Friday, December 31, 2010

IBM and Toybank donate toys to CFTI!

Toybank is happy to end 2010 on a wonderful note!

IBM NCR and Toybank Delhi organized a toy collection drive in all the IBM offices in NCR in Sept. Around 140 of these toys were donated to Centre for Transforming India this week.

Center for Transforming India is a registered not for profit trust formed with the vision to effectively create social harmony and further the growth of India.
National Child Labor Project by Government of India, is one of the projects CFTI has been appointed as an implementing partner to run 11 special schools in District of Gurgaon . Under the said scheme CFTI is working with the children in the age group of 9-14 years working either in hazardous employments or in distress environment and is helping them by bringing them into the formal education system and mentoring them for a better future.

Couple of months ago Mr Pankaj Sharma, Chief Trustee of CFTI approached IBM with their initiaive to reach out to children from rural areas.

Here's what Raman Deep Kaur from CFTI wrote to us after the distribution:

"Dear Swetha

Thanks for the toys . Indeed we will be distributing some of them in Delhi and rest will be sent to Jharkhand( Mokama and Ranchi) for distribution by our NGO Partners to tribal children. We have distributed some of the toys in our annual new year party that we organize every year at our office for street/slum kids. The kids were really excited in seeing all these toys and I am sure that your gift has made their day.

I am attaching a few snaps for you . A very happy new year to you and your entire team and family members and thanks again for the generous gifts."

Monday, December 27, 2010

Toybank partners with the Social Service League in Mumbai!

Toybank Mumbai partnered with Social Service League of Xavier's College this month to provide them toys for Project Care.
On the 12th of Dec Toybankers and SSLites got together to distribute toys to 100 children from Navjeevan Society and Dolors School.

Here's what our first time volunteer, Jigna has to say about this event:

"I came to know about Toybank through a friend and happened to attend one of their events at St. Xavier’s College. When I reached the venue I saw all youngsters and kids dancing and enjoying. There was so much of enthusiasm all around. There were kids from a school and from an NGO day-care centre who had been brought to the college since morning for a day of ‘dhamaal masti’. 

I later realized that each child was taken care of by an individual volunteer and there were quite a lot of them! The volunteers all college going youngsters and some even teenagers looked after one child assigned to them, took care of their bags, food, clothes etc. What was even more heartening was that the children had taken a liking to their guardians and were so comfortable with them. The children and the youngsters just seemed to love each other so much. 

While going back in the evening, I saw that each child was given a nicely wrapped toy according to his age. These youngsters had organized each and every aspect of the event themselves and had done a very decent job. Most importantly, they had managed to make those less fortunate kids so happy even if it was for a day. Keep up the good work guys"

Catch all the masti here!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Swinton Primary School in Glasgow donates to Toybank!

Toybank UK received an email in June 2010 from a school teacher Claire Rodger from Swinton Primary School in Glasgow. The school found out about Toybank through Slumdog Secret Millionaire aired on Jan 17th on Channel 4.

Claire's students had worked hard to raise money for Toybank and they wanted to send it to us. A few days later our Toybank UK core team member Roshan was thrilled to receive a cheque of a £411.60 from the school! 

Here is the letter that the school authorities sent along with the donation.

All of us at Toybank UK - Shruthi, Nilam, Ayushi, Roshan and Toybank India can't thank the children and the school enough for this wonderful donation! They have got the essence of the very idea that we are trying to make more and more people aware of, that it is more expensive to transport toys from the UK than the toys themselves; but it is so much easier to collect funds in UK and help Toybank further its cause!

Toybank sincerely thanks all the students, teachers and all those involved in this truly generous contribution made by Swinton Primary school! Your support encourages us to reach out to more and more children.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Privillage UK features Toybank for Christmas Campaign!

Privillage UK has featured Toybank as one of the charities for their Christmas Campaign! Privillage is aimed at 3-8 year olds with the intention of teaching them to think about other children on important and happy occasions such as birthdays and Christmas. Other charities such as Child's Play, Kids In Action and CCHF All about kids are also featured.
Children can donate £10 to an affiliate charity of their choice to help buy toys and days out for children who are less privileged than themselves. In return, they receive an activity E-Certificate which they can print out, color-in and display with pride to show their friends and family.

Privillage folks have also created an awesome flyer for their campaign. Take a look!

Image Source 1, Image Source 2

Toybank participates in the Indo-German Christmas Fest 2010!

