It was smiles all around for the 50 children gathered at the Mount Hope Housing Complex on Friday, May 15th when volunteers from Viacom rolled up in a truck and began distributing bags filled with toys.
The gently used plastic toys, donations from other metro-area children, were collected at Kidville education and enrichment centers for Second Chance Toys, a non-profit that repurposes discarded toys and keeps them from polluting area landfills.
Hours earlier, employees from the Manhattan based entertainment conglomerate Viacom pitched in by sorting, cleaning and disinfecting the toys as part of their employee volunteer day.
Once refurbished, the items were tagged with hand-written inspirational notes and then sent by truck from midtown, courtesy of 1-800-Got-Junk? to a group of expectant new owners waiting at Mount Hope.
Stopping by to assist with the distribution efforts was NY State Assemblyman, Victor Pichardo, who walked over from his office a few blocks away to say hello to families and hand out toys to his youngest constituents.
“This is just a remarkable effort,” said Pichardo. “It’s city kids helping out other city kids – and protecting the environment at the same time. What a great thing to be a part of.”
“It’s always inspiring to see the end result of our efforts,” remarked Shelly Lipton, Board Chairman of Second Chance Toys. “Seeing a toy make the journey from being outgrown and discarded to finally lighting up the face of a brand new owner… it doesn’t get old, that feeling.”
The children walked away with trucks and cars, EZ-Bake Ovens and dolls. “Such a terrific moment for these kids,” observed Wilbert “Tee” Lawton, the Director of Community Relations at Mount Hope. “We’re so grateful for Second Chance Toys and all the volunteers at Viacom who made a difference in the lives of so many Mount Hope residents today.”
Image caption: From left to right – 2 Viacom Volunteers Reps from 1-800-Got-Junk Wilbert Tee Lawton, Director of Community Relations, Mount Hope Housing Complex.