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Two years ago, our EarthServe team for J&J facilities in Raritan, NJ was very excited to learn about Second Chance Toys. As a campus green team, our goal is to promote sustainable business practices and to encourage reducing, reusing and recycling. The Second Chance Toys program is a win-win for us because it keeps plastic toys out of landfills and gives them a reuse purpose as playthings for children with fewer advantages. This is our third successful annual used toy drive. We find that putting up flyers and publishing articles in our quarterly newsletter gets the word out well internally. We start publicizing before Thanksgiving, so people who wish to donate can use the holiday break to clean out their children’s toy chests. When the drive is over, we sort the toys, making sure that everything is clean and nothing is broken. Then we count and photograph the collection and finally we arrange to make the delivery to the organization(s) we have been matched with by Second Chance Toys. The toy delivery is the best part, of course, providing us an opportunity to feel like Santa Claus and see all the smiles generated as a result of our efforts.   -Catherine Pherson, EarthServe Member

Our friends at 1-800- GOT-JUNK? have been volunteering to help us collect toys since 2008. Because of their continued support of time, trucks and manpower, Second Chance Toys has been able to reach so many more children and keep hundreds of thousands of plastic toys out of our landfills. Thank you 1-800- GOT-JUNK? for being such a loyal partner for all these years. You have made a difference in the lives of so many kids and have been helpful to our environment in the process. Pictured above showing off their Second Chance Toys' Certificates of Appreciation are our 1-800- GOT-JUNK? friends that service all 5 boroughs of New York City and parts of New Jersey.

Many thanks for all you do!!


Known as the "Shining Star of Williamsburg," P.S. 132's awe-inspiring students, families, and community members generously donated their gently used plastic toys to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of underprivileged children! Upon starting its 2016 Second Chance Toys Drive, coordinated by Arts Liaison, Mrs. Heather de Koning Foley, the collection goal was 200 toys. Incredibly, they surpassed their goal in one day! After a week-long collection period, they were immensely proud to report that they collected 994 toys!

Their students learned how their generosity impacted their peers and how their plastic recycling efforts benefited the environment. The school is grateful to all those who contributed to its toy drive and are looking forward to next year's drive!

Second Chance Toys would like to thank parent volunteer, Danielle Sanchez, for overseeing the cleaning and sorting of the toys, and for helping us coordinate the donation to the three lucky organizations that received P.S. 132’s pristine toys.


Sharaay Tefila Synagogue in Manhattan collects close to 600 toys for Second Chance Toys every holiday. This year the toys were divided among three locations including ECDO Adam Clayton Powell Early Learning Center, Parents Association PS 194 and Greater Harlem Healthy Start, all located in upper Manhattan.

Luci Kadage at Greater Harlem Healthy Start sent us this photo and thank you note: “Thank for helping so many moms who cannot afford to buy toys for their children due to lack of basic necessity. You gave them the reason to smile again in this season of giving. Thank you for serving our community. All our moms were happy.”

Under the direction of Fran Miller, the Early Childhood Center at the Washington Hebrew Congregation once again collected hundreds of colorful plastic toys this holiday to be donated to Clifton Park Baptist Church for their community distribution. Randi Drewry at the church made sure that some of the toys were distributed to victims of the Long Branch apartment fire (pictured), as well as the New Hampshire Estates Elementary School, both in Silver Spring, MD.

Founded in 1921, Ridgewood Savings Bank operates 33 branches across Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island and Westchester County. Ridgewood is known for having a positive impact on its customers and the people in the communities where its branches are based.

Ridgewood Savings Bank has held two annual toy collections for us and they also selected Second Chance Toys as the charity for the money raised from their tote bag sale. We learned more from this Q&A with Domenico Ciaccio, Assistant Vice President and Community Reinvestment Officer at Ridgewood Savings Bank.

What is usually the criteria for Ridgewood when it comes to choosing a community project?

Ridgewood Savings Bank’s Domenico Ciaccio: Before choosing a community project, we research the organization to ensure the mission is in line with Ridgewood Savings Bank’s mission when it comes to community service. It is important for us to know that the community project has a positive effect. We also take suggestions from officers and employees of the bank.

How did Ridgewood first get involved with Second Chance Toys?

Domenico: We first found out about Second Chance Toys from one of our Branch Managers who hosted the second annual collection for SCT.    

Where did the idea of the “Tote Sale” to benefit SCT come from?

Domenico: In order to promote the environment, we sell Ridgewood Savings Bank tote bags throughout our branch network. Every year we select a charity for the money raised through the sale of our tote bags. In the past, the bank donated the proceeds of the tote bag sales to Operation Splash, another environmentally-conscious charity

Is there something about what SCT does that strikes a chord with you personally?

Domenico: Ridgewood Savings Bank strongly believes that our children are our future, and SCT does a great job ensuring that children don’t have to go without toys just because their families can’t afford it. We also appreciate how environmentally-conscious your organization is.  

