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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Toybank

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Toybank – a non-profit organization has been set up with the aim of providing toys to children. At Toybank, we do not discriminate on the basis of gender, caste, color, religion or disability/sexual orientation. We let all the children know that we are all one in this world. Thus it is purely a humanitarian concept. We strongly hold the belief that every child, irrespective of his/her social & financial background has the right to make the most of his/her childhood. While accessibility to a decent education is of prime importance, one should not overlook how important a role can indulgence in extra-curricular activities play in molding the lives of these children as they evolve into strong, sensitive individuals. After all, these are the very same children who will represent the face of a better globe, a responsible globe. Vision: A world where all children have a happy and healthy childhood. Goals: • To ensure that children from under privileged backgrounds receive toys through collection and distributions. • To bridge the gap between children from different backgrounds by creative play/group events/community events. • To make play space available for children through-- Toy libraries in available infrastructures; reclaim open public spaces for children. • To impart education and values through a Toy curriculum; play groups; children’s parliament. • To design and thus provide toys that will be context specific, by having toys made in local languages as well. • To sensitize and advocate amongst individuals from all sections of society the need and importance of the right to play and the right to leisure for all children.

Geographic areas served: India

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

9

Donor

Rating: 5

Toybank is a wonderful organization with the purest of goals; to brighten the lives of underpriviledged children in India by giving them a toy. It is a selfless quest they are on and I recommend that anyone who can donate at least one toy to their cause, and bring a smile to a little child's face.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Toybank is truly changing the lives of children. It's an amazing organisation and brimming with warmth and cheer. Toybank has collected tonnes of toys from all across India and distributed them to deserving children in slums and schools. And these are not just old, discarded toys but almost good as new and are neatly wrapped by Toybank volunteers. All in all, Toybank is doing outstanding work in an area that is hugely neglected. Keep up, Toybank!!! We are proud of you.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While I was working with various NGOs in Mumbai, I realized the state in which millions of children in India are currently in, and how much more needs to be done by us as “individuals” to bring some kind of equality in economical, social and educational sectors. That’s when I met Shweta Gopalachari, Founder of Toybank India and her team from Toybank who also shared my views and opinions. Toybank strives to bring a difference in the lives of under privileged kids in Mumbai by giving them a simple thing like a “toy” which does mould in every kid’s life in one way or the other. Since then we have extended Toybank activities to Bangalore and Pune in the past 3 years!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have always been looking for an organization where I can work and bring smiles for the children. Almost half a year back, heard about this ToyBank and its concept of toybanking. I really liked it and decided to work full time. Meetings, reviews, retrospection, all were perfect but the day I really felt like a member came when I was among the children. Playing with them, laughing with them. And last but not the least distributing toys to them, captured their smile in my eyes when they opened the packet and found the amazing toys. I would always be grateful to Shweta for letting me work for it and would like to bring in different and new ways to reach the children where we haven't reached.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

ToyBank is operated in a manner where the Toy donors are given opportunity to 'participate' in many activites like toy collction, gift wrapping, distribution - which nt only helps gather magnitude and the required awarewness, but also creates future volunteer's. I am associated with ToyBank primarily as a donor and a 'toy donation catalyst' in my own way...will definitely volunteer as and when possible. The simplicity of the idea that a Toy-Bank can develop the future of a delighted child is my main attraction towards ToyBank, not to mention the efforts by many individuals which have put lit up many a needy childs face in smiles...

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered for ToyBank Bangalore between Dec 2008 and July 2009. I had a very good time getting to know the other members who shared this passion and enthusiasm to reach out to the kids and see a smile on them. The see the curiosity that the little ones contained as they waited for the toys to reach them was a priceless experience. I'd like to be a part of this organisation and contribute in every way possible.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Toybank came across me when i googl-ed for NGO's when i moved places to mumbai. This was strangely different from every other NGO that i had worked or read about, and it instantaneously caught my attention. Toybank did what probably we missed out. They identified a gap in the childhood of probably millions in this nation and probably billions in this world. I was with toybank in a matter of few days. I was astonished to see that the organization was actually driven by just a handful of people. The grit and detremination of these young lives who probably had a frugal lifestyle just to keep getting smiles back on the faces of children. The idea on which the organization was built was amazing and was of course accepted by the society around.I could see a desire to grow and reach out to many more kids but there was some serious deficiency in the way it could happen. This was probably due to lack of funds. And it was true. the organization always desired to grow bigger. But they lacked infrastructure and a channeled thought process. I joined toybank in a couple of distribution drives. Then there was this toy clearance drive in the small office space that we shared with another organization. It was here that i reaslied the thought behind the idea. The way the toys were seggregated. The way the toys were believed to be a part in the child's upbringing and the manner in which the organization wanted to be a part of it. The organization has been a wonderful experience and shows limitless possibilities to bring smiles to the children in this world. There is a need of growth which can happen thought better infrastructure and fund availability. There is a need now to shift focus to growth to reach out to the millions who in their wildest dreams would have not thought of getting to toy to cherish their childhood with. I wish the organisation success in all endeavours as i continue to be a part of them.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Its a great feeling to go on toybank distributions and give away toys to kids. to interact with those kids and play and have fun with them is a differnt experience all togather. The whole event takes you back to your childhood.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I have known of Toybank for some time but I had my first opportunity of volunteering for the organization last month. The toy distribution drive took place in rural Karnataka and it managed to get the children to school even on a Sunday. The other Toybankers who were on the trip had planned and coordinated everything perfectly and the only thing we did not account for was the massive amounts of energy all the children possessed... which of course is never a bad thing in this case :). If the children were excitedm it certainly meant we were doing things the right way. I had a great time with the kids as well as the other volunteers and would not hesitate in volunteering again with Toybank.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Working with Toybank is a great opportunity to interact with kids and see the smiles on their faces. It is a very unique idea to distribute toys. The philosphy that every child has the right to play is very impressive. My personal experience in the toy distribution event at Belur, Karnataka has been the best so far. There is a huge difference between a distribution event in urban and a rural area. The spark on the faces of the kids is so touching. It feels like to give them more and more to see them more happy always. My Suggestions:- Toybank must have a funding model and the funds must be constructively used towards toy maintainence and logistics for events. Currently, there is no official storing place for the toys. They are normally stored at volunteer's place. We could have a framework in place where we can develop a network of collection points. Also, the wrapping of the toys could be outsourced to several needy people who could be provided a stipend from the funds collected within Toybank. Last but not the least, Toyank must concentrate on setting up more distributions in remote and rural areas (does nt matter even if they are less frequent) where kids have not held a toy in their hand till now. It is a great feeling to see them hold it like a precious baby!