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.
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.
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!
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
At this one particular event, I was taking photos to begin with. Once the entertainment program was over, I joined the toy distribution with other volunteers. I sat down and was surrounded by about 20 children, aged between 2-12years. At first it felt slightly awkward, then, I looked at Sweta and saw her with a small girl dressed in a white frock. She had lifted the girl by her arms and was swaying her round and round. The girl seemed ecstatic and kept asking to go faster; but when I looked at Sweta's face I saw pure happiness. Glee! Seemed like there was nothing else in the world that could replace or replicate what she was feeling. We all yearn to figure out that one thing that we're good at and are born/ meant to do and hopefully make a career out of it. Fortunately for Sweta, she has found what she does best and enjoys the most - her sheer passion and unlimited enthusiasm and affection will make sure that she builds something bigger than anything that even She must have imagined! Godspeed.
Toybank is an organization with tremendous passion, commitment and drive to bring about happiness in the lives of children from under-privileged backgrounds. It is one of the few organizations where one can feel the energy the minute you meet the team. It is a team with a heart who wants to make every child happy, very happy!
Toybank is a wonderful organisation run by a group of enthusiastic persons. I recall my first interaction with them. It was a program at a school in avillage near Panvel. Toybank were gracious enough to pick me up and drop back near my home. Talking to them enroute was enjoyable. The program was very well organised. I was asked to handover toys to little kids who were delighted at the gift. There was an excellent magic show organised with another volunteer, who became my dear friend later. My subsequent interactions with Toybank have been very enriching experience. I wish them all the best in their efforts.
Toybank is one of the most heartening concepts I have come across in my life. Just imagine, on one hand, a few rich kids with thousands of toys. On the other hand, thousands of poor kids, with no toys at all. And now picture them living next to each other, as happens in a city like Mumbai - how sad the poor kids must feel... Toybank collects the several toys discarded by rich kids, cleans them, re-packs them, and distributes them to poor kids living in slums, orphanages, street shelters, etc. It has even created a "play room" for sick children in a small charitable hospital at Ulhasnagar. If there is anyone who has seen a child's eyes light up when they receive a toy, you will know the kind of impact Toybank creates! Its a sight to gladden your heart!
Tobank is an fantastic place for every volunteer. The founder Shweta is very approachable and amiable and always willing to answer any sort of questions. She gives volunteers very gainful tasks and makes volunteering a very rewarding experience.