SCT is environmentally-minded as a charity, looking to keep plastic out of local landfills. How is Ridgewood an environmentally-minded bank?

Domenico: We try our best here at Ridgewood Savings Bank to be environmentally-minded. We encourage our customers to sign up for e-statements and have taken steps within the organization in order to reduce the excess use of paper and electricity. Bank employees also volunteer their time with organizations that help the environment.

Finally, is there something you wish more people knew about Ridgewood?

Domenico: If there is one thing I wish more people knew about Ridgewood Savings Bank, it is how much we care about our communities. Ridgewood employees volunteer in food pantries, soup kitchens youth organizations, and senior centers. We help organize and prepare inventory of infant and toddler clothing, shoes, books, toys, etc. The bank also hosts numerous financial education workshops, First Time Homebuyer workshops, and senior identity theft prevention workshops at organizations throughout New York City.

More information on Ridgewood can be found at

Bronna Lipton, from Second Chance Toys, presented Uber with certificates of appreciation for their participation in the very successful Operation Toy Drive NYC. Uber offered a one-day FREE pickup of gently-used plastic toys to its customers in all 5 boroughs of NYC and in Hudson and Union Counties in NJ. Many thanks to Raquel Rosenberg (left) and Katie Dunn (right) for spearheading the respective efforts of Uber NY and Uber NJ to help hundreds of children in need and the environment!

In 2013 Danaya Dickson gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Dakoda. Like every mom, she wanted the best for her child, but it was difficult for her to make ends meet. So when Christmas rolled around that year, and for the next 2 years after that, Danaya was not able to provide her daughter with any gifts that were directly from her. Fortunately her extended family provided some gifts of their own.

This past Christmas was happily different! This year, Ms. Dickson was able to pick out several good-as-new plastic toys that were donated from Second Chance Toys to Babyland Family Services. Mr. Richard Whitten, director of Babyland Family Services, stated, “We had so many people from the community asking us for toys this year. If it were not for Second Chance Toys, we would have been in a pinch."

Among the toys Ms. Dickson selected for Dakoda, were a plastic alligator piano, a Lego block set, and a tea set. She is excited to use all of the toys to play and interact with her daughter. Danaya mentioned that she wants to put numbers and the letters of the alphabet on the Lego blocks, to help begin teaching her young child.

After the toys were picked out, they were wrapped up, and for the first time, Danaya Dickson was able to proudly put her own name on these precious gifts for her daughter. This was a happy holilday indeed!

As you can see from the photo, Edgemont Montessori School, Montclair, NJ amassed more than the 50 toys they originally thought they would collect. Montclair Child Development Center was the beneficiary of these good-as-new plastic toys. Dory Hack commented, "We thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity for Edgemont students to think about others' needs. Looking forward to doing it again next year!"


For a sixth consecutive year, Tashua Elementary School in Trumbull, CT collected toys for those in need. As a result of their time and energy, 300 beautiful plastic toys were donated to Community Closet in Bridgeport. Thank you Jim Sullivan and all the students at Tashua for your consistent donations year after year!!

NYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner, Kathryn Garcia, gave her support at Operation Toy Drive NYC's kick-off. As a part of the drive, Kidville collected and cleaned all the toys, Uber provided a day of free pickups, and 1-800-GOT-JUNK? delivered over 1,000 donated toys to organizations throughout NYC--toys that were saved from a trip to a landfill. All in all, it was a great team effort!

​NYC Dept. of Sanitation Commissioner, Kathryn Garcia, at the kick-off

​Operation Toy Drive NYC Team: L-R Raquel Rosenberg - Uber, Rammy Harwood- Kidiville,

Bronna Lipton-SCT, Ed Veloz and Domingo Rodriguez - 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

​Picking out toys collected during Operation Toy Drive NYC

​Toy donation, including the 250,000th toy donated, at Babyland Family Services, Inc. in Newark, NJ

Who would have ever thought that when Sasha Lipton began collecting toys back in 2006, and donated them to Babyland Family Services in Newark, that 10 years later Babyland would receive the 250,000th toy donated by Second Chance Toys!!

It started as a labor of love in 2006, when Sasha noticed all the colorful good-as-new plastic toys being tossed at the curb in her neighborhood. She not only wanted to help kids who were less fortunate, but realized the unnecessary waste headed for our landfills.

It was not easy getting the first organization to accept toys from a cold call by a high school student. Thank you Babyland Family Services for accepting our very first donation, recognizing the need we were fulfilling and giving us the conviction that this idea could take hold.

On this milestone donation of our 250,000th toy, a special thank you goes out to our amazing volunteers holding collections everywhere, and to 1-800- GOT-JUNK? that has volunteered time, trucks and manpower to pick up and deliver all of our large collections. Thank you for believing enough in our mission to give of your time to move us forward and help us grow.

