Thursday, November 29, 2012

Toybanker celebrate Children's Day @ Trishul Learning Centre

Trishul is a registered charitable organisation working in all directions towards cause of Humans and Environment for almost two decades. At the Trishul Learning Centre, they provide free education for less-privileged children helping them to be more: self aware,  capable, responsible, independent and confident citizens. 


On this Children's Day, Toybankers gathered at Trishul Learning Centre at Versova, to spend jolly time with the children there.
Toybankers interacted with the kids, and taught them how to make caps out of newspaper.  

Our little Toybanker Rhea along with her friends, collected loads of toys for this distribution event.

Volunteer speaks: 

Deepika Unni - My daughter, Rhea, was very excited about the Toybank concept and tried to motivate her friends from school and building to donate one toy each and she had some success.
The activity at Josephs Wadi was an eye opener for Rhea and her 2 friends Harshika and Anushka.
It is so vital that we inculcate the spirit of giving In our young children and that's what I hoped to achieve. I know that Rhea and her friends will continue the work for Toybank and others too.
Rhea Unni - I hope our toys give the children as much happiness as they gave us.
Harshika - I loved the craft activities and being with the children and helping them. 
Anushka - Giving out the toys brought such big smiles to the kids. I am so happy seeing their smiling faces. 

Pictures of this event will be uploaded soon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Toy library at Literacy India, Gurgaon

This time we broke a record and created a Child:Volunteer ratio of 3:1 :)) - Thanks to the efforts of the amazing IBM team from Noida! They made the collection drive as well as this toy library possible, all within the span of a month.

With about 20 board games (including puzzles & craft kits) and 13 volunteers, we organized two sessions with about 60 kids in total. Each volunteer worked with small groups of children for about two hours, and could satisfactorily educate them on the game as well as the skills to achieve success. In the process, also improved the English instruction reading abilities! The craft groups came up with some really beautiful moulds, paintings and Diwali greetings. But the excitement trophy was taken by the group that re-created paper replicas of the 'Tower of London' and the 'Chichen Itza'.  And oh yes! one group also assembled a 108 piece puzzle :)

Besides, the staff and the coordinators of the Literacy India centre were very cooperative and displayed a keen learning intellect themselves. It is due to their earnest efforts that the kids show very good IQ & social skill-sets. The kids also enjoyed a diwali treat of chocolates and were delighted to learn that all of these games would become a part of the library at their school :)

As for the volunteers, here are a few experiences that say it all:

Ipsita Bhattacharya:
I realized today that when we complain about not having time to do anything good, we actually waste ourselves away. Normally, on any other given weekend, I spend time with my family and friends ... ... However, something invaluable happened this Saturday!
Read full -

Geetanjali JainIt wasn't just a regular Saturday this time, it was a special one as we got a chance to do make others feel special. It takes a lot of effort to bring a smile on to a persons face and I am glad I was able to do that by playing with the little angels. It was an overwhelming experience which lead to purity of heart and a feeling that devoting a little time of your life can make others happy.Thanks to you for organizing it , I look forward to more of such activities.
Shalini Sahay
Even as I agreed to engage with the Toybank and volunteer for the event, I had no idea that it would be such a fantastic experience. It just seemed to be an “accident” waiting to happen. It came as complete surprise to me when I found out during the sessions that not only were the children very enthusiastic and intelligent, but also very well behaved. I came back with a feeling of having gained something valuable from the experience of interacting with kids.  Plus the event was very well organized and I have only words of praise for the organizers. It was wonderful to meet the other volunteers as well.  In future, I would love to continue associating with similar events.
Jean Matthews
I did clay modelling with the first batch of girls. Both of them loved the experience of creating something colourful. However with the given resources, we had just one brush to paint. I was quite happy to see that both the girls shared the responsibility of painting one at a time instead of fighting over the paint brush. The outcome was two wonderfully carved clay models: A Butterfly and A Mushroom. 

With the 2nd batch, I play lego blocks with 3 boys and 1 girl. All the kids had fair understanding of what a screw, nut, bolt and a player was. Based on a blue print, we created a hovercraft and a crane. Although some of the blocks were missing, we did have some spare time to create a windmill out of the rest of the blocks. The kids were very happy to see it turn. Overall, the kids were well behaved and were able to use the toys to their benefit. Hope to visit them soon.   

Amit Sinha
It was a great experience to be a part of this drive. We really enjoyed a lot and felt satisfied sharing a few hours with the extraordinary kids of Literacy India. I, personally, would like to be a part of these kind of drive in future and really thank you for taking these kind of initiatives.

Tarun Sharma
It was a great experience being with such enthusiastic kids. I am sure it was a learning experience for the kids.. moreover it was learning experience for me personally to be know and play with the kids … understand that with such small things we can bring a smile to them. It was really nice to see the Literacy mission educating the kids and I must say some of them were really intelligent with great potential.

Finally, before we wrapped up the event, the volunteers got a chance to play a round of Scotland yard amongst themselves and brushed up their knowledge of the game for the next event! .. Yes, we are targeting higher!! :)

To view snapshots of the this event click here.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Young Toybankers at work!

Arya and Garima are 2 young Toybankers that have done some beautiful volunteering work in September 2012. Below are details of what they did, also written by them.

Our experience with TOYBANK (Sept 2012)

First of all, we would like to introduce ourselves. We are two friends - Arya Menon aged 10 and Garima Merani aged 11 staying in Chembur. We go to Avalon Heights International School at Vashi. We became Toybankers a couple of years back when our parents started volunteering for Toybank. We had helped them during the toy donation drive in our society and later in our school.

This year, during the Ganpati festival a fun fair was planned in our society where people could put up their own stalls. It was the first time this was being done in the society, so all of us were very excited about it. We also wanted to put up a stall all by ourselves. When we told this to our parents, they suggested that we could make something and sell it. We had heard about some children helping Toybank by making cards etc, so we thought we could also do that. But we thought we should make many more things and so we decided to make bookmarks, magnets, envelopes and cookies in addition to cards. Both of us didn’t know how to make envelopes, so Arya’s mom helped us with that cutting and sticking the envelopes. We decorated these envelopes with cute pictures of little children playing and some other nice designs. Garima’s mom helped us with the chocolate cookies. We loved making the bookmarks for kids with interesting messages related to books like ‘ Readers make leaders’, ‘I am a book worm’ etc . We made separate bookmarks for adults using pictures from magazines. The fridge magnets were also fun to make with nice messages like “Daddy’s lil’ girl”, “Mommy’s lil’ boy!”, “My father’s a Superman” etc. The funny part was we decided to make these magnets just the evening before the event! We both took more than a week to do all this work. We were lucky to have had holidays for five days during this time, so we used that time to make these things. We then decided the prices for these items and Arya’s mom helped us to make a rate card. We sold bookmarks for Rs.20, envelopes for Rs.15 and Rs 20, magnets for Rs 25 and cookies for Rs.15and Rs.20. 

We felt very good that we were made something for Toybank, all by ourselves. We decorated our stall by covering the table with yellow chart paper and some stickers. In the beginning, nobody was coming to our stall ,so we told some of our friends to tell people to come to our stall. Then everyone started coming. All the people who came were amazed that we both could do make such nice things! We felt we did a very good job because by the time we fun fair got over not a single thing was left and we had collected Rs.2400. Everyone was happy that we were donating the money for Toybank who would use it to buy toys for children who don’t have them.

We want to do the same thing next year also and collect more money for Toybank by making and selling many more beautiful things.