It’s official. The holiday season is upon us. Before things start to get crazy, take some time out to gather the family together to remind them it’s the season of giving, not getting. In fact, you can use the opportunity to collect your kids’ forgotten toys that may be gathering dust in your attic or basement, and by donating them, your family can truly make this a happy holiday season for needy children in your community.
Second Chance Toys is a nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting your clean, plastic, fully functioning used toys, and delivers them to local charities for children in need. With affiliates in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and even Sydney, Australia, Second Chance Toys is determined to help change the lives of children worldwide. But they can’t do it without your help, and the help of some very generous people.
Founded by Sasha Lipton when she was only in high school in 2006, this fantastic organization has collected and distributed 51,355 toys to date, and they are hoping to add at least another 8,000 to that total after this holiday season. Those are impressive numbers for an organization that has only been in existence for four years. This success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of many individuals, and sponsors, one of which is 1-800 Got Junk.
1-800 Got Junk is a junk removal company that has really raised the bar as far as generosity goes. When they heard about the great things Second Chance Toys does, they donated their trucks to help pick up the toys from the toy drive sites and deliver them to the waiting charities. That’s free labor and gas in addition to the trucks. They really set an example to us all about giving what we have to offer to others without expecting anything in return. To find out more about this wonderful company, including their services, visit www.1800gotjunk.com.
The Second Chance Toys affiliate in Long Island is headed by Carey Campbell, a local mother of three who was motivated to get involved after finding out most traditional charities only accept new toys. With many near perfect toys to give, she found Second Chance Toys last year after researching on the internet. She holds two big drives a year, one during Earth week in April, and one that’s going on now before the holidays. The drives are hosted at the Mid Island Y JCC, located at 45 Manetto Hill Road in Plainview, and also the Investor Savings Bank branch, located at 190 East Jericho Turnpike, in Mineola, which will be collecting toys until December 6th. This year, the donated toys will be going to the Nassau County Department of Mental Health, which helps many families with various needs. Also, a small portion of the toys will be given to families with autistic children. She is also looking for additional Long Island based charities, particularly ones helping our service men and women returning home from combat. If you know of, or are part of any such charities, please get in contact with Second Chance Toys, and they will pass the information on to Carey.
To find a drop off location near you, visit www.secondchancetoys.org. When gathering the toys you’ll be donating, please make sure they are fully functioning. There is hardly a bigger let down to a child than receiving a toy, only to find out it doesn’t work as it should. That includes all parts, and if necessary, fresh batteries. By doing your part at home, you’ll make it that much easier for the volunteers to deliver the toys to their new homes.
Donating your old toys is not only a great way to make it a special holiday for many local kids in need, but it also teaches your own kids to give to others who are less fortunate. That’s an important life lesson for them to have as they grow older, and will help shape the adults they will become. It’s a win/win situation for everyone.