Saturday, June 25, 2011

Toybank Pune partners with The Great Foundation again -Join us next month!

Toybank Pune is back with a bang!

We kick-started this year activities with a collection and wrapping event at Linger On followed by another collection drive at Bitwise Solutions Pvt Ltd. Both these events have helped us raise about 440 lovely bunch of toys. And now its time to distribute these toys to tiny tots. 

Let's spend some time and volunteer for two hours to bring a smile to the little children. Toybank in association with Great Foundation has planned for toy distribution at Shahid Bhagat Singh Primary School on Saturday, 2nd July. 

We need volunteers to co-ordinate the transport and distribute toys at the school.

Event Details:
Venue: Shahid Bhagat Singh Primary School, Ghorpadi Gaon, Ghorpuri, Pune
Map: Click here
Date and Time: 2nd July, 10 AM - 12 PM


  •     Orientation for volunteers
  •     Interaction with children
  •     Toy Distribution
Please confirm your presence for the distribution event by replying to latest by Thursday, 30th June 2011. Volunteers who confirm will be sent further details of the event.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Toybank launches it's new Toy Library!

Toybank kick-starts it's second Toy Library in a School at Mumbai on the 15th of June, 2011!!!

Kotak Education Foundation introduced Toybank to Saraswati Vidya Mandir School in Chembur. After couple of meetings with the School Trust and gauging the requirement of a Toy Library we had planned to establish our new Toy Library at Saraswati Vidya Mandir School. We'd like to thank Mr. Vikas Patil and Mr. Anil Joshi, the Trustees of Saraswati Vidya Mandir School, for showing interest and cooperating with us from day one of our association!

Toybankers helped us sort and code all the toys for the Toy Library and we took 100 toys with us to start off the Toy Library.
Thank you to our Toybankers - Vinod, Anchal, Vishakha, Jharana and Elsa for their efforts towards helping us sort and code toys for the Toy Library.

We had a Teacher training session for the Primary teachers on the 15th and for the Secondary teachers on the 20th. We are really impressed with the kind of enthusiasm shown by all the teachers in learning the games. We are sure that if the teachers were enthusiastic about the games that we have got, then the children will definitely enjoy them!

Toybankers went class to class telling the children about the Toy Library. The children were delighted by the very sight of the games that we took to show them. :)

A big thank you to our volunteers who helped us during the Teacher training:
  • Elsa
  • Vinita
  • Seshadri
  • Anchal
  • Vinod
 Check out some more pics here

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Toybank partnered with Deloitte for 3 Toy Distribution events!

Deloitte had a three week long Toy Collection Drive in their office and partnered with Toybank to reach out to 300 children in different NGOS in Mumbai and to set up Play centres at one of the NGO.
Deloitte donated almost 400 toys at Toybank to reach out to the lesser privileged kids and set up a Play Centre. 

Toybankers and Deloitte Volunteers got together on the 10th of June to sort and wrap the toy collection and were all ready by the second half of the day to go to the various NGOs to have fun with the kids and to distribute the lovely toy gifts to the kids!

Here’s what Elsa, one of our Toybanker, has to say about the Toy wrapping event at Deloitte:
“On the 10th of June, 2011 the Deloitte office was buzzing with people dressed in blue shirts with batches of their impact day, running here and there busy with some work or the other. There was a lot of excitement, I could see smiles on their faces, the joy of giving something back to the community.
The session started with Shweta taking the Deloitte Volunteers on a journey of origin & evolution of Toybank, which included the vision and mission of Toybank and why it does, what it does. The short presentation gave a lot of information about ground realities of the children in India as well as the world and briefed the volunteers as to how Toybank works. A video describing the two totally different circumstances in which children live was shown, this video clip showed the disparity between the privileged and the lesser-privileged children of India. This sensitized the volunteers towards the issues of Child Rights and to the ground reality in general.
The presentation played an important role in helping the Deloitte volunteers realize the importance of what they were doing .The Q&A session helped them to understand better, clear their doubts, about how Toybank functions and the volunteering opportunities available at Toybank. It also oriented them about the way they should behave with the kids on the field, Shweta explained with examples from her own experiences. After this Farnaza oriented them to the different NGO’s that were to be visited that day.”

Toybank and Deloitte Volunteers visited 3 NGOS on the 10th of June to have a fun origami and a card making session with the children at each NGO. The volunteer force and Toybankers were divided into 3 groups and they sorted and wrapped the toys age wise for all the 3 NGOs.

After the long wrapping session all of us had a quick lunch and then resumed to our groups to get going for each of our destinations...At 12.00pm all the groups were set to go to each of their NGOs in a bus loaded with toys!

