I am a Mum of two children, aged 2 and 4, and I looked around my living room after my daughter’s birthday and Christmas last year and couldn’t believe my eyes. Toys, toys and more toys!
I felt incredibly lucky that my kids had been given so many gifts, and that we were in a position to have bought some of these, but a little guilty at the same time. Many of the ‘older’ toys were in great condition yet were sitting idle having been usurped by shinier models. There were other unused toys that my children had just grown past. Again, these toys were in great condition and perfect for a short time in their development, but beyond that, only perfect for Mummy to trip over and consider leaving on the nature-strip for anyone to PLEASE collect for SCRAP, PLASTIC or WOOD!
Then I considered a better solution..
What I really wanted was to pass these toys onto children who would enjoy playing with them as it seemed like such a waste to keep them only to gather dust in my home.
I had given some to friends with younger children but that had only accounted for a few. I didn’t want to just leave them at the nearest charity bin or e-bay them (although those are valid choices), as I felt sentimental about them. These are toys my children had some of their first photos taken with. Letting them go felt like parting with a piece of their childhood, and yes therefore a tiny piece of my heart. If you are anything like me, you’ll feel something even for those toys with buttons that little fingers pressed so often you ended up singing their tunes and repeating their phrases in the company of adults; ones you didn’t know; without thinking anything of it.
After speaking to other Mums, I realised my situation and sentiments were shared.
So I started Second Play Toy Swaps for Charity, where parents can come to an event, donate the toys that their children no longer play with and/or collect toys that suit their children’s current interests and development stage, plus raise funds for children’s charities.
This way, those of us donating toys can feel positive about parting with them as we are giving other families the opportunity to enjoy them. Families who are coming to collect toys can feel positive about reducing toy wastage, and everyone who participants will also know that they are helping to raise funds for children in need.
Please come to my first swap and help raise funds for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Please visit the facebook page for event details. If you are not on Facebook you will still be able to view the information. If you are on Facebook, please ‘Like’ my page while you are there to stay tuned for updates. Brief details below.
Why is it important to support Starlight?
Starlight brightens the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children by providing welcome distraction and refuge from their pain and suffering. It grants children wishes, provides an imaginative and happy space for children and their families in Australia’s major paediatric hospitals and delivers many other programs. For more visit Second Play Toy Swap for Charity
Date: Sunday 27th May 2012. Donate toys: 11am – 12pm/Collect toys: 12.30pm to 2.30pm.
Location: Canterbury Street Stables, 49-53 Canterbury Street, Flemington.
To collect a toy, we will invite you to donate its suggested value to the Starlight Children’s Foundation in donation boxes on the day.
Children’s playgrounds, family prize raffle, sausage sizzle and more to enjoy on the day.
Starlight Children’s Foundation lifts the spirits of seriously ill and hospitalised children when they need it most by providing fun distraction and refuge from their pain and suffering. Starlight grants wishes, provides an imaginative and happy space for children and their families within many of Australia’s major paediatric hospitals and delivers many other programs. For more visit www.starlight.org.au