Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Joy of being a Toybanker...

Toybank held a seminar “The Joy of being a Toybanker” in association with the students of Juhu based colleges: NMIMS, Mithibai College, Mukesh Patel School of Technology, Management & Engineering (MPSTME) and Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Management .

Eminent television personality Mr. Purab Kohli came to encourage students for the Nobel initiative and spoke at length about the heart warming experiences he has had with Toybank. He said, “I have been a part of Toybank since its birth. It is not only about internal satisfaction obtained by giving happiness to poor kids, but also about giving back to the society what you have gained.” He also added that “Toybank is not just helping the poor kids, but also provides a channel to the young and privileged people to attain internal satisfaction.” 

Mr. Purab Kohli also appreciated the tremendous results Ms. Shweta Gopalachari’s hard work has brought about. Ms. Shweta who is the founder of “Toybank” is a pass out of D.J. Sanghivi College of Engineering, Mumbai, who along with some of her friends started this NGO around 7 years back. Now, Toybank has its branch in a number of cities of India. 

The seminar concluded with the Mr. Purab Kohli inspiring everyone to be a Toybanker. The participating volunteers were really very enthusiastic and keen to participate in the collection drives and were eager to be a part of Toybank. One of the participants, on the spot called her school principal and arranged for the collection drive in her school. 

After the seminar, all the students were provided with details how the toy collection drive would be carried out and where the collected toys have to be submitted. 

This seminar formed a founding stone for carrying out various Toybank events where all the SVKM colleges put their efforts together to emerge a better life for all the lesser-privileged children. 

For more pics click here

Toybank spends time with the kids at Vatsalya Foundation...

Toybank conducted a fun event for the kiddos at Vatsalya foundation in November. 
Our Toybank volunteer Jyoti Devjani had organized the whole event with a range of games and quizzes, the event ended with the volunteers distributing toys that were collected at the Rotract Club of Lala College(RCLC)

Toybankers at Rotaract Club of Lala Lajpat Rai College also volunteered in the Toy distribution event at Vatsalya foundation

Here’s what the volunteers at the RCLC had to say about the event:

“The interactive session we had with these children of Vatsalya made us realize how talented these kids are. They learn things easily by seeing and doing with fun. Basically fun and interactive learning is the simplest way to make kids learn. Moreover it makes us feel great that we are being the cause of someone's happiness. All the RCLC members had a great experience with the kids!
After going there we had entertainment sessions with them like first we had singing, acting or mimicry and then dance where the kids showed their talent. Then we made them play quizzes and games like spoon-lemon, relay races. After playing games and interactive sessions with the kids we distributed some toys. That made them all happy.
It was just a small effort on our part to bring happiness to these children and this surely wil give each and every child their right to childhood. 

All the children were so excited to receive their toy that they immediately got busy in playing with the toys within themselves.”

Toybank would like to thank Jyoti Devjani for hosting the event, and Manju Devjani, Tanisha, Raunak and Praachi for organizing the event so beautifully!
Also a BIG Thank You to the RCLC members for collecting and gift wrapping the toys for this event!

Click here to check out some pics of the event!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Toybank gang reaches out to children in Turbhe!

Toybankers all set on a Tuesday morning to spend time with the little ones at Sathi in Turbhe!

Sathi is a non-profit organisation that runs 6 balwadi centre near Turbhe in Navi Mumbai. They also have other health projects for the children in that area. Sathi reaches out to 160 children from the lesser privileged families in Navi Mumbai.
Children from the Balwadis at Sathi were brought together on the 15th of November for a fun filled storytelling and interactive session! Being the first day of school the teachers expected only 40-50 children to show up. But when the teachers spread the news that the Toybank wagon is going to conduct a fun-filled event for the kiddos and give toys, there were 110 children at the centre who enjoyed the interaction with our volunteers!

Our volunteer Vishakha had got some awesome pictured story book of a caterpillar and a rat and various other stories. She narrated the stories one by one as the kiddos listened to her recitation  attentively  and repeated few actions and sounds after her!

Later the kids sang sweet songs and rhymes for us, like ‘Jack n Jill’, Chubby Cheeks, etc… in chorus!

At the end of the session a 5year old stood up to thank us to have come there and spent time with them.

All the children went back home with a precious gift – their toy! We also left loads of toys for the kiddos who couldn’t make it to the event.

