Many organizations serve one mission. Today’s organization found a way to do two good things with one organization.
Sasha Lipton started serving her community at a young age. She spent time with her father delivering food to homebound seniors for Meals on Wheels. She also worked at soup kitchens and sponsored a child from the Dominican Republic through Children International. During the summer of 2006, Sasha volunteered as a counselor at Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. It was during that summer that the idea behind Second Chance Toys was born. She spent time driving around neighboring towns with her mom and noticed many toys being disposed of at the curb. Most of the toys appeared as good as new and Sasha thought about how wasteful it was to discard of these toys and that many children would love to have them.
Second Chance Toys is now a 501c3 nonprofit corporation with a mission to rescue and recycle plastic toys for children in need by donating them to community organizations. The second part of the mission is to keep the non-biodegradable plastic toys out of landfills. These toys are reused by giving them to children in need. The toys can enhance the development of these children by promoting socialization, creativity, emotional security, motor skills, and learning.
Second Chance Toys is headquartered in New Jersey, but they work in communities all over the United States and Australia. As of spring of 2012, the organization reached the milestone of 112,949 toys donated.
Why are toys so important? Play is the “work” of young children. Babies use toys to develop their motor skills and learn how to control their bodies. Toys provide motivation for them to learn to reach, grasp, roll, sit, crawl, stand, and walk. Toddlers learn concepts of weight, shape, color and size through play. According to research from the National Institute for Early Education, without sufficient toys, children do not develop necessary motor skills. Studies also show that infant toys are critical for brain growth that affects learning later in life. As children grow, toys provide opportunities for laughter, fun, and inquisitive exploration of the world. These are critical opportunities for the healthy emotional, intellectual, and physical development of children.
About 32 million children in the United States are from low-income families, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty. The toys donated through Second Chance Toys make a world of difference in the life of a these children and help keep non-biodegradable plastics out of our landfills.
Below are some opportunities to help Second Chance Toys put smiles on the faces of some very deserving children in your own community:
- Donate your plastic toys to get them to kids who need them. You can search for the nearest drop off location on their website.
- Volunteer to collect gently used plastic toys in your community during the Spring collection in April and the Holiday collection in November/December. You can register your collection and find their collection starter kit here.
- You can also make a monetary donation via their website.
- There are a variety of opportunities to volunteer your time. You can sign-up as a volunteer on their website.
- If your company is interested in becoming a corporate sponsor for Second Chance Toys, please take a look at their sponsor page.
- You can show your support with a variety of Second Chance Toys merchandise available on their website.
- If you are a blogger, consider sharing the mission of Second Chance Toys. Learn more here.
- You can also share this post and/or the video below to spread the story about the opportunity to donate toys.