I have been working with Toybank for almost three weeks now and attended my first distribution event on Saturday 16th September, a particularly special occasion celebrating their 13th birthday. I haven’t been on the field with Toybank before this, so the entire experience was very new to me.

I arrived around 8:15 am to a class full of volunteers. The orientation itself was filled with happy and positive vibes. The team engaged the volunteers in a quick play session to familiarize them with the activities that had been planned for the day.
That’s when the students started arriving. I have never seen children so excited to come to school. They ran upstairs and settled in as fast as lightening. Their joy was clearly visible on their faces and excitement was gleaming in their eyes. They were expecting us and just the idea of having a day dedicated to play was enough to bring them all to school. It took me a while to get adjusted to all the busyness but once I did, I was having so much fun that I did not want it to stop.

The entire event seemed like well-coordinated chaos. There were lots of activities and games, the children were singing, dancing, playing, drawing and laughing. They were basically just being children, which is what their lives should be like every day, not just once a month. There was a puppet show and there was a clown, and everything was just perfect. The students were having the time of their lives, the volunteers were having fun with the students and the Toybank team worked like a well-oiled machine, being available whenever required without being called on. Everything went as planned, without any surprises, and we all know how rare that is!

I was overwhelmed with emotion. These children were all so happy. They asked us when we would visit them again. They even requested us to come back on Monday. When leaving, they all thanked us without being told to do so. They were genuinely grateful. Just by spending one day with these children, I learnt some very important life lessons as well. We are privileged, they are not, and we should all be grateful and helpful whenever and however we can. I hope I’ll be able to make a difference in the lives of many such children during my time with this organization.
- Aleeza Shaikh, Toybank Intern


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