Saturday, October 25, 2008

Toys Loaned For Children

This is a great story and something we can all learn from. Back during the great depression around 1934, a couple young boys were caught shoplifting in a Los Angeles County. The were taking small toys and parts in order to build their own toys.

The boys and their parents were brought in to the local authorities where it was discovered those boys were making really good grades by their parents just couldn't afford those toys for them so the boys figured the only way they would ever be able to play with them was to steal them or steal the parts needed to build the toys themselves.

The authorities at the time thought better of punishing the otherwise productive youngsters and instead instituted a program that has been in place now for over seventy years.

A centre was created where people could come in a donate new or used toys that other children could borrow. The principle still exists today. Disadvantaged kids are able to come into the centre at certain times during the year and select from a bounty of donated toys. The kids are told that they have to take good care of the toys and return them in good condition.

As you can imagine, once in a while the toys don't make it back. This was the belief of the organizers when they first began the program. They figured once the kids got their hands on those toys, that was it. They didn't think they would be seeing them again. To their pleasant surprise, almost all of the toys make their way back to the centre.

A big part of the program is teaching these kids responsibility and respect for other people's property. The kids also learn to be appreciative of the the opportunity that isn't made available to many other children.

They strange thing is that this program has been around for so many years but has not caught on in many other places. Surprisingly, this program in Los Angeles which is maintained by the county, really isn't discussed that often.

I would think a program like this should exist in every major center across the globe. I'm sure you know of a child who has a collection of toys that just sits now and is pretty much forgotten. Kids move on pretty quickly to new things these days. We donate old toys and clothes a couple times a year and I think if this kind of program was around it could give young unfortunate kids who otherwise wouldn't gain exposure to such a program, a new alternative.

If you know of such a program, take moment one day and drop off a toy. The kids will thank you and I'm sure it's the kind of thing that isn't quickly forgotten.

No comments: