The holidays can be a really special time for families to connect. For many children, there are so many toys and books and things to go around that it can be hard to know what to do with them all. Last year, thanks to a burst of inspiration from my sister-in-law who wanted to further the empathy she taught her young boys, we started a toy drive that nearly every family could participate in! Here are the details:
This gently-used toy drive is meant to give as many people as possible a chance to participate, regardless of income. We know that developing empathy is critical to a young child’s success when they enter school and to becoming great citizens. We also know from research that giving actually does make you happier than receiving (the old adage ’tis better to give than to receive is, it turns out, based in science!) With so much acrimony and the media reporting massive division, together we can let this holiday remind all of us – and our children – that people are fundamentally good and that empathy for each other really is a core value we share.
We teamed up with several local breweries and a Bay Park realtor last year to gather toys. Here are the basics:
- Work with your children to pick out some gently used toys or books that they are willing to part with.
- Bring the toys to one of the locations on the flyer by December 18th (or email firstname.lastname@example.org to try to coordinate a pick-up)
- Send us a quick note about your experience of discussing with your child the purpose for participating
- That’s it!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What happens to the toys?
A: We are working to provide toys to the Black Infant Health Project of Neighborhood House Association, the Lowrider Community of San Diego, and homeless children in need. We will also look for direct opportunities for parents or grandparents who want a little help for their own families.
Why are you promoting donation of gently used toys?
A: While we will also accept new, wrapped toys, we feel strongly that every family ought to have a way to participate in spreading good will and in teaching empathy.
Are there any drop-off locations in north San Diego?
A: Our only drop-off location in north San Diego is in the Bay Park community at 4138 Napier Street.
What if we do not have toys but want to give monetary donations?
A: There are many great organizations that serve children. Voices of Children is one really incredible organization that provides advocates for foster youth in San Diego County. You can find them directly at http://speakupnow.org