Thank you Vishakha and Edgar for being a part of this event!
And a BIG THANKS to Vaishali and Meena teacher from Sathi to coordinate this event :)

Click here to catch some pics of the event!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A real tribute to Chacha Nehru!

Toybankers team up to visit Asha Kiran to celebrate Children’s Day with the little ones there and to gift them toys!

Asha Kiran is a Charitable Trust which brings a ray of hope in the lives of lesser-privileged children to help them grow up to be self reliant , responsible and contribute to the society

Volunteer speaks...

Shruti Gaddamwar:
Saturday, the 12 of November 2011 marked a real tribute to Pandit Nehru. Two days prior to his 122nd birthday, around 200 kids at the Asha Kiran NGO made the ubiquitous and indispensable ‘Gandhi topi ‘, proudly displayed it and gleefully smiled when the ‘didi’s and the ‘bhaiiya’s asked them to put it on their heads. Another ‘type’ of topi, the cricketer cap, too drew in a huge applause, especially from the boys. After they donned the caps they had just made, the volunteers complimented them for looking like Tendulkar or Yuvraj Singh. The triumph they had on their faces is just beyond words.
The event began at 8am, with the kids being segregated according to their age. Kids below the age of 5 years, were grouped together, volunteers read them stories from the colorful story book and taught them a few rhymes. The volunteer singing the rhyme and the kids saying it after her, complete with actions and expressions was definitely a sight to watch! The kids aged 8 to 13 years, i.e. the ‘elder kids’ were further divided into two groups. While the first group learnt Gandhi topi, the other learnt the cricket cap, and vice-a-versa. Every time the volunteer taught them a step of the craft, they diligently followed it and what more! The kids wanted to practice each step till they were sure they got it right. That meant, should the paper tear, re-start with a new sheet, then if the new sheet too gets dirty, so what? Re-start again! ... the process goes on! The never say die spirit! At the end of the event, the place looked as if it were carpeted with newspapers!
The event ended at 10, with the prize distribution, wherein each child received a toy for participating. Looking at these smart and ambitious little future ‘netas’ , I’m sure Chacha Nehru must be super happy UP there!

It gives me immense pleasure to visit an event conducted by Toybank for the kids of Asha Kiran—an organization that has been established for the education and welfare of children. I would like to convey a special thanks to Farnaza for efficiently managing the event and for leading from all fronts. To celebrate Children’s Day, Toybank had organized an origami cum storytelling event in that children were taught how to make two types of caps and were told fun stories.
I was amazed to see the enthusiasm of these kids. Although I was a volunteer and was asked to assist the children in preparing paper caps, I was not able to keep up with the speed at which the children handcrafted their masterpieces!
In the end, all children were handed over a special toy and I was amazed to see the joy thriving on the smile of their faces.
Once again, I thank Toybank for providing me the opportunity to serve the society in a very fun way. I look forward to be a part of various such events.

Abhilasha Gajria:
Generally waking up on a Saturday morning comes in my NOT-To-Do list. But an initiative like Toybank is something I would gladly wake up for on a Saturday or even Sunday morning. Seeing the priceless smile on the faces of the kids when we taught them how to make ‘Chacha Nehru Topi’ and cricketers hat, was worth all the lost sleep. The kids were given toys too as a part of the 14th November children’s day celebration. Its things like these that give us something to look forward to in an otherwise monotonous life and allow us to spread little happiness and smiles in the life of the kids, as much as in our capacity.
Looking forward to many more such days with kids and as a Toybanker.

I had a great time at Toy distribution event at Ashakiran. It was after a long time that I played with so many kids. Teaching them origami, and interacting with them made feel immensely happy. I felt as if I am contributing in my own small way to bring a smile to their faces. I am Iooking forward for future Toybank activities as they give me a chance to contribute to the society and make it enjoyable at the same time. Kudos to Toybank for that.

