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Paulsboro Head Start Family Advocate Aja Alston and student Asianay Bryant share the excitement of the toy distribution while other children check out the toys.
Second Chance Toys and 1-800-Got-Junk? partnered to make children at Gateway Community Action Partnership's Paulsboro Head Start center very happy one Saturday morning in April.
Second Chance Toys, which rescues and recycles gently used plastic toys and donates them to children in need, donated a truckload of toys to Gateway's Paulsboro Head Start on April 21. 1-800-Got-Junk?, the world's largest junk removal services, donated their services by delivering the toys. From there, Gateway staff distributed the toys to our Paulsboro Head Start children, who were thrilled to start playing with the toys.
This is the second consecutive year Second Chance Toys and 1-800-Got-Junk? partnered to provide toys for our Paulsboro Head Start center. "Second Chance Toys has helped us to encourage volunteerism, engage families in their child's Head Start experience, and put a smile on a child's face," said Bonnie Eggenburg, Gateway's Head Start Director
Hilltop Elementary School Library Media Center and Second Chance Toys teamed up during Earth Week in an effort to make a meaningful difference within the community. Over 100 gently used plastic toys were donated to children in need at Morristown Neighborhood House and Head Start of Morristown, NJ. The students arrived at the after school event with their stuffed animals and two or more plastic toy donations. They participated in song, poetry, stories and movement as they prepared to tuck in their animals for the night. These creative volunteers combined helping their underprivileged peers with a fun and educational event. Great work!
Second Chance Toys continues to reach new milestones with the help and dedication of our volunteers. BIG thanks to 1-800-Got-Junk?, Kohl's, New York Kids Club, Chris Canty and all the families, schools and community groups that held toy drives. With all of our combined efforts we are making a big difference in the lives of children and the environment. Keep up the good work!
Once again, the Youth Ministry Group at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Doylestown, PA came through in a big way for Second Chance Toys. The group conducted a very successful toy collection on Sunday, April 29 in celebration of Earth Week. This is the fourth year in a row that they have made it happen for hundreds of deserving children in our community who will benefit from a truckload of beautifully shined-up, gently used plastic toys.Thanks to this great group of kids and their leader, Laurie Frayne, who have supported us so well for so long! It was a sunny Sunday, made sunnier by your charitable spirit. Way to go, all! Thank you very much for you efforts!
Nolia Design brought Second Chance Toys to Colorado by holding their own Earth Week Toy Drive. Natalie White, owner of the full-service ecological design firm, discusses her experience below.
What attracted you to Second Chance Toys?
This past holiday season I planned to collect my families used toys and those of my friends to donate to kids in need. I struggled to find a local agency that would accept used toys. I did not want to dispose haphazardly of my family’s toys, as many used toys are good as new--then I stumbled up Second Chance Toys. Their outreach abilities and mission were inspiring.
Why is collecting gently used plastic toys important to you?
I am deeply concerned about the state of our environment and our children. I feel that teaching young children to give up something they care about for another child of less fortune is an epic childhood lesson. Of course, the proliferation of plastic toys is astounding, and re-allocating them is a wonderful re-use strategy.
What role did your company, Nolia Design Inc., play in the collection process?
Nolia Design Inc. facilitated the toy drive by collaborating with local businesses that generously allowed us to set-up in high traffic areas around Fort Collins. We created eye-catching Earth Day displays using tables covered with sod and plants in our collection sites, added large collection boxes and crayons for kids to draw with, and provided educational materials, wildflower seed packets and coupons from our business sponsors. To promote the event we sent out several email campaigns, created a Second Chance Colorado Face book page, posted the event on our website, and sent out press releases to regional newspapers.
What was the best part of collecting for Second Chance Toys?
Knowing that every single toy makes a difference in a child’s life, particularly those who have no toys or very few. With the first toy collected, we considered the drive a success.
Do you plan to hold another Second Chance Toys collection?
Yes, the team at Nolia Design has begun planning for our Holiday drive. We plan to collaborate with sponsors to place them in businesses, pre-schools and other kid friendly sites. We hope our partners will use their networks to promote the drive, and leave the bags on site for a couple of weeks to facilitate collections. We are also planning to expand our scope beyond Fort Collins to include Boulder. Additionally we may work with another non-profit that has a large used children’s sale every fall and collect their un-sold plastic toys.
If you had to give one piece of advice from your experience to other collectors, what would it be?
Integrate the collection sites into the daily routines of families or other possible donors. Instead of having narrow collection windows for just a couple of days, try to maintain the collection sites for longer periods.
Crystal Zak held her first Second Chance Toys Collection this month in honor of Earth Week. She has been working along side her two daughters to collect toys and make a difference. Below, Crystal shares the story behind her own Second Chance Toys mission.
