Sunday, March 27, 2011

A day out with children from Jagdamba Camp, Sheikh Sarai!

Toybank Delhi organized its 6th toy distribution event with children from the Jagdamba Camp at Sheikh Sarai. Aarohan runs a nursery for 50-60 children, all under 5 years of age from the slums around the camp. 

Toybankers followed the staff from Aarohan through the tiny lanes of the slum at Sheikh Sarai and reached this little room where all the children were impatiently waiting to meet us. Since there was not enough room for the volunteers to kick-start the fun activities inside the room, the President of Aarohan Mrs Rani Patel spoke to the people at the nearby Police Station and arranged for a fun time at the station :)

All the volunteers then slowly took the tiny tots to the station area put the carpets down and had fun with the children for few minutes. Some of the children were too small and started growing impatient because of the afternoon heat that was beating down on us. Aarohan staff had arranged for Halwa-Puri and Kheer, so volunteers started distributing the same to keep the children busy for while. This was quickly followed by Toybank's toy distribution.

We thank all the 9 volunteers, out of which 4 of them have volunteered with us on earlier occasions as well. We also thank the toy donors from Heritage City, Gurgaon for their generous toy donations and we thank our Toybankers Mita Bedi and Jacob for organizing a drive at Heritage City.

We thank our volunteers Aseem and Shikha who sponsored the Parle-G biscuit packs for all the 50 children at the camp. Catch all the action here!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Toybank Pune and Linger On Cafe organize a toy collection drive in Baner!

2010 saw Toybank Pune reach out to 129 children at Ratnagiri , set up a Toy Library at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, and distribute toys to children in  Ambedkar and Mahadji Shinde Schools as well as Rabindranath Tagore schools associated with Great Foundation.

Toybank Pune is back in action and is gearing up for its 1st event of 2011. Toybank is organizing a collection drive at Linger On Café located on Baner Road, Pune all through the week from 3rd of April, followed by a wrapping event on 9th of April.

We are looking for volunteers to spread the word about the drive in the societies in the vicinity of the café prior to the collection drive. We shall once again reach out to you for segregation and wrapping of toys .

The last event we had in Pune was with Great Foundation on the 23rd of Oct 2010, so we are looking forward to strong volunteer support to keep Pune Toybank chapter running actively.

Event Details:
Venue: Linger On Café, Baner Road, Manik Baug, Pune.
Map: Click here
Date & Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  1. Orientation for volunteers
  2. Campaigning for the collection at Linger On in nearby societies
Please confirm your presence right away for the campaigning activity by sending an email to before Friday, 25th March.

Toybank Delhi visits children from Aarohan!

Toybank Delhi continues the journey of providing toys to children with its 6th toy distribution event! The Delhi chapter kick-started it's activities in May 2010 and has so far reached out to more than 330 children in Delhi/NCR, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.

Toybanker Mita Bedi organized a toy collection drive in
Heritage City, Gurgaon and we have collected more than 200 toys last month. A wrapping session was held on Feb 27th in which 5 volunteers wrapped around 150 toys. Now it's time to distribute them to tiny little hands! 

Toybank volunteers will distribute some of these toys to children from Aarohan on 26th March. Aarohan's main focus is to help children living below the poverty line to gain admissions in government schools and help them to take up their academic pursuits, henceforth not letting them to drop-out from schools.
Venue: B-126, Basement, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi - 110017
Landmark: Reach Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital and enter B block through the back gate of the hospital. 
Map: Click here
Date and Time:
26th March, 10 15 AM - 12 30 PM
No of Children: 45

Agenda of the event:
10 15 - 11 AM: Volunteer Orientation - Induction about activities like toy collection, wrapping and distribution events.
11 -12 PM: Fun activities with the children
12 - 12 30 PM : Toy distribution

Public Transport Hints
Use Delhi Metro to find out the nearest station to reach the venue.

Please confirm your presence by replying to before Thurs, 24th March.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's time to pin up some collages!

The Toybank paltan with the girls at League of Mercy were all set to make beautiful collages out of waste newspaper and magazines.  Toybank’s artistic volunteers Ami and Rachana drew wonderful pictures on A4 size sheets which were given to different groups of girls to work on. 
The girls busy making collage:

Volunteer speaks:
Nimish –The Photographer

“It was a wonderful experience to be with Toybank at an orphanage, the League Of Mercy. I remember when I was a kid I used to play with miniature cars and used to feel like a hero chasing the robbers. I would bash another car as if I was in a combat. I created my own virtual world where I was 007 or sometimes Flash Gordon. Those toys gave me power - power of Imagination. Imagination is a skill of projecting the future and it enhances one's ability to survive in a highly dynamic environment. I am fascinated by the idea of giving these toys to kids from socio-economically deprived community for free.

I would share with you one of such my childhood memory when I was a kid maybe 2-3 yrs old. I used to play in my neighbor's house who was a photographer. He used to click lot of my images while playing and one such image was of me playing with his camera case.

Had those memories not haunted me till this age I wouldn't have been a fine art photographer today. 

Toys gave a shape to my life and I am sure to many others too.”

Manan – Toybank's Angel

“I have no name: I am but two days old." What shall I call thee? "I happy am" Joy is my name.Sweet joy befall thee!
-William Blake

“The above quotation came true when Toybank strives to protect the right to play of the kids at the League Of Mercy at the Byculla. The NGO Toybank gave many quality toys to the fun loving children at the League of Mercy. The coordinator of Toybank Farnaza along with many dedicated volunteers organized a collage making session for the lesser-privileged girls at that place. It gave enormous joy and brought out the creative side of the little girls.