It has been a tradition of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce for more than 50 years to bring India and Germany closer economically and culturally. For more than a decade they have been organizing the traditional German Christmas Market in Delhi. Inspired by its great success there, they have also started a Christmas Market in Mumbai, which goes by the name Mumbai Christmas Fest.
The fourth edition of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce’s annual Mumbai Christmas Fest happened at the Mahalaxmi Race Course.

Here's what Haneeta Padam, one of our volunteers had to say after the fest:

"Indo German Christmas Fest and Racing Carnival 2010 was held at Royal Western Indian Turf Club, Mumbai on the 4th and 5th of December 2010. The Race Course was transformed into an outdoor Christmas bazaar that is typical of German towns. In the centre, a huge Christmas tree was put up decorated with stars and candies. There were dozens of market style stalls, selling everything from clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery and home decor to gifts, furniture, Christmas decorations, chocolates,  dates, all available at very special prices. For the kids, they had their very own Kids Corner, where they played basketball, assembled puzzles, got a tattoo or a caricature and made new friends in the spirit of the season. Santa was also present without whom Christmas is incomplete.

Children could pose with Santa Claus and get pictures clicked and take home a wonderful souvenir to remind them of their moment with him!

A special NGO section ensured that the more you shop, the more you help the underprivileged. We at Toybank had board games for the children to play with while we explained to parents what we do. Sometimes we forget how much we have to offer and that is exactly what happened. Most parents said that they had lots of toys lying at home and promised to donate them to the less fortunate. There were some mothers who wanted their young children to learn to share and invited us to attend the next birthday party so that we could explain to their children how important it is to share. Sharing is difficult, especially for an only child or one who is accustomed to playing alone.

Toybankers know this for sure, there is nothing more refreshing, more inspiring, more wonderful than the smile on the face of someone you have just done something helpful for or when they receive a gift. There is an immense feeling of pride that rushes over us when we have given someone a gift that they might have needed, loved or enjoy greatly. Come to think of it, Santa strives to find a way to bring joy into the lives of all children, and uses toys as a principal means. We at Toybank do this all the time!

I'm sure Shweta, Farnaza, Rachna, Siddharth and Ajit also had a wonderful time at the fest. I did. Let's see how many people keep their promises."

We are sure all the volunteers had a rocking time at the Fest. Catch all the action here!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Toybank Bangalore ties up with Rentoys!

Rentoys, is an exclusive online toy library that provides branded toys on rent to kids under 6 years. Launched in September 2009 by three Bangalore-based parents, Neeta Verma, Shilpa Prasad and Manoj Kumar, its main objective is to partner with parents to provide hassle free, quality playtime through educational and sensory toys and encourage contribution to eco-friendly concepts early in life.

Rentoys keeps only top quality toy brands like Fisher price, vtech, Okplay, funskool, playschool and focus on complete early childhood development of children. 

Rentoys has tied up with Toybank in Bangalore and is helping us to collect toys through their customer database for our toy distributions.

Read more about Rentoys!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mastek employees and Toybankers distribute toys to Mobile Creches, Airoli!

Toybank Mumbai and Mastek teamed up to distribute toys to 35 children from Mumbai Mobile Creches centre in Airoli. On the 7th of Dec employees of Mastek and Toybankers wrapped the toys and set out to visit the children.

Here's what Beulah Priyadharshini an employee from Mastek had to say after the event:

"It's always a nice feeling to see a smile on a child's face and when you are the reason for it, its a blessing indeed! We were called to help with the toy wrapping and it was so much fun wrapping toys for the kids.We were secretly admiring those toys ourselves and it reminded of our childhood days. We were each given a Toybanker badge which we wore with a lot of pride.

Once we finished with the wrapping we had our lunch and it was time to meet the children. We went to Mumbai Mobile Creches centre in Airoli there were kids from all age groups. The children entertained us by singing songs and some of them danced too! We also played passing the parcel with the children and when we started distributing the toys the kids received them with great joy. Then we posed for a few clicks with the excited kids.

Finally it was time to say bye .We waved them good bye, as all the kids said the same in return with a chorus. This was a definitely a memorable experience. I learnt that there is more joy in giving than in receiving.Thank you Mastek and Toybank for giving me this opportunity and hope to participate in many more in the near future."

Catch all the glimpses of fun here!

Related posts:

Thursday, December 09, 2010

December is here and so is the Party Time!

Toybank Mumbai is having a party all through December! Come and join the party as we spread smiles and distribute toys to more children all over Mumbai!
Mumbai Mobile Creches have been running their activities since 30 years. Their main focus specifically involves supporting health and education of children of construction labourers. We have had many events with the children at Mobile Creches in Mumbai and Delhi. More details on this event will be coming soon on our blog!

