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Spotlight Collector: Elizabeth Wilson in Parker, CO

We asked first-time collector, Elizabeth Wilson, to reflect on the sucess of her collection this Spring in Parker, CO. She shared her inspiration behind holding a collection, and also some excellent tips for organizing toys as you collect! 
This is my first time to collect with SCT.  I found out about SCT through a neighbor who had collected some toys to give in the past. In January, I started a decluttering project at my home. I had plenty of toys that my kids outgrew or lost interest in, but yet the toys were perfectly usable. Seems like such a waste on many levels - more stuff in landfills, a child goes without, environment is cluttered, etc. I didn’t like the idea of throwing usable toys away that another child could enjoy if only the toy found it's way to that person.  
Second Chance Toys was an easy choice for me because I am aligned with the idea of helping families who cannot afford to purchasetoys for their children, and keeping perfectly good toys out of landfills. Plus, with my recent decluttering endeavor, it seemed like a win-win-win all around. I was able to round up 54 toys from my own home, so I was basically my own toy collection drive for SCT. 
The best collection tip I can give is to have organized stations throughout the process.  Usable toys go in one pile, unusable toys go in another pile for recycle. Then break down the usable toy pile into sub-stations - a pile for toys that need new batteries, a pile for toys that need wrapped for special handling (fragile, lots of loose parts, etc), a pile for toys that are ready to go for donation. Organization is key!
The other tip I would offer is to ask questions about each toy - is there a duplicate item already used in my home, has my child outgrown the item, is the item reusable or not, will my child miss the toy, does the item need to come with a manual so it's easier for the next person to use (TIP: user manuals can be found online if the original is lost). Questions such as these as I went through my house room by room helped me create the organization piles, which then helped me keep track of what to donate, what to keep, what was no longer usable by anyone. I look forward to collecting with SCT again in the future.