Here are the 3 NGOs we visited…
Ashadeep Association - A charitable organization working since 1976 for the very poor and needy single parent children, orphans, handicapped and widows. They  execute their activities through  7 day care centers located within the western suburbs of Mumbai. Ashadeep help the children with food, education and clothing, without separating them from their parent and their environment they are used to.

Snehasadan -Snehasadan is a non-governmental Organisation that provides homes to the homeless street children in Mumbai. Over the past 4 decades Snehasadan has provided homes to 20,000 children. These homes give them a chance to escape the street life and gain access to shelter, education and a bright future.

Mumbai Mobile Creche, Powai - Toybank has a long-term tie-up with the Mumbai Mobile Creche. These MMCs provides comprehensive childcare and educational services for migrant construction workers’ children between the ages of 0-12 to ensure their healthy development and growth.   

Here’s what Elsa our Toybanker, had to say when she visited Ashadeep Association for the Distribution event:
“We were warmly welcomed by Mr.Santosh  and were introduced to the staff and teachers. The children were divided into 5 groups according to different age groups and the volunteers accordingly were allotted different age groups. We started with teaching the children origami designs. The children were step by step assisted and taught how to make a crab, hat, and a bird. The children were all excited to learn this. The origami was followed by another hour of card making, in which the children were taught how to make pop up cards.
After these sessions the children were distributed the gifts. The event was very well organized and coordinated .All the Toybankers and each member of the Deloitte volunteer force did their bit and could be seen enjoying too, and the smiles on the childrens' faces showed that this event was a great success!
Thank you Toybank, for always giving me these kind of wonderful opportunities to do my part for the community.”

We also got some amazing feedback from our Deloitte Toybankers :-) :-)

Here's the feedback from Deloitte Toybankers who visited Ashadeep Assocation: 

Sandeep Sethi: We all would agree that as kids few of the things which fascinated us, and even our kids, the most are ‘Toys’, ‘Chocolates’, ‘bicycle’, ‘games’ etc. There are many parents, unlike us, who cannot afford proper education, food for their kids. The thought of ‘toys’, ‘chocolates’, ‘bikes’, ‘X-Box’, ‘WII’ are like fairytale stories for their kids. It sounds strange but the world we live in has many “uncovered truth beyond our senses” or “truth we don’t want to hear or see and are very much ignorant of”. According to me, under such circumstances the thought of having a ‘Toybank’ for kids, who cannot afford many basic things in life, is unique and out of the box. This unique thought made me contribute something for the noble cause but I still think my contribution should be beyond few toys and one day of service to them. The presentation by the toybank organization was really touching and made me realize the worth of being privileged.  So far, in life, the gift packing/wrapping was only for friends or friends of my kids but this day was devoted to bring smiles to kids I had never met. The experience of meeting them at ‘Ashadeep’ was really amazing. They were very bright, mingled like any other kid, were enthusiastic, eager to learn and have fun. In fact, they taught us few things which I was unaware of – yeah, probably we are too old to be a kid now! As the day was concluding, their eyes were eagerly waiting for the surprise - toys we had for them. Possessing toys really brought the joy to their life and the moment was worth remembering. We finally said ‘good bye’, but I don’t think this is the final one as I would certainly think of connecting with them often. Also, I would spread the word in community about such a bank which keeps currency as ‘TOYS’ that can be visited

Ketul Odich: "I want to play…..", this was the feeling I had when I saw the smile on these kids faces. It was one of the very good experiences I had for the community work. We all are blessed to have played with such toys during our childhood days and I really appreciate the thought process laid down by the Toybank group. The guidance and their small tips (Toybank rules) were very very practical and I would remember them for lifetime!

Here are some heart-touching experiences of Deloitte Toybankers who visited Snehasadan:

Seema Joshi: TOYBANK…. Reemphasized the RIGHT to play for every child. Toys are such integral part of growing and learning. Snehsadan was a wonderful experience! Seeing the smile on children’s face was the most satisfying feeling, I was happy to be part of Toybank. The efforts, sincerity and dedication of Toybank volunteers is commendable. I would say, come and experience being a toybanker, you would gain more than you'd give!