The colourful and innovative collages showed the budding young minds and the innocence of these girls.Who says that there is nobody for these children? Gods have sent their angels to take special care of them.
In the end all of us were left with some sweet memories and the smiling faces of those small minds!!”

Rachana – The Core Toybanker 

“Volunteering for one of the March events at the League of Mercy was a very good experience for me. Seeing the smiles on the little faces was just great. I was glad to be part of their smiles. It also bought back my childhood days where we used to create craft and enjoy playing and competing with other teams trying to be the best. It was great to meet the other volunteers too. I would love to be part of future events.”

After the collages were made we asked the in-charge of the home, Ms.Bardey, to have a look at the work the girls did. She was very happy with the session and appreciated their work and told them to pin it up on the drawing board in the corridor. The children with the help of the volunteers proudly pinned up their collages which will remain as good memories.

Click here for more pictures.

Later Toybank left around 40 toys for the children at the centre which will be distributed to the children after their exams.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shweta's visit to Bhutan

This was one memorable trip for me. I visited Bhutan recently and met with dear Jigme, school Principal at Changzamtok Lower Secondary School and her husband, Karma Gayleg from the Early Childhood Care Development (ECD), Ministry of Education. They are super wonderful people and all of us at Toybank are really lucky to have them help take toys to as many children in Bhutan as possible.

I visited Toybank's center in Jigme's school and was immediately overwhelmed by the sight of so many children playing with toys given to them by Toybank. These toys were used last year by children who now have been promoted to Class I and are currently being used by children in Pre KG. Parents and teachers were all equally involved in getting the kids to understand the game and play it with one another in a healthy way..

"I taught children the names of vegetables using the toy vegetables that Toybank gave us" said an enthusiastic teacher from this class.

The toys are neatly arranged in the same order by teachers and parents and kept safely in a cupboard within this play room. They value these toys so much as they do not know when they'd receive more toys again.

After watching and playing with some of the kids, I am now determined to send hundreds of more toys to not just this one center but dozens of more schools and ECD centers across all of Bhutan.

Thank you to Toybanker Ashima who is a true reason behind setting up Toybank in Bhutan!

Happy Toybanking to everybody!
Click here to see more smiles that we have captured during our visit to Bhutan. 

- Shweta Chari

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Simba Toys and Toybank bring joy to children at YMCA!

3rd of March was a super-fun day for the children at YMCA, Juhu Beach

Toybank partnered with Simba Toys,India for this event. Simba Toys is the global ICC licensee of the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

Simba Toys donated 2 cartons of the very cute "Stumpy" to be distributed amongst the children from YMCA. Stumpy is the mascot for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Simba Toys representative Amit also accompanied us at this event. Here is what Amit had to say about this event:

“What is a toy ? Any object that can be used to play. But a toy is more than an object for a kid. It has so many emotions around it. I still remember keeping my favourite superhero always with me when I was growing up. I believe Toybank is doing a fantastic by giving toys to those children who can’t afford to buy them. I was at YMCA shelter for kids and the happiness on the faces of those kids said it all. They have brought a child back in me and spending time with those kids has been the best thing that I have ever done my life.  The calls of ‘Bhaiya!!’ ‘Bhaiya!!’ (big brother) in their innocent voices will always be with me. Simba Toys is proud to be associated with such an organization which believes in spreading happiness and joy amongst the future of this country. We all should come forward and do our little bit for this noble cause. All the best Toybank and Shweta. We all at Simba toys are with you.”

The children at YMCA played Football and Cricket with our volunteers Akshay, Manan, Vinit, and Grishma. Later on we went into the centre to have some water and then started with the Toy Distribution. The children were so energetic and enthusiastic that even after 2 matches of Football and Cricket they were jumping with joy and started playing with the gifts they had received. 

Here’s what our Volunteers have to say about this event: 

Akshay Bhende:

“On 3rd March, I had the opportunity to volunteer and spend some time with the children of Toybank at the YMCA in Juhu. Being a Maharashtra state football player I was asked to help teach the children the game of football. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the children shared my passion for the sport and even when given a choice, chose to play football over cricket! We divided the children into two teams and spent a good one hour playing football on the beach, during which i discovered that a couple of the kids had a real flair for the sport. In particular a 13-yr old boy named Raj showed a natural talent for the game. After the game, we went back to YMCA where toys were distributed to the children. It was a wonderful experience being able to spend some time with the children and I look forward to many more fun-filled days with them.”

Grishma Khajanchi:

“Sometimes in life you get a special warm, happy feeling, and that makes it worth the struggles, complexities and stress that comes with day to day life. Yesterday I was hit by the same feeling. We met the children at their shelter at Juhu and engaged them in games of football and cricket on the beach. At first they seemed shy, but it was gone in no time. In fact they soon got so engrossed in the game that the boys even removed their T-shirts so as to be able to play more freely. 

We took part in an initiative called Toybank where we took unused toys that were lying around all our houses from when we were kids and used them to give happiness to others. These unused toys meant nothing to us but to the children at the YMCA Shelter kids they gave a lot of joy, excitement and most importantly, hope. We gave them toys and even asked them about their ambitions. Some wanted to become a footballer, a policeman, a doctor, or join the military and one guy even wanted to become train driver etc.

Watching their happy faces and shrieks of joy is the most rewarding experience of my life, and I guarantee it will be of yours too. Baby steps by all of us, can make a huge difference to the lives of others. This is the power of giving.”

Pictures of this event – Coming Soon!