"Toy Distribution"- the very name of the activity was so inspiring that it didn't make me to hesitate waking up early morning on a Saturday and travel all the way to andheri. Like the other play centers of Toybank, I tried to locate the four walls of Asha Kiran, but to my surprise, there were on time there were kids gathering near the bus stand and started spreading the mattresses on the bare footpath. The teacher arrived and the humming good morning wishes reminded me my childhood. After a short breifing from the teachers and introduction of Toybank to the kids, we got the chance to play with the entire team. Separate volunteers were appointed for a small gangs of three or four to assist the children with origami. It was just a couple of days before Children's day, we taught them how to make Nehru caps using newspaper. The kids loved the session, and with great enthusiasm, they followed the steps for making their caps. Then we taught them to make cricket caps which were a bit tough than the first one, but the kids were smart enough, and they even decorated the cricket paper caps with their favorite cricket star paper cuttings.
Then, all the kids were gifted toys for participating in the session. The joy that was shown in their eyes, I have no words to explain. I feel happy and thank Toybank for giving me such a wonderful experience.

Click here to view more pics!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The smile on their faces—Makes us Happy indeed

On the 25th of October, the kids at Salaam Baalak Trust enjoyed a lot with Toybankers. We conducted fun activities for the children and also distributed toys to 100 children there!

Volunteer Speaks:

Shruti: The volunteers of Toybank had organized a ’Best from Waste’ activity for the kids - and lo! – We were in for a surprise! Not only did the kids amaze us with their superb craft skills; but compelled us to introspect. It does not take more than a second for us to throw away the junk/ scrap as trash. And here are these kids, little genius people making wonders out of them! Wall hangings, photo-frames, sofa-TV set, pen stands… the list was endless. What astounded me the most was the fact that a discarded piece of netted cloth, sequined and laced could actually be turned into a cake! To say that the kids were super imaginative would be an understatement- they were incredible!

The three hours we spent with them were up in no time! Snap and gone! The activity ended with gifting ceremony, wherein every child was given a gift – a precious toy! It was indeed the happiest moment for the kiddos- the smiles on the kids faces vouched for it.
And like all good things should come to an end, the event too ended with a vote of thanks from one of our Toybanker – Shruti Shetty and the coordinator at Salaam Baalak Trust, Ms. Agnes!

Kalyani Khona: I relived my childhood by redefining creativity!!! It was super-amazing experience :)

Shruti Oza: It was really wonderful experience for me to guide the kids to make creative items out of waste. The children are really smart and filled with bright ideas. Toybank is doing great work by conducting such events which trigger the creativity within the kids!

TrishnaCounsellor at Salaam Baalak:

"The event on 25th of October was a success organized by the Toybank. We had divided the children into two groups of junior and senior children.
Toybank had planned two activities for both the groups.
The juniors had the activity of making a collage out of magazine sheets. The kids were divided into groups of three and it was a fun activity as every step they completed they were more excited. The younger kids were given soft toys after the activities and they were really overjoyed as it was something they love to play with. Also as it was gift wrapped, they felt quiet special after receiving it.

The seniors had to make something creative out of waste and scrap materials. Toybank had provided all the material for the entire workshop. One volunteer accompanied each group and they came up with wonderful creations. The amount of excitement filled in the kids was at a high level as the activity was very interesting and also needed them to stress their brains and do something new. It created an excitement in them as few of them interested in art and craft were able to show their talent and creativity. One of the important aims I found of this activity was group building and team working. They had to work hand in hand with each other to reach the next level and complete their creation.
The senior children received different toys and games according to their age levels and they really were overjoyed.

All the children are playing with the new toys during their holidays now.. They used the skipping ropes the maximum. It was really nice to associate with Toybank for this event. We wish to continue working with you.”

Check out more pics here!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Volunteer of the month - September2011

Toybank gladly announces the volunteers of the month for September - Aryak Singh and Seema Achlan!

Its been great to have both of you to volunteer with us!

Aryak joined us in the month of July, since then he has been very enthusiastic about helping us. He has taken the responsibility of managing one Play Centre of Toybank. He has also helped us in the planning and communications during the Joy of Giving Week!
He is a 'Toybank Champ' in his corporate organisation where he helps us spread a word about Toybank and conduct a toy collection drive.

Seema has been a Toy Donor for almost two years now! She has driven many Toy collection drives in her housing society and has succeed to collect awesome toys for us!
This time she helped us to conduct a Toy collection drive in two of the Schools and helped us spread the word about Toybank by going and speaking to kids in different classes of the Schools!

Here's a small question-answer session Aryak:  

Toybank: What brought you to volunteer with us?

Aryak: The cause of lesserprivileged children has been one that I've always felt deeply for. In a country like ours, generations have grown up seeing poverty around us, and have somehow turned indifferent to it. Yet a child robbed of childhood is too heartrending a cry for anyone to ignore. I remember my childhood as a happy time of indulgence and I feel the need to give back. Hence I have been involved with children’s causes earlier as well. Toybank, presented a unique opportunity to make a difference on a large scale for a cause I really care about and this is precisely what got me here.

