Charity gives toys a Second Chance

December 3, 2008 4:49:47 PM PST
If you're shopping for toys this Christmas, you may want to check your closets and cellar for past gifts that have been put away and forgotten. A group called "Second Chance Toys" gives those old toys new life by giving them to disadvantaged children.

Northwestern freshman Sasha Lipton is the founder of Second Chance Toys. The organization has now reached a milestone of gathering and donating more than 10,000 toys for use by disadvantaged children.

"I really didn't expect this to happen at all. I just thought it was like my idea. It would never really, nothing would ever come of it. But anyone can make a difference," Lipton said.

Three years ago while driving with her mother in New Jersey and seeing perfectly good toys thrown away, Lipton came up with the idea of rescuing discarded toys.

"We had an SUV. We rescued them in the back of our car and the rest is history. It's so heartwarming to see these children who would have otherwise not have been able to afford these toys get so much joy and happiness," said Sasha's mother Bronna Lipton.

The toys have been dropped off at collection boxes at Cartridge World locations.

The toys on display at the Cultural Center will be delivered to the YMCA at 6300 South Stony Island. As part of the program, 1-800-GOT-JUNK will generously donate their services in transporting the collected toys.

"It would be good to go out there with a truck and hopefully make kids smile," said Chris Coleman, 1-800-GOT-JUNK.

"I am overwhelmed, I am. I guess I didn't dream big enough. This is amazing," said Linda Dean, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.

Second Chance Toys has been recognized for the waste-need solution it provides to communities.

"I love kids. And the environment has recently become a big issue. And so, I figure that I could combine the two, and I'm helping kids in need and also benefiting the environment," Sasha Lipton said.

"It brings smiles. It brings happiness. It's also a good learning tool. Children need toys to play and socialize. It's a good learning tool. It's important," Bronna Lipton said.

Sasha Lipton and her mother are expanding Second Chance Toys nationally and internationally. They are partnering with growing numbers of organizations and communities to collect gently used and clean plastic toys for the holidays. Second Chance will be delivering the toys Thursday to the YMCA to hundreds of children that will be brought in for the event.


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