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What: Earth Day Toy Recycling
When: April 22nd.
Where Totally Kids Fun Furniture and Toys 7876 Portland Ave. S. Bloomington, MN 55420
Why: To benefit the environment and families affected by autism.
Recycling is not just limited to items made of plastic, paper, and glass. Thousands of products, including toys, are thrown out every year that are still valuable to many people. This Earth Day, families are encouraged to donate their gently used and new toys to be “recycled” to families in need. Most notably, going to families affected by autism, a growing segment of the population particularly in our immigrant Somali community. The event is being coordinated by the staff at Totally Kids fun furniture & toys in Bloomington, and the toys will be donated to the locally headquartered non-profit organization Parents United Against Autism (PAA).
The event is intended to give families an outlet to recycle toys that their children no longer use without having to throw them away, and then to redistribute them to families that are in need. Further, certain toys designated to be specifically beneficial will be delivered to families that have children with autism. By raising awareness of the disorder and its growing numbers in the community and providing the families with toys that can help the children immediately, Totally Kids and PAA hope to make a lasting impact on a personal level as well as a community level, both benefitting people and our environment.
“We’ve been noticing for a while now that families, including those in the Somali community, have been coming to our store seeking out certain toys for their Autistic children” says Annie Seberson, Totally Kids Community Development Coordinator “We have decided to take our involvement in helping these families in a more pointed direction and provide more products that they can benefit from, as well as reaching out to the community organizations that can offer help directly”. “We invite everybody to join us this Earth Day and not only do what’s right for the environment, but also help your many neighbors that need it,” says Seberson. Those people making donations of gently-used or new toys will receive a 22% discount on any new-toy purchases that week.
When asked about the needs for Autistic children in the Somali immigrant community, PAA Representative Abdulkadir Khalif, remarked, “These children need all forms of support: doctors with experience in autism therapies willing to volunteer their time, laboratories that could help with testing and analysis, donations of medicines, and many other tangible items and services that are proven to assist in the children’s development. Totally Kids is providing a valuable part of a child’s natural development in the toys they play with every day that can specifically help them with motor and communication skills.” Examples of items that prove to be helpful include: puzzles, books, rocking horses, bean bag chairs, and many other common items. For a complete list of items and any other questions, call (952) 881-2425.
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