Toybank: What is your most memorable experience with Toybank?

Aryak: While it is quite difficult for me to point out one of the various experiences I've had at Toybank events, there is definitely one story I'd like to share. It was one of my initial follow-up sessions at a Toybank centre. While I had a great time interacting with the kids, as I was leaving I couldn't help but wonder if I was making a difference to the lives of these kids beyond the two hours of the session. Just then while I was about to step out the door, a little boy peeped from behind the door to ask, "Sir, aap fir kab aaogey?" (Sir , When will you come again ). That, innocent question right there - had all the answers.

Toybank: What do you think about volunteering in general?

Aryak: ‘To whom much is given, of him shall much be required.’ - Many of us forget to stop and count our blessings. Volunteering is a way to find incredible satisfaction by acting in accordance with your principles . A chance to add meaning to one's existence. While all this may sound very noble, but at a very primal level I like to think no effort goes unrewarded. Just like work may be rewarded by compensation, Volunteering is rewarded with happiness and satisfaction. The positive change that volunteering brings has a purging effect on everyone involved.

Toybank: What keeps you motivated to volunteer?

Aryak: Life has so much to offer if we remember to look beyond ourselves. Personally I think volunteering at Toybank gives me a new perspective. Every event throws up new opportunities, a chance to meet so many people to collaborate over a common cause and make a positive difference to the world we live in. All this keeps me up for more, always.

Our conversation with Seema is coming up soon...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Symantec and Toybank's: Mission Smiles!

As a part of Toybank's 7th Anniversary celebrations Symantec partnered with Toybank and collected 274 toys across its offices in Pune. A few employees from Symantec along with 10 Toybankers set out to distribute this lovely bunch of toys to tiny tots in constructions sites of Wakad, Pune on 24th September 2011. We were able to reach out to 180 kids through Door Step School.

'Door Step School' is an NGO which was started with the aim of addressing literacy amongst the marginalized sections of society and supports education of often forgotten little ones dwelling on pavements, slums, constructions sites and many others. The volunteers were touched by the experience and enjoyed teaching the kids to play games.The children in these centers were thrilled to become owners of the newly gifted toys.

 Read along to find out about the experience of our volunteers...

Sushma Joshi from Symantec says:

“Working with Toybank on one of their toy collection and distribution drives was indeed a very satisfying experience. It was amazing to see the dedication, ownership, commitment and passion that these enthusiasts brought to the entire activity. What impressed me was the professional and process oriented approach of the Toybank team that makes it such a seamless experience, for the people partnering with them. Right from the word ‘go’ the instructions, the help, the communication from the team had been so clear, prompt and adequate. There were well articulated guidelines at every step – from collection to wrapping to distribution.

The high point of the entire drive was the distribution which was a soul touching experience. One had to see it to believe how small gestures can bring so much happiness in lives! The anticipation that was writ large on all those little innocent faces when they saw the box filled with wrapped toys and the joy that radiated from their eyes when each one of them opened the gift and discovered a toy! No words can describe those moments. The children were so happy and proud of their new possessions. The strangers who delivered the gifts suddenly became instant friends and the rest was like a fairy tale. The kids jumped, danced, shouted with excitement. I personally enjoyed and treasured all these memories and feel privileged to have got this opportunity to contribute whatever little I could. I think the difference was that the volunteers just don’t go and distribute toys impersonally. They sit with the kids, spend time with them, indulge them in some creative activities – this I think demonstrates the thought of ‘adding joys to the lives of little children’.

Ankita from Door Step: We would like to thank Toybank and its volunteers for the wonderful toys and the efforts to bring smile on the faces of our children. We really appreciated that the toys were in very good condition, safe (no pointed edges or surfaces) and suitable for children. The toy library will be extremely helpful for our teachers to undertake different activities for the young kids and keep them engaged. We look forward to such wonderful activities and association with Toybank in future as well.

Catch the fun here :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Toybank's new Play centre at Sodawala Municipal School

Toybank in partnership with the Inner Wheel Club of Borivali sets up a Play Centre for the differently abled children in Sodawala Municipal School.