Toybank Mumbai and The Social Service League of Xavier's College team up to distribute toys to 100 children from Navjeevan Society and Dolors School.

Worldchildren Welfare Trust India was set up up in 1984 to receive , shelter and rehabilitate orphaned, abandoned and destitute minors by way of adoption. WWTI's first Children’s Home - Bal Anand commenced in 1984 with 8 children in residential care, now risen to 90 children. Bal Anand also houses 25 children and has in–house complementary therapy and education such as art and craft, yoga and dance. 

Join us on the 14th and we promise you that it'll be a memorable day!

Toybank Mumbai participates in the Charity fete organized by Garodia International Centre of Learning, Ghatkopar to raise toys for Toybank.
 ACI (AIDS Combat International) is a NGO working for care and support to the HIV/AIDS infected and affected people. ACI has adopted Home Based Care as a means to work with HIV+ people. Home based care includes, psychosocial and palliative care.  Home care draws on two strengths that exist through out the world; families and communities.  Families are the central focus of care and form the basis of the HCB team. Communities are places where people live and a source of support and care to individuals and families in need.

Join us as we distribute toys to HIV+ children from ACI.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Toybankers in UK go on air on Asian Star Radio!

It was the time when our Toybankers in UK were busy helping an enthusiastic volunteer Rashmi, who was willing to host a charity dinner and dance party at Slough, Berkshire and an idea came across to advertise about the event on a local radio station Asian Star 101.6

A call was made to the radio station to discuss about the same. The RJ at the station Philippa immediately agreed and helped us go on air to talk about Toybank because she had not heard about anything like Toybank before and was very curious to know what it was all about. This obviously meant a good chance for Toybank to spread the word in the Berkshire area via the radio chat. Shruthi, a Toybank UK core committee member who lives in Slough went along with Rashmi on 11th of Nov to speak on behalf of Toybank.

Here's what Shruthi had to say after the interview:
"This was more like an interview where Philippa asked us questions like What exactly is Toybank? What do we do and Why we do it? The conversation was very interesting and we got a chance to clearly state Toybank's goals, how we started in the UK, what we are up to in India.

We also got a chance to explain where all our funds are going so that the donors in UK know before they donate. We discussed various ways one can volunteer to help Toybank and shared our webiste and blog details. 

Well, we were on air also to promote Rashmi's upcoming charity event for Toybank. Philippa asked Rashmi for details about the charity event such as the ticket details, agenda for the event and the contact number for the viewers to confirm for the event.

The chat went on for about 15 minutes and it was a wonderful experience to be representing Toybank in the UK."

Tune in to listen to the complete interview here!

We are so proud of our Toybankers in UK and the amazing work they are doing! Thanks to Rashmi and Shruthi for all the enthusiasm in spreading the word in the UK! We also thank Asian Star Radio and RJ Philippa for giving us a chance to talk about Toybank!

Read more on Rashmi's charity dance and dinner event at the Baylis!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

It's party time for Toybank UK at Baylis House!

After all the hard work put in by Rashmi one of our volunteers in UK,her children, cousins and friends, it was finally time for the colorful day when people got to enjoy a delicious meal and a fun evening to raise funds for Toybank at Baylis House!

Shruthi, one of our Toybankers from the UK core committee reports about the event which happened on 19th of Nov:

"Rashmi Kharbanada who runs Kumon classes for kids hosted a glittering dinner and dance charity show for Toybank and she looked enthusiastic and overwhelmed with the response she received on the day.

The evening was well planned and there were about 80-100 people in the hall with Seema Sharma, the guest speaker for the night delivered a meaningful speech about Toybank and her experiences of meeting the kids at Dharavi, Mumbai. Also she mentioned about her meeting with Shweta Chari and how she was bowled over by Toybank.

Seema Sharma got to know about Toybank through Channel 4's Slumdog Secret Millionaire. She has helped us put Toybank on the map and opened doors in the UK for us and is still continuing to help with her generosity.

The night had it all and started off with entertaining performances, followed by food, raffles and dance. The crowd enjoyed watching little children proudly show off their aerobatic moves and young girls grooving to the latest Bollywood music. The Dhol squad group increased the noise levels and filled the room with their rhythmic music and a bollywood/bangra dance teacher helped the novice dancers shake their fear away with his simple dance steps and tips.

Roshan, also part of the UK core committee made it to the event and we had fun through out. We like to thank Rashmi for her extraordinary effort in raising money for Toybank through this event. Well done Rashmi - hip hip hurray!!! "

Well done girls! We are proud of you! 