Remaining toys being unloaded from the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? truck 

Video here:

Second Chance Toys' Bronna Lipton stopped in to chat with Awestruck's #MomsWithAttitude, Snooki and JWOWW, about their toy collection and to explain how Second Chance Toys works. They also helped us celebrate our 250,000th donated toy!! Thanks to 1-800-GOT-JUNK? for transporting the toys! 

This year we were happy to add Bright Beginnings Queens Village to our list of volunteers that collected toys for us....and they did a wonderful job!! Second Chance Toys matched them up with the National Association of University Women, who were distributing all kinds of goods to four different shelters in Queens including Acacia Network in Corona Shelter, LaGuardia Family Center, Camba The Landing, and Kings Inn. Thanks to Bright Beginnings, NAUW was able to include these beautiful good-as-new toys for the young children at the shelters and brighten the holidays. A great effort by all!!!

Some of the 500+ gently used plastic toys collected annually by Downingtown Area School District in PA. Thanks to 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, these toys are now in the hands of deserving children in the area!! Thank you, Downingtown Area School District, for your continued support!

Dentist Dr. Mariana Blagoev, in Parlin, NJ, is organizing a toy drive this holiday season that will surely put smiles on the faces of some deserving children in her community. In an effort to give back to the community, Blagoev is sponsoring a toy drive to make a difference in a child’s life during the holiday season. 

Blagoev is encouraging the public to drop off new, unwrapped or lightly used toys at her office, Bright Smiles Dental, 1145 Bordentown Ave. in Parlin, NJ. Toy drop-off dates are now through Wednesday, Dec. 21, during office hours. All of the collected toys will be donated to Second Chance Toys. 

“In a troubled economy that affects many Americans, the spirit of giving to others is needed more than ever,” Blagoev said in a news release. Individuals that participate in the toy drive will receive a free dental check-up, complete with an exam and X-rays. This way, locals get to help the needy while improving their own dental health. Blagoev is passionate about improving the lives of those in her community. She has also mobilized the community through charitable activities in the past, including food drives and other events.

Kidville was a integral part of making our Operation Toy Drive NYC such a success. They once again opened their facilities for drop-offs of over 1,000 toys (!), and in appreciation we presented a Certificate of Appreciation to each of the six Kidville locations in Manhattan that participated this year. Thank you, Kidville, for your continued support of Second Chance Toys!

Jill, a mom in Manhattan, drops off toys at Kidville

Carmen at Kidville Upper West Side

Brittany at Kidville Upper East Side

Naomi at Kidville Financial District

Bong at Kidville Murray Hill

Raffy, Mark, Mikayla, and Leona at Kidville Union Square

Ellen at Midtown West

Toys were collected and donated from PS6 students, family and friends grades PreK-5 in Staten Island. They collected race tracks, robots, dolls, action figures, dinosaurs, carriages, puzzles, plastic blocks, musical instruments, and play sets. Everyone had fun with the collection which was organized by PS 6 teacher, Eileen Loughran. These colorful toys were donated to the Jewish Renaissance Foundation for their breakfast with Santa toy giveaway in Perth Amboy. Thank you PS 6 for a job well done!!


McGinn Elementary School in Scotch Plains, NJ collected 824 beautiful toys during their gently used plastic toy collection. The fourth graders, pictured here, had so much fun helping to clean and inspect the toys and the school was able to activate firsthand the life lessons of giving and recycling for all the students who donated so generously. Thanks to PTA mom, Kelly Sacchetti, for organizing the entire drive. The toys went to Community Coordinated Childcare Agency in Rahway, NJ.  Bravo to everyone for an amazing collection and bringing so much happiness to those in need!!

Last month, I had the honor of co-leading my daughter’s Daisies troop as they earned two badges – the Clove “Use Resources Wisely” badge and the Rosie “Make the World a Better Place” badge. In planning for the event, my co-leader and I agreed that we wanted the girls to have a hands-on experience with these themes; not just hear about them, but actually experience them. So, we set up a tour at a local nature center. But still, we wanted more for the girls to actively experience in terms of using resources wisely and making the world a better place. That’s where Second Chance Toys (SCT) came into play (pun intended). By asking each of our Daisies to donate one or more of their lightly used plastic toys to a child in need, we married the themes of the Rosie and Clove badges. 

The Daisies were not only willing, but also excited to share their toys. In fact, one girl who forgot to bring her toy insisted that she bring it to my house the next day. They were determined to help re-use their toys and bring joy to children less fortunate. That sure sounds like wise resource management and making the world a better place to me! 

I encourage other Daisies and the broader Girl Scout community to follow our lead. A Second Chance Toys collection is an easy add-on to your next troop meeting. Or perhaps you want to go bigger and plan an event around the December holidays or around Earth Day, engaging your local schools and other community organizations. Regardless, it’s a worthwhile undertaking. If you’re not sure you have the time or you’re wondering how to get started, please see tips from my previous blog:

and from other SCT collectors:

P.S. Apparently, this works for the Eagle Scouts too!

-Sherry Marin Altman, SCT Volunteer