The toys provided by Toybank not only will help the children in improving their Math skills, but will also help them in enhancing their emotional and social skills.
Toybank will provide them with more toys every three months.

A big Thank You to Surekhaji and the teachers at Sodawala for your cooperation!

Check out some pics here

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Toybankers on the move to spread a word!

Through the Joy of Giving Week, Toybank tied up with number of institutions to spread the word about Toybank and also conduct toy collection drives!

We partnered with Schools and colleges like:
  • St. Gregorios School
  • Avalon Heights School
  • Little Oaks School
  • Tridha
  • Dalmia College
  • International College of Financial Planning
Toybank also conducted sensitization workshops for corporate employees at Deloitte, Cognizants and KPMG.

Toybank spread a word to 1000+ children and adults through these sensitization workshops during the Joy of Giving Week!

We would take this opportunity to thank our core volunteers who made these partnership possible!
  • Seema Achlan
  • Aryak Singh
  • Ritu Joshi
  • Nidhi Karnani
  • Shalaka Targe

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Toybanking during the Joy of Giving Week!

The “Festival of Philanthropy”, that is the Joy of Giving Week, is a time when India gets together to give and serve, a time for everyone to do their bit and spread happiness. Like every year, the Joy of Giving Week 2011 was celebrated from October 2-8, and Toybank joined in on the celebrations with a slew of interesting events that engaged children and adults alike, spreading joys across the city.
The celebrations started on Oct 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. Toybankers visited Snehasadan, a home for homeless children, for a story telling session for the children. Kids at the centre listened keenly to Gandhiji’s stories. Many also narrated stories that they knew. The interactive session brought out quite a few yarn spinners from the lot who thoroughly enjoyed narrating tales to their fellow mates. Later the kids drew pictures of the Father of the Nation and even wrote a few lines on him and shared them with us! The festivity spread to every child, and Toybankers left Snehasadan waving back to smiling & cheerful faces.

Kids at Snehasadan making their Gandhiji Pics!
The next stop on the fun train was YMCA Juhu. True to the theme of the day, Toybankers held a long discussion with the kids about Gandhiji’s Dandi March and Satyagraha Movement. Later, Toybankers taught the children how to make a Gandhi cap from a simple newspaper. Kids had a great time with this activity, making caps and showing each other their fancy creations and before we knew it the whole bunch was sporting caps and we had our very own batch of Dandi March-ers. Learning and fun don’t seem to be good partners, but seeing the enthusiasm the kids displayed during and after the session, The caretaker of YMCA had to remark, " this is the best event we could have to teach the kids about Gandhiji in a fun way! "

Kids at YMCA posing with their Gandhi caps on!
The Joy of giving week is for everyone, and to ensure that the ‘grownups’ aren’t left out of the celebrations, Toybank reached out to various corporate organizations and business houses ranging from financial service firms to IT giants. Toybankers set up kiosks across various offices where working professionals got to know more about Toybank and the work we do. Many individuals registered with us as volunteers for our events, quite a few also bought our badges to wear their support for Toybank on their hearts for the JGW. Toybank also organized sensitization workshops for professionals to make them aware of our cause and our efforts. Many organizations also organized toy-collection drives, collecting a large number of toys for the children we serve. Often professionals want to contribute, but with demanding schedules they fail to find opportunities at the right time, hence our outreach efforts were warmly received across all organizations and ‘Joy of giving’ spread a pleasant warmth in the corporate sphere.
Toybank also reached out to a number of schools and educational institutions, interacting with students, who are the future of our society. A sensitization workshop was conducted for children at Avalon Heights School, St. Gregorios School and Dalmia College. Young minds with loads of energy found Toybank’s cause of returning childhood particularly endearing. Every session was highly interactive and the youngsters threw volleys of questions at Toybankers wanting to know more and more about our work and the children we serve. The students also arranged a massive toy collection in all the three institutions. Toybank collected almost a 100 bags of toys for just these three institutions! At Tridha School too, Toybank conducted a sensitization workshop for the children. Students at ICoFP donated 2 bags of brand new toys to Toybank. Toybank also setup a kiosk at Little Oaks School on the open day to reach out to the parents of the children in the pre-primary school. Quite a few parents came to our kiosk and got to know more about Toybank. They also brought Toybank key chains, badges and greeting cards! Across schools students and parents alike showed tremendous interest in Toybank and its activities and pledged their support to our cause. The feelings of empathy and sharing generated in the young minds we interacted with were the prize for the efforts of the Toybankers. The joy of having shaped the youth for a responsible future is a feeling hard to describe.
Toybank Kiosk at the Little Oaks School
While Toybankers were rushing through all these establishments to spread our message, several other Toybankers across the city spread the ‘joy of giving’ by arranging Toy collection drives in their respective localities. People came out in large numbers to donate toys and Toybank received about thirty boxes of toys from such collection drives. Rotract club of Lala College and Rotract club of Uptown also chipped in with their own collection drives. Toybank also conducted a lot of play sessions at the play centre during the week. Toybankers visited their play centre in NGOs like Daya Sadan, St. Catherine’s Home and Parivartan Shikshan Santha.
All in all, the Joy of Giving week 2011 was one in which Toybank saw unprecedented interest and contribution across all sections of society. Such a massive participation by one and all across the city really reaffirmed our belief in the inherent goodness of humanity. Be it the kids at school who were happy to donate their own toys, or the busy professional who took out time to volunteer or the students who pledged their support to our cause, everyone experienced the Joy in Giving during the “Joy of Giving Week” .