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Toybank distributes toys to Excalibur Foundation!

Toybank Bangalore distributed toys to Children's Home for Boys through Excalibur Foundation

Excalibur seeks to rehabilitate and educate youth in the Juvenile Justice System of India so as to integrate them into society as honorable, intellectual, socially-conscious, responsible, compassionate and law-abiding citizens of the nation. The youth in India's Juvenile Justice System include those who require 'Care and Protection Under the Law' and those who are  'In Conflict With the Law'.

Here's what Sanju Rao, CEO of Excalibur Foundation had to say after the distribution:

"The toys are great!  Thank you for wrapping them!  The kids loved everything especially the cars, animals, dinosaurs and balls. I'm going to distribute the educational toys to them when there is a teacher or a counselor present who can teach them how to play with those. I think that the balls that are smaller than tennis balls are not best for these kids since they disappear into their pockets fast and there is a danger that they'll put them in their mouths. Thanks again and we are most grateful to Toybank."

More glimpses and smiles here !   

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Children at St.Martha's, Bangalore receive toys from Toybank!

Our Bangalore volunteers had met up on 26th Sept to wrap the toys donated by Walt Disney's 'Donate a Toy, Spread some Joy' campaign which happened in July. The toys were donated to 3 different organizations in and around Bangalore.

One of the recipients of these toys was St.Martha's Hospital, Bangalore.Toybank team is proud to have reached out to children at a Hospital for the first time in Bangalore.

Here's what Anand Baskaran, our coordinator for this distribution had to say after receiving the toys:

"Finally distributed the first batch of toys at the Pediatric ward at St.Martha's Hospital, Bangalore, last week. We didn't have a distribution event involving volunteers as originally planned; instead, the toys were handed over to the Sisters at the Pediatric ward, and they then quietly distributed them amongst the needy kids. One reason for this is that the Pediatric ward has kids from families of all economic backgrounds- some of the kids from well-to-do families there already hold toys with them- and these toys you've collected are for the ones whose parents cannot afford to buy them toys. An open distribution event where we pick only some of the kids in the room to hand toys to wouldn't have been the best idea, as you can imagine.

Not all toys have been given yet, the Sisters'll be giving toys to other children as and when new admissions happen, that's the plan for now.

Attached are photos of kids with the toys they'd just received, plus one of all the toys getting ready to leave for their new homes, and to their new owners! The last photo's my favorite, it's of Little M (who's undergoing therapy at the Physiotherapy Department) holding a Tweety that's as big as her, and they're both smiling :)...  

As far as feedback goes, I can tell you for a fact that we were all thrilled with the quality of the toys we got from Toybank- we imagine there are few things that can bring a smile and comfort to an ailing child the way a soft, huggable toy does; and the toys you gave us were definitely of a very huggable variety :)- mostly soft toys too, so that worked great! I wasn't present when the Sisters handed the toys over to the kids, so won't be able to tell you first hand about the kids' reaction (that would have been great, sorry about that), but the Sisters were very happy with the toys, I can tell you that- they were the ones who had initially expressed the need to bring cheer to the kids in the ward by getting them toys, so they're glad (and we are too!) that it's happened.

And thanks too, for the overall experience of working with Toybank- really appreciate you putting together toys that fit the needs we had expressed, and also for keeping them all packed neatly and ready to pick up; made it easy for us, thanks :-)."

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Toybank helps set up play centres at 3 NGOs in Mumbai!

In continuation with our Children's Day celebrations, Toybank distributed toys to 3 NGOs through which play centres would be set up at the NGOs.

Toybank and AIESEC organized another event on the 16th of Nov at St.Xaviers College, Churchgate. Around 150 students from 3 different NGOs -  YMCA, Down to Earth and Family Service Centre had come to participate in the event.
  • Down To Earth: Down To Earth (DTE) is a non-profit organization that engages with children, youth and women from humble backgrounds. DTE facilitates educational, sports, drama, life skills and livelihoods programs that enable individuals and communities to expand their potential.
  • Family Service Centre: Family Service Centre (FSC) is a voluntary organization has sought to reach out to families in difficult circumstances through its various non-institutional and community- based programmes.
  • YMCA Mumbai
We had an art session and a warli painting competition for the children. We had loads of fun dancing with the kids! The AIESEC volunteers helped us collect and sort these toys. The toys were distributed to the NGO heads, who in-turn will be setting up a play centre at their respective NGOs.

Catch all the fun here!