Sachin Nikam: I had gone to Sneha Sadan as a part of  Toybank initiative on Deloitte’s Impact day. Visiting Sneha Sadan and bonding with the kids there was a different experience for me.
There were kids right from the age of 4 years to 13 years.  Surprisingly when I went there, I found the kids to be really well behaved. They were really organized and followed the instructions with ease. We had a session of origami with them and kids took up to it instantly. I must admit some of them were really better than me when it came to origami and were able to develop special things out of nothing.
The most heartfelt experience was with a kid who could not hear but he used to follow his other mates and just came up with an impressive sketch. The smile on the face of each kid after they completed their sketches just made my day.
We distributed toys among them based on their age groups. Some of them started playing with toys instantly while some took time to figure out their toys. We made an effort to make them understand as how they could play with those toys. The best reaction we got was from a kid who was given a game of Chess. He said playing a game of chess would sharpen his mind and he was looking forward to playing it. Some instantly started playing with their cricket kit in the rain. You never know, some of them might turn out to the Vishwanathan Anand’s and Tendulkars’s of future.
There were lot of mixed feelings in my mind when we were moving out of Sneha Sadan. There was a feeling of joy after bonding with the kids and seeing smile on their faces. Also there was a feeling of sorrow seeing the kids at such a tender age being deprived of their childhood.
Sneha Sadan and Toybank have taken a great endeavor to allow these kids to enjoy their childhood by providing them with a shelter to live in and toys to play with. I wish them all the success in future initiatives.

Chaitali Talreja: Toybank activity at Snehasadan was an enlightening experience for sure, I have heard of the NGOs working for children and seen a few documentaries on TV but you have to be in the middle of those little angels to sense that they need more love. We were there for a few hours and tried to brighten their day as much as we could, but on my way back home I was thinking that a day is not enough! The ability and interest to learn new things was amazing and were surprisingly a very very well behaved bunch. They were not desperate to open up their toys, but when they did, the sparkle in their eyes made our day. The team had collected and distributed most of the toys that will hone their mental skills and thus help them in longer run.

Here's what Sangeeta, a Deloitte Toybankers has to say about her visit to the Mobile Creche:

Sangeeta Shirke: It was indeed an awesome experience. Had a great time with the kids @ mobile crèche. Was really amazed with the way the kids picked up the origami skills and the ambition each one had despite of challenging situations. Thanks to Deloitte and Toybank for bringing smiles on the faces of the little ones and making a positive and everlasting impact on their lives. Impressed with the thread work and leadership...great job !!!

Catch all the fun we had through the day:

Monday, June 20, 2011

'Movers & Shakers' - Indian Express Pune features Toybank!

The Indian Express has featured Toybank in the Pune Newsline today! We are the 'movers and shakers' of Happiness Inc :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Toy Collection Drive at BitWise

Toybank organized a toy collection drive at BitWise in the month of May!

BitWise Foundation supports many programs and organizations, who work with mentally, physically, economically and socially underprivileged sections of the society. They work with different sectors including the underprivileged children, disadvantaged elders, rural poor, disabled and mentally challenged. The main goal is to improve and enhance the quality of their life and try to make them self-reliant. BitWise Foundation is committed to the well being of the communities they work within and increase awareness to protect the environment.
During the Toy Collection Drive at BitWise there were awesome toys collected and these will surely bring broad smiles on the faces of the children who receive them! A BIG THANK YOU to all the Toy Donors at BitWise!

Here is what Amit Lodha has to say on the behalf of BitWise Foundation:

"So beautiful are childhood days..! Childhood… a time when dad was only the hero.. When love was Mom’s hug… When dad’s shoulder was highest place on the earth… When our worst enemies were siblings…When the only thing that could hurt was wounded knees… When friends used you for nothing other than borrowing pencil...When good-bye meant only for tomorrow...When the only things broken were Toys...  So many emotions were attached to toys. But we knew a broken toy would be replaced by another big toy.

All the children are not lucky enough.  Just wonder parents who even could not afford food, how would afford toys for their children. Fully realizing the potential of the impact of toys and the need for children to learn and grow with the experience of toys, BitWise Foundation partnered with Toybank to organize a TOY COLLECTION DRIVE.

The toy collection campaign ran from 25th April to 4th May in all the 3 facilities of BitWise. Toy Collections boxes were placed near security at all the 3 facilities of BitWise. This was the time when all the Bitwisers came together as family and share aloha in true spirit.  We are very glad to let you know that we collected 340 toys in this campaign.

On 9th May 2011 BitWise Foundation volunteers came together, segregated according to age groups and wrapped all the 340 toys with newspaper. We would like to thank each and every donor and volunteer for your generosity.

The toy collection drive has been extremely successful and it was so much fun doing it. Just waiting till the toys reach the tiny hands…"

Catch all the fun at BitWise here

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Volunteer of the Month - May

Here is our volunteer of the month of May – VISHAKHA SHROFF!

Vishakha joined us as a volunteer in the month of April. Since then she has attended almost all the events at Toybank. She always takes initiative to make our Distribution events better and more enjoyable for the children by adding her inputs. She has also gone all out to make a lot of creative goodies for Toybank all by herself!

