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Wise Words from a Mother: "Giving Is Its Own Reward"

People are inspired to volunteer and work with Second Chance Toys for a variety of reasons. Today we hear from one of our Board Members, Leslie Leventman, on what makes working with children in need so important to her:

As the holidays approach, with all the beautiful imagery and sounds of the season, I reach back to my childhood memories.  I have indelible memories of the lessons that my mother taught me. She always said that “giving is its own reward.” 
My mother was such a kind and caring individual. She was a product of the Great Depression and a member of the World War II Generation, who used ration coupons for food. My mother often spoke to me about those very difficult years and what it was like living in poverty. It was a painful reflection for her -- even in her early 90's. Fortunately, she had a very loving and close knit family, and together they weathered those extremely difficult years.
Despite her family hardships, my mother always knew how fortunate she was to have a doll and a pair of roller-skates as a child, and to experience the joy that these toys brought to her life. These two toys gave her childhood meaning, expression, creativity and room to dream. In fact, she might have missed out on all of those joyful times without them. However, she never forgot the meaning of those toys her entire life. This, I believe, ultimately led her to pursue a career in social service. As an adult, my mother became a social worker helping people in need. During the holidays my mother and her co-workers made baskets for the less fortunate, and delivered them to the neediest families. The focus of our holidays, as a family, was always to help those in need, and to “give back” to the best of your ability.   
This is why the mission of Second Chance Toys resonates so deeply with me, and why I am a member of its Board. The mission of Second Chance Toys is to help a child in need feel important and cared for, by providing toys that will allow them to be children. To dream, to play, and be in the moment of learning and wonder! Toys are so critical to a child's development. By giving a toy to a child, you are providing that child unbridled joy, a learning tool, and sweet memories-- all in one. And this is a blessing which will surely last a lifetime. 
My mother, Gladys Leventman, passed away this past March, at the age of 92. I will always honor and cherish her memory by remembering the needs of children who are less fortunate, by putting a smile on their faces with a joyful holiday toy.
Best wishes to all for a wonderful holiday season!