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DPS School Children join Toybank for some fun events at Dakshina School,Pune

Mrugank, Vinesh, Mohit and Kushaj from DPS School children along with their parents and a few other Toybankers distributed toys to 46 children at Dakshina School in Viman Nagar, Pune on 6th August 2011.

Here is what our little Toybankers(from 4th Std) from DPS school have to say:

Mrugank: As a part of La Benevolat Project, me and my friends have chosen to work with Toybank. We were introduced to Toybank and oriented about its activites by Avni Pattani. We saw a video of little children like ourselves who were well nurtured and cared for; on the other hand there were children who had to work for a living. I felt very sad for the little children who could not play and had to work so hard. So we decided to do our lit bit to bring smiles to those little children and give them toys collected by Toybank.
After orientationafter which the first task assigned to us was of cleaning, segregating and wrapping toys for children in the age group of 2-5 years. We segergated toddler toys, put together puzzles and toys which were not in good condition were scrapped. Once the toys were wrapped we were eagerly looking forward to the next weekend when we would get an opportunity to give them to the children.

Vinesh: I felt very happy doing Toybank activities. This experience of segregating and distributing toys to less privileged children has taught me to take care of my own things and appreciate what I have. i also understand that I should share my toys with other children.

Mohit: Once we decided to work on Toybank project, Ms Avni Pattani showed us a small video about children.In the video there we saw both wealthy and poor people. We saw that all well-to-do families were having fun, while a baby from the lesser privileged families was bitten by a snake and had no help.The clip in the video touched us and then Avni aunty explained to us how we could do something for the lesser privileged children. After watching the video we cleaned and wrapped toys for small children studying in Dakshina School. Though it took a lot of time and efforts to segregate , clean and wrap toys we all enjoyed a lot.

Kushaj: On 6th August afternoon, we all gathered and started for Dakshina School. it was a nice and different experience. I was not sure how the children would feel when we taught them. As we entered the school we saw a lot of small children. As soon as we started singing rhymes the children started laughing and enjoying. We sang rhymes like ' Machli Jal ki rani hai, Lakkadi ki kathi, Jack n Jilll and some more that children already knew. We also taught them actions for the songs and it was a lot of fun teaching them some more rhymes. Then we distributed wrapped toys and biscuits to the school. It felt so good to see that we had helped bring a smile to these children. I am looking forward to next Toybank activity

To catch more fun pics click here!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fun event with kids at Navjeevan!

Toybank conducted a fun storytelling event with the children at Navjeevan Centre and distributed toys to the children. 

Toybankers did dhamaal with the children, telling them stories, listening to their songs and poems and playing many games with the little ones.

Here's what our new Toybanker, Nishant, has to say about the event:

"This was my first toy distribution event I attended after joining Toybank. I just loved the way they welcomed all of us. They called me "dada dada" (elder brother). A Toybanker, Vishakha read out to fun stories for the kids and the kids repeated whatever she asked in chorus. After the story telling session we had a singing session where the kids came and sang poems and songs taught to them. Some of them were really cute.
We also played fire on the mountain, ringa ringa roses and a few more games. It brought back some fond memories of my childhood. The best part was the answers that came up when we asked the kids what they want to become when they grow up. Some of them said police officers, teachers, doctors and also Ben 10. The innocence that reflected in their eyes was something that touched my heart. I was given the privilege of giving the toys personally to all the kids. The toys not only brought a smile on their face but also one on mine too.
It was an eventful day as many of the kiddos became my new friends. Thanks to Toybank!"

