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​A public collection at one of three Manhattan TD Bank locations

This year, at the annual Winter's Eve celebration in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Manhattan, TD Bank kicked off their holiday collection of gently used plastic toys. Three branches on 62nd, 68th and 117th streets participated in the collections and brought in an amazing amount of toys! Then they took their participation to the next level and attended the toy distribution at United Yes We Can/Unidos Si Se Puede holiday party, in East Harlem. TD Bank volunteers helped organize and select age- appropriate toys for each family.

Because of TD Bank's efforts, so many children in need were positively impacted and parents were given the dignity of being able to provide a toy for their child for the holidays. We are so grateful for the participation of TD bank. They are community minded in every sense of the word.

Year after year, we are so grateful for the efforts of the controllers group at Viacom. Not only do they support our program on Viacommunity Day, but they consistently volunteer their time and effort to hold an internal collection of gently used plastic toys for the holidays.

The photos display the care and enthusiasm poured into the effort, the incredible number of toys collected, their careful preparation of the toys and their team effort. As a result of the collection, 120 toys went to deserving children at Urban Resource Institute in Manhattan.

We are so grateful to Viacom NY controllers for setting aside time each holiday to help children in need.

As a result of the amazing collections conducted by hundreds of volunteers throughout the country, Second Chance Toys was able to coordinate donations of 25,000 toys in 2017. And the volunteer efforts of our partners, 1-800- GOT-JUNK?, make it possible to transport very large collections to multiple organizations. We are so happy to have kept thousands of plastic toys out of landfills that are now helping to inspire children to create, imagine, play and learn.

Thanks to everyone involved with Second Chance Toys for your time, efforts, and enthusiasm for our mission. You have made a real difference.

With gratitude,

The Second Chance Toys Team

The student body of McGinn Elementary in Scotch Plains responded overwhelmingly to the call for gently used plastic toys. Thanks to Kelly Sachetti, the PTA moms and the help of fourth graders, they were able to collect, inspect, clean and bag 830 toys within an hour of school bell.

They certainly helped make magic this holiday season for so many children served by Union County Council for Young Children. And as a bonus, the children at McGinn experienced firsthand the importance of giving and the special feeling of helping others less fortunate. Now that's what the holidays are all about!

Thank you McGinn for your continued support of Second Chance Toys!

The fourth grade class of Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Monmouth County coordinated a toy drive to benefit Second Chance Toys, with help from their teachers, Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Markowitz and the school administration. Students in the class informed other students in the school of the fundraiser by creating posters to spread the word. Children in the school generously donated both new and gently used toys. The whole school community got involved including students, teachers and other staff.

Due to the competitive nature of this particular fourth grade class, their teachers split the class into two teams. The in-class competition encouraged everyone to participate in donating toys.

Once the competition was finished, they had collected 300 toys, which were donated to Community Refuge Education Center. The class shared all of the details of the collection in a school-wide Thanks & Giving assembly in which the students relayed all the things they were thankful for and that there were children who were not as fortunate as they. They explained how they reached out to family, friends and community to help children that might not receive toys for the holidays. By doing the skit, they taught the entire school how important it is to give back.

Bottom line: The students were very excited to help others and are determined to do more drives to help the less fortunate.  

The holiday toy collection at Evergreen School in Scotch Plains is proof that when a community comes together, great things happen. The collection was promoted well in advance. The Kids Care Committee posted e-blasts for weeks, the PTA president sent out reminders about making sure the toys were clean, that loose pieces were put together in bags and attached to the toys, and that toys were in the same condition that parents would want to give to their own children. Not only did the community respond with everything bagged so neatly, but a record number of toys were donated! In only one hour, the fourth graders inspected, wiped down and bagged up the collection of 950 toys.

