!