Check out more pics here!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Feedback from Apnalaya

Apnalaya started Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) at Rafinagar since July 2011.  The main objective of the centre is to provide nutrition to severly malnourished children from 6 months child to 6 years. Till now 35 children have been selected for this support to NRC.

Most of these children’s parents are Rag pickers, they go to collect scrap garbage in the morning and remain busy till evening in this activity. During this time these younger children are left at home with their elder siblings. Most of the times because of acute poverty there is not enough food at home to feed younger children.
At NRC children are given meals three times in a day. They are provided with Health check-up once in month as well as taking care of their personal hygiene. At NRC Toybank has also helped us establish a play centre for the children.

NRC has received many different toys from Toybank. Initially children were crying after they come to NRC as the surrounding was different for them, but since Toybank have supported NRC with different toys for the children, the children now look happier when they come to NRC. Toys in the centre has become their an attraction for them, they keep playing with toys and don’t cry much.
Apart from this these toys are helpful in exploring their creative mind as they get opportunity of playing  of game  of making some things from different parts of the game.  Many children are also learning to cooperate as they are also sharing toys with each others.

We get to see more smiling faces at NRC because of the toys provided by Toybank. Overall these toys have become helpful in healthy socialization process of these children. 

Feedback by: Sunita Tajane, Field Coordinator at Apnalaya

To see more happy faces click here

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Walk along with Toybank!

Toybank is participating in the Aditya Birla Mumbai 10 Kms. Walkathon on Sunday, the 2nd of October.
Join us to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti with Toybank at the Aditya Birla Mumbai 10 kms. walk/run fund raising event on the 2nd of October, 2011.

Every mile you walk will add to the smiles of the children in the world!

To support Toybank at the Aditya Birla 10kms walk/run click here. The entrance is by donating Rs.2000 to Toybank through Give India. The donated amount will be used to establish more Play Centres and Toy Libraries in the rural and urban areas.

Registrations close on the 27th of September. So please register now!

This event is open to all, aged 12 and above.

For further details you can contact us on 022 24458235 or write back to us on

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Toybankers celebrated Toybank’s 7th Birthday with the kids at Project Crayons-CDC

Toybank organized a fun magic show for the children at Community Development centre at Mankhurd which is under Project Crayons. It was an amazing event where the children enjoyed the performance by our dear Pinto Baba! And each one of the 120 children went home with a lovely toy for themselves to play with.

Here’s what our volunteer Edgar has to say about the event:

"A fun event was held on 16th August at Ambedkar Nagar-Mankhurd in the morning for the lesser-privileged children of the area .There were around 100-120 children from the age group of 3 -15 years.

The programme was divided into two parts the Magic Show & the distribution of gifts to the children.
The magic show was done by one of our Toybank members --Mr. HAPPY TOYBANKER-.the children enjoyed the event -they were also called on the front to join in a few magic tricks with the magician. Pravin was well dressed & kept the kids lively with his tricks & jokes'

The next event was the giving away of gifts to the children, they were divided into 3 age groups -- 3--6 yrs, 7 to 10 years and 10+. A format was prepared & each child gave their name, age & was asked what they would like to become when they grow up. The answers were very interesting as many aspired to become doctors, policemen, teachers, etc.

The event ended around noon. There were around 6 volunteers. It was well organized by Farnaza & Shweta..The gifts were good & well packed. The volunteers also joined some of the older kids in the closing stages and showed them how the games given to them were played.
The volunteers enjoyed themselves & were served with refreshments along with the teachers in the end. A nice book was presented by Toybank to each of the volunteers. It was Toybank’s birthday celebration worth remembering, & the lovely snaps taken by Shweta & Poulomi will give u an insight of the well organized event & the enjoyment of the children”

Here are the fun pictures!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Toybank turns 7!!!!

Toybank celebrated its birthday with children from School on Wheels (SOW), Udaan Ghar and Community Development Centre!

Toybank partnered with Project Crayons, an NGO working to empower marginalized communities through Health, Education and Rights, to conduct a Toy Distribution event at three centres under their wing.