Then, like clockwork, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? pulled in front of the school to load up the toys and cart them to Newark, where they were donated to Vince Lombardi Centers for Hope. We could never move as many toys as we do and impact the thousands of children we do without the volunteer services of 1-800- GOT-JUNK? their trucks, time and manpower. Special thanks to Evergreen Principal, Colleen Haubert, for supporting the collection twice yearly at the school, and to the Kids Care parents, Lindsay DeMasi and Kathleen Migliaccio, for their consistent dedication and hard work year after year!!​ Thank you all.

Representatives from the Mid Fairfield Child Guidance Center joined the Stamford JCC Nursery School at their weekly Shabbat celebration to receive the toys the children collected. The representatives shared with the children how the toys will benefit other children. The experience of collecting and donating was a great life lesson for the kids at the JCC, and will help make a wonderful holiday experience for others.

With the “season of giving,” the Women of AT&T (WOA-SJ) employee resource group recently hosted a toy drive at the AT&T Middletown, NJ office. Their collected toys were distributed to Lunch Break in Red Bank, NJ who in turn offer them freely to their clients in need. 

Established in 1983, Lunch Break freely provides food, clothing, life skills and fellowship to those in need who live in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Lunch Break strives to break the cycle of poverty for those they serve and guide community members in need to self-sufficiency and healthier, more productive lifestyles. 

We were happy to work with Women of AT&T (WOA-SJ). This marks their second successful collection, and one that conincided with a generous monetary donation. They enjoy working with SCT specificially because it provides a wonderful lesson in giving and reuse, and allows them to support local charities and make a positive difference in the lives of people in their own backyard.

Kidville has been collecting toys with Second Chance Toys for years. Beginning this week, they are accepting gently used plastic toys at their various locations in New York including Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Midtown West, Union Square and FiDi locations in Manhattan, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, and in New Jersey at their Hoboken and Montclair (Nov. only) locations. Please click here for specific dates and times. Toys will be matched with local organizations to benefit the children in those areas. Thank you Kidville for your years of dedication and efforts to help children and the environment!!

Shop to support Second Chance Toys! This holiday season, our generous partners at  rose & rex are donating 25% of the sale price of two adorbale Hazel Village plush animals to Second Chance Toys.

Nicholas Bear Cub and Penelope Rabbit are beautifully crafted from eco-friendly materials and feature hand-stitched faces. By helping Second Chance Toys reach more children with each purchase, it's a win-win for anyone seraching for a unique and heirloom-quality plaything for a special child in their life. Shop today!

“I just want to say one word to you. Just one. Are you listening?”
“Yes, sir”
“Plastics.”  -Mr. McGuire to Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate (1967) 

It was that thinking, along with a sense of helping the environment, that led to the birth of Second Chance Toys (SCT), and getting used plastic toys into the hands of children in need. Children who probably would NOT receive a toy if not for the efforts of SCT.

Possibly one of the industry leaders along these lines is Little Tikes Inc., based in Hudson, Ohio [Akron area]. Famous for their Cozy Coupe Cars, Cape Cottage Playhouses and other designs. The things simply never wear out! And even with a few scuffs and minor wear and tear, with some tender loving care they can be restored to nearly good as new.

I know this first hand. When we were starting our family years ago, my wife decided to stay home and be a full-time mom. We stretched our single income through garage sales and thrift shops, but by selecting good quality products, that hold up.

Second Chance Toys brings as much joy the second, third and even multiple times around. Especially to a child expecting​ nothing.

Todd Winninger is a Freelance Writer, specializing in volunteer assignments with non-profit organizations. His online portfolio is at He lives in South Florida. ​

For the past three years, Virginia-based management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) held gently used plastic toy collections as part of April’s Earth Day events. Not only does the quantity of collected toys continue to grow, but so does the participation of more Booz Allen offices.

This year, the Booz Allen Sustainability Program Management Office coordinated the involvement of eight offices throughout Virginia, DC, Maryland, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Each team provided collection areas or boxes within their offices, cleaned the toys to look good-as- new, and donated them to local organizations matched by Second Chance Toys. This year’s program was co-chaired by employee volunteers Elaine Soya and Kathy Medici, with the cleanup supported by employee forums as part of Take Your Children to Work Day.

