Toy drive to benefit two local nonprofitsWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
After the holiday rush, many families may find themselves wondering where they will find space for all the new toys in their households.
The Town Center at Levis Commons in Perrysburg is offering a solution with its second annual “Play It Forward” used toy drive.
The Town Center will collect gently used plastic toys for local families in need Jan. 7 and 8. Donations can be dropped off in front of the movie theater at Levis Commons from noon to 6 p.m.
Donated toys should be plastic, in working order, clean and have fresh batteries if possible.
“When functioning and useable toys are thrown out, they become waste in a landfill, take up a lot of space and do not biodegrade,” said Casey Pogan, marketing director at The Town Center at Levis Commons, in a news release. “Adding to this is the fact that many children in our area go without toys, which are instrumental in creativity and imagination development.”
The toys will be distributed in mid-January to the Aurora House and Mom’s House, both local charities serving women and children in Northwest Ohio. The Aurora House is a transitional housing shelter for homeless women and children, specifically women who were dealing with addictions. Mom’s House works to empower single parents through education and child care.
Pogan said the idea for the drive was born as she and a co-worker talked about their young children.
“Preparing for Christmas last year, we needed to clear out some old stuff to make room for new and it was just an idea that transpired from our own families,” Pogan said.
In its first year, the drive collected three cargo vans full of toys for the Toledo Day Nursery. People donated everything from large swings and walkers to tiny miscellaneous items, Pogan said.
“It was amazing. We carried box after box into the basement storeroom, but took two or three right into the children’s toy room and let them open the boxes,” Pogan said. “It was such a good feeling, tingle-worthy, to see the kids grab a toy and take ownership of it.”
Plastic toys are preferred versus soft toys, like stuffed animals, because plastic toys are more harmful in landfills and because they spawn creativity and imagination, Pogan said.
Cousino Harris Disaster Kleenup will clean and sanitize the toys.
“That is a huge thing, so if people are feeling hesitant about donating because something has been sitting in the attic, they don’t need to because it’s going to be cleaned and sanitized,” Pogan said.
Toledo Free Press and the website ToledosNightOut.com are the media sponsors for the event.
Contact The Town Center at Levis Commons at (419) 931-8888.