My daughters, Haley (4) and Lily (2), have so much and have even bigger hearts. We were inspired by Earth Week because Lily was born on Earth Day, so each year we try and celebrate her birthday in a special way. Haley came up with the generous idea to donate the toys they no longer played with to kids in need. She was very excited to help collect and clean all her old toys. We donated to the local shelter, Hilltop Haven in Paterson, NJ. Haley was very excited to see how much her toys meant to some of the children we saw that day. Even though Haley and Lily are too young to understand their generosity, it melted my heart that I raised such caring kids.
On the set at Fox 5 Sports (left to right) Chris Canty, NY Giants defensive lineman, Jocelyn Goldberg and her Dad Alan Goldberg who coordinate major toys collections in the Big Apple, and Duke Castiglione, sports anchor for Fox 5.
Kohl's Associate in Action showed their support at the Comcast Center in Philadelphia to celebrate Earth Week. Through the Kohl's Cares program over 6,000 toys were collected and donated to deserving children from Head Starts in the region.
We can't thank Kohl's Cares enough for their dedication to our mission and support with a generous grant to help us continue growing in order to serve more children.
Chris Canty of the NY Giants joined the Second Chance Toys including Sasha Lipton (founder) with the NYC team, Jocelyn and Alan Goldberg in a donation of over 500 toys collected at NY Kids Clubs in celebration of Earth Week. Toys were generously transported by our valued supporter, 1-800-Got-Junk?
Second Chance Toys now has an amazing video to tell our own ‘Toy Story’ and we're excited to share it with you.
We would like to thank the most talented contributors around the US and the world:
- Animation/production by IHan Cheng (Shanghai, China)
- Script by Tritia McLaughlin (Memphis, Tennessee)
- Narration by Lisa Rice (Thaxton, Virginia)
- Music by Jared Kahn (Midland Park, New Jersey)
We hope you like it and feel compelled to share it.
Happy Earth Day!
Jennifer Cournoyer joined Second Chance Toys as the Operations Manager a few months ago and has been busy helping donors, collectors, and recipients for our Earth Week programs. She recently participated in her first hands on toy drive with SCT and below recounts her very special experience.
The Earth Week Toy Drive at the Massachusetts National Guard Headquarters went perfectly! The Soldiers and Civilians collected 60 beautiful toys and were able to donate them to some very deserving children.
Debra Vanderwerf, the Central Region Director for Horizons for Homeless, met us at the headquarters in the afternoon. She was so grateful and took half of the toys for the homeless newborns-8 year old children that her organization serves across Massachusetts.
After Debra left the headquarters we drove to the women's shelter a few towns over, Serenity House. When we walked in with the toys we were greeted by a handful of women who reside there, along with two of their adorable babies.
As I was kneeling down to unload the toys out of the boxes, a woman tapped me on my shoulder and said words that I will never forget.
"Do you know who sent you here?" she asked.
"Yes, I work for Second Chance Toys."
She paused for a moment, looked at me and smiled, "No, God sent you here."
It was such a touching moment, and one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.
My first experience with a Second Chance Toys toy drive was surely one I will never forget, and I can't wait to be a part of many more.
The Moms Club of Anaheim, CA will be collecting toys and donating them to Colette’s Children’s Home of Huntington Beach. Since 1998, Colette’s has provided over 2,000 women and children a safe home and nurturing environment where they obtain compassionate support and services needed to achieve self-sufficiency. Second Chance Toys is thrilled to be a part of their mission and we thank the Moms Club of Anaheim for all of their effort.
The Passaic County Christian Center will be collecting toys for Earth Week and donating them to the Passaic County Women’s Outreach Center. The Outreach Center provides services to survivors of domestic violence and will be providing the families of the survivors with the donated toys. Wonderful work, Passaic County Christian Center!
The Methuen Mommas will be collecting toys in April and donating them to the Lazarus House Ministries in Lawrence, MA. The Lazarus House helps families and individuals living in poverty become self-sufficient members of the community by offering emergency shelter, food, clothing, and other services. This donation of toys by the Meuthen Mommas is going to make a big difference in the lives of the children in these families. Thanks for volunteering, you are making a difference!
Tuscan Elementary School is hosting an Earth Week Toy Drive and donating the collected toys to Babyland Family Services. Babyland has been serving families in the New Jersey area for over 40 years and they are thrilled that the students at Tuscan Elementary are collecting toys for their facility. Great job, Students!
A Mom’s Club in Freehold, NJ will be collecting toys for Earth Week and donating them to Acelero Learning Center Head Start. The mission of Acelero Learning Center is to bring focus on positive child and family outcomes to close the achievement gap and build a better future for children. The kids at Acelero are very eager to receive the toys, all thanks to the hard work of the Mom’s Club volunteers!