Thank You Vishakha for your valuable inputs, and hope to have you as a volunteer at Toybank for a very long time 

Here is our QnA session with Vishakha:

Toybank: What brought you to volunteer with us?
Vishakha: My friend Sonali Arora was collecting toys for Toybank in early april. She introduced me to Toybank. I was keen to know how the toys were reaching to the kids out there.
That lead me to attend the first toy wrapping session, since then i have participated at many Toybank events as a volunteer.

Toybank: Please tell us about your most memorable experience with Toybank. 
Vishakha: I think the very first event I attended as part of Toybank at Salaam Balak Trust was the most memorable one. It was an amazing feeling to interact with kids there...
they had such happy dispositions. Every event since then has been a learning experience.

Toybank: What do you think about volunteering in general?
Vishakha: I think we all have a little free time on our hands, and also ability and some talent which when put to use for a good purpose can help others/needy or people around us in some small way. So
why not volunteer for a whichever ways possible.
Not only can we make a difference to individuals but society in general, however small it may be!

Toybank: What keeps you motivated to volunteer?                            
Vishakha: When we go for the distribution events the happiness one can see on the kids faces.. and this isn't only when we are distributing the toys, but throughout the event..during the interactive session of art, craft, games, storytelling and various activities held. Its very satisfying, joyous and motivating.
Also all the people working and volunteering for Toybank are big motivators.

Thank You Vishakha!

It's great to have you volunteering with us!

Keep Toybanking :)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Toybank visits Daya Sadan to enjoy with the kids in their Summer Camp!

Toybankers and Axis Bank employees were all set on a Friday evening to go to Daya Sadan with cartons full of toys and a bag full of beautiful ‘Hari Puttar Color and painting kits! 

These toys were entirely collected at the Axis Bank Foundation!
Thank you to all the wonderful Toy Donors from Axis Bank. And Thank You to the Axis Bank Foundation employees who took out time to visit Daya Sadan for this event!

Here’s what our newbies at Toybank, Apoorv and Ayushi, have to share with us:

“The session started out with a game popularly known as ‘Fire in the mountain’, where the children and the volunteers enjoyed to their fullest!  This was followed by a card making session. This is where the children's creativity comes to the fore. Most of them made cards for their teachers, mothers and some even made Diwali greeting cards. This is also where I realized that it is never too early (or late) to learn anything. Very young kids could easily converse in English or Tamil while they found Hindi difficult. The children at Daya Sadan were very receptive and they learnt whatever we taught them very quickly and easily.
The session ended with a toy distribution event wherein each and every child was given his/her own toy. Special care was taken that the toys distributed were appropriate for their age. A group photograph session culminated the session.
Throughout the session, the kids were full of energy and their enthusiasm was infectious!

Here's what Manik, the Coordinator at Daya Sadan, has to say about this event:
“We were very pleased with Toybank representatives who spent their time interacting with our children who participated in the summer camp with games and drawing. The children were very happy with the toys that were distributed to them and they were very excited to take their toys home. We look forward to have more of such events for our other batches of children as well.”

Catch more fun here

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Toybank Delhi turns 1!

Toybank Delhi turned 1 this May and we celebrated our anniversary in style! 

Toybankers in Delhi/NCR ventured out to meet the wonderful girls from Protsahan at the Hastasal Basti in Delhi on 15th of May. Toybankers and volunteers from Protsahan and iVolunteer had so much fun with the 50 children. 

Here's a excerpt from the blogpost by Protsahan on their website:
"Protsahan children saw a wonderful Sunday, filled with games and some crazzy fun. When a little girl who has always stood on the street, undergoes a team building exercise, plays with her peers, and gets back home with her “own toy”, you know, world for that little one has entirely changed in somewhat way."
Some of our volunteers shared their thoughts and experiences after the event: 
"It was rather a great experience spending an afternoon with the team. I will surely get back to you for some posters & inputs that I would be requiring to initiate some contribution within my organization."

"It was a great experience being part of the event. It was my first event with Toybank and I had a lot of fun. Interacted with the girls and played some new games, some of them after ages!! I liked the concept of Toybank and also the whole emphasis on how important playing is and not just studying. Also telling them about some new professions was a new initiative and I hope to be better prepared with that next time! :) Also I have a small suggestion/question - Why are the children told not to open the toys? I know it would create a bit of mess with the newspapers and stuff, but it would be nice to see the smiles on their faces when they see the toy. And I look forward to a toy wrapping session too, so that I can get a chance to interact more with the volunteers and Toybankers :) "

Mita who coordinated the event responded to Anoushaka's interesting question:

"Thanks for playing those games, and I'm sure we had just as much playing as the children. We usually don't let them open not because of the mess but because children start comparing their toys and then some of them don't like what they got when they compare with their peers as all the toys are different. To avoid that disappointment and comparison we let them go home and open it , but your point is well taken. I think we just have to imagine the smiles for when they go home."

Catch all the glimpses of fun here