Toybankers come together on the 12th of August, 2011, to engage children from SOW and Udaan Ghar into fun activities and later on distributed toys to all the children!

Here is what our volunteer Lavita has to say about her experience at the event at SOW.

“On 12th August, 2011, Toybank organized a toy distribution event for the children of SOW at Ambujwadi, Malad. The children attending this event were between 4 to 11 years of age. There were 4 Toybankers along with a few volunteers from Project Crayons who interacted with the children. The event started at 11 am with the team conducting a drawing session for the children where they were taught to draw things like our national flag, house, tree, birds, etc and the children coloured it with bright colours.
This was followed by a story telling session wherein the children were told stories with morals by the volunteers. The children were very amused as the stories were told with much enthusiasm and expressions. The children also shared some nice stories with us. The whole session was very exciting and fun filled not just for the children but also the volunteers. This was finally followed by distribution of toys to the children. When the children were asked to tell their ambition in life most said that they wanted to become Doctors there were a few surprises such as Builder, Pilot & even a Policeman.
We have never realised that there is another part to Mumbai where people live in shanty homes, work hard to live a hand to mouth existence and if need be even stop the schooling of their children and make them work for the families living. Mumbai is filled with unbelievable contrasts that make it a unique and eye-opening experience. This volunteering experience has given me a chance to see the other side of this city and most of all to be around kids and see their lovely smiles and interact with the innocent little ones. When I see them smile its worth all the efforts I have put in to volunteer!”

After the toys were distributed to the children at SOW it was a wonderful thing to see all the children living nearby rushed home and immediately started playing with the toys they received. The bright smiles on the children on seen their toys made our day!

On the same day Toybankers also gathered at Udaan Ghar where we had collected lots of waste material and the girls at Udaan Ghar made nice decorative items out of them, like door garland, house, pen stands, baskets, wall hangings, purse, etc. It great to see a creative streak in many of the girls at Udaan Ghar!

Here is what our Toybanker, Jyoti Bhat has to say about the event:

“It was good to see a place where girls are, protected and sheltered and helped with education! The creativity of the inmates was absolutely splendid, it was nice to see that children really put their minds together to make creative items out of the available material - e.g. the toran, the match-box wall hanging…
Udaan ghar itself looked organized & neat place for the girls to live in. At the end of the event Toybank gave age-appropriate toys to the girls. The event was very well organized.”

At the end the children were explained how to play the board games by our volunteers. The children loved the games and said they would play these games every day in their free time!

The pics of both the events will be uploaded soon!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Volunteer of the month - July

Toybank is happy to announce the volunteer of the month for the month of July - Seshadri!!!

Seshadri joined Toybank in the month of April and has been contributing to Toybank in many ways. Since he has joined us he has been a part of most of our event.
He has been our impact volunteer who has come for the play sessions in our Toy Libraries and play centres and has given us valuable feedback and suggestions for the same.

It's been awesome to have Seshadri as a volunteer with Toybank, and we hope to continuous volunteering support from you.

Seshadri, at our Toy Library Inauguration

We had a small chat with Seshadri, here's what he has to say:

Toybank: What brought you to volunteer with us?
Seshadri: I have a couple of friends in the MNC’s and one of them who is also associated with your organization, its through them that I got to know about your organization.
I had called it a day from the organization that I was serving to put in some work for society especially the children and Toybank has provided this platform.
Its actually my privilege to be associated with Toybank and all of you in this organization.
The last few months have given me immense pleasure & satisfaction which I could not probably experience in my 30 years with the public sector.

Toybank: What is your most memorable experience with Toybank?
Seshadri: Actually each event organized has been a memorable experience, it would be difficult to pinpoint any particular event as each one has something new to offer.
We have a lot to learn from the children and that’s what I look forward to every time.

Toybank: What do you think about volunteering in general?
Seshadri: Volunteering is something to be done selflessly without any expectations for it to be enjoyed to the maximum.

Toybank: What keeps you motivated to volunteer?
Seshadri: Every time we go to meet the children its an absolutely new experience & we do not know what’s in store, this “Expecting the Unexpected” is what I guess keeps me motivated.
Also I get to meet so many kinds of people from the educational field, the private as also the public sector as also people from the so many diverse fields.
It has been an exhilarating experience. Thank you Toybank.

Thank You Seshadri!!!
Keep Toybanking!