"We are thrilled to see enthusiasm for this program growing internally," said Sustainability Program Manager Elizabeth Wayt. "Teams are helping local children in need while doing something meaningful in celebration of Earth Month."

In some instances, volunteers themselves delivered collections of used toys directly to their local organization. "Seeing the smiling faces of the deserving children and knowing that we were directly responsible for bringing so much happiness warmed our hearts," remarked DC volunteer Nadine Goff.

Here's how the Booz Allen volunteer efforts helped make a difference:

• Booz Allen offices donated a total of 1,500 toys
• Approximately 6,000 lbs. of plastic were kept out of landfills
• Eight organizations benefited from the toy donations
• Employee children who donated learned important life lessons of giving and reuse
• An average of 4,500 smiles will be generated with each round of play (an average of three children per toy)

Second Chance Toys is grateful for the time, effort, and enthusiasm devoted to this growing Earth Month program at Booz Allen and for the firm’s recognition of our mission in the way of a generous grant.

Why is Buzz Lightyear smiling? Because thousands of his plastic toy friends were saved from landfills this Earth Month!!

Second Chance Toys enjoyed a great response allowing us to match many individual collectors from around the country with organizations in their local area that need toys. Additionally, we enjoyed many repeat collectors who have consistently seen an increase in the number of toys donated year after year. Many locals have now come to rely on repeat collections and know to save up their toys throughout the year.

We have received comments from parents that Second Chance Toys provides a guilt-free way to dispose of plastic toys, knowing they will not end up in a landfill and instead, be played with again. Many parents and grandparents use the donation process to instill in their children the life lessons of giving and reuse.

With over 8,000 toys donated this April, we were able to spread the love far and wide and in the process, keep over 30,000 pounds of plastic out of the landfills!! Thank you everyone who donated, collected, and supported Second Chance Toys. We depend on volunteers to help make magic for children and the environment.

In spite of the downpour, the kids and parents at Evergreen School rallied and collected over 300 toys in just a little more than an hour. The toys were cleaned, batteries were changed and these colorful plastic gems looked as good as new!! On hand were our friends from 1-800-GOT-JUNK? who volunteered their time, manpower and truck to pickup and deliver the toys to Freedom Ministries in Plainfield.

Evergreen has been doing twice yearly collections with Second Chance Toys for 10 years, since 2008! Thanks to the PTA volunteers for getting the word out, organizing the drive and helping the fourth grade volunteers that cleaned and inspected the toys. This was another great success in a string of many!!!

It was a beautiful sunny day and 27 volunteers for Viacommunity Day, Viacom's day of service, descended upon Fairlawn Recycling Center in NJ, where gently used plastic toys are collected for Second Chance Toys throughout the year.

An entire pod at the center was filled with beautiful toys awaiting a new home. All they needed was a little washing with soap and water and presto, good-as-new! During the course of three hours' time, volunteers inspected the toys, cleaned the 1,500 approved toys to a shine, then bagged and loaded them onto the two 1-800- GOT-JUNK? trucks that were waiting to deliver the toys.

"It was a great team bonding experience," noted Wanda Farag, team captain. "We all had fun getting to know one another, as we all worked together towards the same goal," she continued.

The 1,500 toys that were delivered to 5 local organizations not only brought thousands of smiles to deserving faces, but 6,000 pounds of plastic were saved from the landfill!

Thank you Viacom for allowing the amazing Viacommunity Day volunteers to provide the manpower needed to make this incredible event a reality.

There are so many decisions when it comes to choosing how to donate your hard-earned money. For me, personally, there’s an additional layer of thought and calculation that comes with it. Our organization has to be extremely picky with our charitable partners, making sure that they’re both fiscally responsible and making real, tangible impact.

