Rose & Rex was founded on a social mission because we believe that all children have the right to play in a healthy world. Since our site launched, we have been grateful to partner with Second Chance Toys, an organization that recycles, refurbishes and donates toys to children in need. To grow the impact of our partnership, this holiday season every toy that is sold will help Second Chance Toys donate toys to children in need. We are continually inspired by the work that Second Chance Toys does and know that you will be as well! We asked Bronna Lipton, executive director of SCT, to share more about an organization that is close to our hearts. Thank you for helping us to #playitforward!
Tell us about the inspiration for Second Chance Toys and how you got started?
In 2006, I was driving with my daughter around our suburban NJ neighborhood on a large trash day. She noticed all the beautiful and colorful toys topping many of the piles of garbage at the curb and asked me to stop the car. We began picking them up and putting them in our car. She realized that these good-as-new toys could make another child happy and should not be destined for the landfill. She cleaned the toys and many calls later, she finally found a home for them at Babyland Family Services in Newark, for our very first donation of 30 toys. We no longer pick the toys up from the curb, but rather inspire others to conduct gently used plastic toy collections. We match them with one of the many organizations that have signed up with us to receive our toys.
What are some of the most rewarding aspects of running a non-profit organization?
The most rewarding aspect is being on the front lines when we distribute toys to the children who need them the most. The look in their eyes and their smiles say it all.
And then when the parents come up to us with tears in their eyes and thank us for making it possible to give their child a toy, especially for the holidays, it makes all our efforts worth it.
It is not only wonderful to see so many volunteers come forward to collect toys including individuals, businesses, recycling centers, schools, scout troops and houses of worship, but it's great to see them sign up year after year. They not only have fun bonding with friends and coworkers while sorting and cleaning the toys, but the experience is so meaningful because they see firsthand how they are helping children and the environment.
What can someone do to support Second Chance Toys?
In addition to supporting Rose & Rex's efforts that benefit Second Chance Toys, there are four ways to support our cause:
1) Bring your gently used plastic toys to one of our public collections.
Find the nearest drop off location on our website. If you cannot find one in your area, we will match you directly with a local organization if you can amass 50 toys with friends and family.
2) Plan a collection with your school, office, company, scout troop, house of worship.
Sign up starting November 1 as a collector. Second Chance Toys will give you resources to promote your collection and tips to plan your event. We will match you directly with a local organization to accept your toys.
3) Make a tax-deductible contribution to Second Chance Toys
Your end-of-year monetary donation will help us continue to expand our reach, spread cheer to more children and keep plastics out of our landfills.
4) Support Second Chance Toys through Amazon Smile
Please log into your next Amazon shopping session using this link.
Why are play experiences and toys so important for young children to have?
As Mr. Rogers said, "Play is the work of childhood". And toys help children with this work. Toys help them socially, emotionally and physically, with fine motor skills. Toys help children develop their imaginations through play, help children feel secure and even inspire children to dream about the future.
Our goal is to get toys into the hands of children in need so that they can experience the same advantages that others do through play.