Second Chance Toys is definitely one of our favorites. For one, we love the fact that their cause is multifaceted, focusing on both providing toys to those in need and keeping plastic out of landfills here in America. It’s that kind of ingenuity that we need from our partners. They truly answer the question of “how can we take this one step further?”

Our campaign with them and Benny Benassi over the holidays was heartwarming-- more so than a lot of the other campaigns we ran. There was just another level of importance added to our usual process knowing that people who care about these kids were out there, providing for them and helping save our environment at the same time.

This was certainly only the first step between our two organizations in what will be a beautiful relationship for years to come.

-Clayton Warwick is founder of Cadence & Cause, an organization that connects artists, fans and worthy causes to measurably make an impact

Thanks to all the Kidz Bop Kids for such an amazing video in celebration of Earth Week.


McGinn Elementary is in Scotch Plains, NJ, with approximately 500 students from K-4th grade.  Our PTA feels lucky to have partnered with Second Chance Toys this school year as they coordinated a partnership between our school community and a local community organization that was in need of toys. We have had two successful drives this school year, collecting over 800 toys for the holidays in December and over 600 in celebration of Earth Day.  

Here's how our collections are run:
• Getting the word out is key: PTA eblasts, "McGinn Moms" Facebook page
• Held for one morning only, during school drop off
• 5-10 parent volunteers and 10 fourth grader student volunteers help out
• At arrival, volunteers collect toys at each of our entries and at the car drop off line
• Toys are brought into our Multipurpose Room during the 20 minute drop off period
• Student/parent volunteers inspect and clean the toys with disposable wipes
• Toys are tested to see if they need new batteries installed  
• Toys that have been cleaned and are operational are placed in a donation area
• The toys are counted and placed in large plastic garbage bags
• We help load up the toys when the organization arrives for pickup

The students are eager to participate in this event.  Not only do they get to miss the first half hour of instruction, they have fun and really enjoy doing this for less fortunate children.  In total, the students volunteer one hour of their time, from 8:00-9:00 am, and the parents volunteer from 8:00-10:00 am.  We love the life lessons our kids learn from this event and plan on doing this next year!

-Kelly Sacchetti, mom and PTA member

Toys are often donated after they've spent time being loved in the home. This Earth Month we were lucky to receive donations from two wonderful toy companies. The first was from Learning Express, a chain of toy stores offering educational and creative playthings for children. The second was from Melissa & Doug, whose toys help children imagine, discover and create. Thanks to both companies for thinking of us!

Members of the Learning Express Team helped load up 300 toy samples for Communities United in Woburn, MA. Thank you Lauren and Becki for helping to arrange this most generous donation from Learning Express!!!. 

​Above, a huge box of toys was prepared especially for the Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center in Connecticut. Thanks Amanda, for making this generous toy donation from Melissa & Doug a possibility!

Guest blog post from Madeline Cohen of Kimco Realty:

This year, Earth Day brought Kimco the chance to give back — not only to the environment, but to children in need. Every year, perfectly usable but unwanted plastic toys are forgotten or thrown into landfills, where they take up space and don’t biodegrade. While they are in good working condition and show little sign of wear, they get tossed out, almost always in ways that do harm to the planet.

To help lessen this practice by donating these items to underprivileged children, Kimco partnered with Second Chance Toys, a non-profit which helps to save plastic toys from landfills and give them a better purpose, providing a mutually beneficial waste-need solution. Our toys went to Manhasset Head Start, another non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all at-risk children have access to a model of support that will help the child, their family, and the community as a whole.

Studies have shown that toys inspire play, which is critical to healthy development in children. Yet many go without these childhood staples, with 12.5 million children in the United States under the age of six living in low-income families, and almost a quarter of those living in poverty. Since 2006, Second Chance Toys has helped save over 200,000 plastic toys from filling landfills, instead finding them new homes with children who will benefit from them.

From April 12 to April 18, Kimco collected, cleaned, and added another 80 toys to that total — a great way to celebrate Earth Day, protect the environment, and help out those in need. Thanks to all who participated in this good cause!