In Memory of Ken Humphrey of Kirkman Labs
Autism and Testosterone

Totally Kids and Parents United Against Autism Toy Drive Success

Totally Kids2 Managing Editor's Note: Our contributing editor in Minnesota, Abdulkadir Khalif organized a toy drive for children with autism with Totally Kids. We first told you about it HERE. Below is the letter from Jesse Dumas of Totally Kids about the event's success. You can meet Abdulkadir on Saturday at our Age of Autism presentation at Autism One.

Dear Friends,

Recently my company, Totally Kids, partnered with Abdulkadir Khalif and Parents United Against Autism for an Earth Day Toy Recycling Drive with the intent of taking in toys that could be redistributed to families in need affected by autism.   On every conceivable level, it was a tremendous success.  

As a newcomer to the autism battlefront, my business and I had no idea what to expect in terms of response to our little campaign, but thanks largely to the support of Abdulkadir, the PAA, and the readers of this site, we were treated to meeting many parent-warriors that came and spent some time with us. Admittedly, the scope of the campaign was rather small, and in trying to get publicity, we realized just how difficult it was to capture people’s attention.  But in seeing the support that the families give one another, we realized that we had become a part of something very special, albeit much bigger than us.  It absolutely warmed the hearts of my colleagues and I to see the donation box fill up day after day and eventually be taken off by Mr. Khalif to deliver to the children who can use them.   Thank you a million times over to all of you who donated, to all of you who spread the word, and to all of you who are a part of making this problem visible to the ones who need to see.

Totally Kids1 Because we know that there were families and individuals that could not make it in during that week, we are extending the donation period until the end of May.  If you or any families you know of have toys or items that are no longer used, but still very useable, please bring them to us, and we’ll be delighted in seeing them go to the children who want and need them the most.  Please call or email if you have any questions or comments.

Thank you,

Jesse R. Dumas
[email protected]


Jesse R. Dumas

At the time I wrote this letter, we had just come off a successful one week donation window and making it a month seemed like a good idea. However, I can see no reason that we should ever turn away a donation if there's people who want to give them. Totally Kids will accept any donations made any time. Please pass this information along to your friends and parents who may be able to make use of it.

Thank you a million times for all your support!

Jesse R. Dumas
Totally Kids

Cherry Sperlin Misra

.In my nursery school, I try to apply scientific knowledge in my methods. I think the kind of knowledge we have about human development tells us that toys are extremely important in child development. There is every likelihood that new, useful brain pathways get created or strengthened through toys use. Toys are not just for "fun" as many adults might imagine.Its so wonderful to learn that some autistic kids are getting some new toys. I have a little 3 and a half year old autistic boy in my school who , fortunately has had fairly normal play behavior even when joined me at age 3. Peter just becomes a dynamo when given a new toy and you just have to think that it must be very beneficial to him in some way. Another principle which I am applying in my school is based on the research findings (in rats) that new brain neurons actually get created in response to a new environment. I have noticed that both Peter and Tanya, a second autistic child, get extremely happy and active when we take them out in a big park. I wonder how many autistic kids are kept inside too much. Any opinions on this?


I hope that Twin Citians will make the drive over to Totally Kids and donate their kids' outgrown and unused toys. It's great to know that the wonderful Somali children will be having fun and learning from these toys the way our kids did. Toys aren't much good if they're sitting on a shelf or packed away.

The Totally Kids store has a lot of fun toys and functional furnishings. And it's not far from the Mall of America, so donaters can combine errands. I'm glad that I did!

Media Scholaristicismist

Now why would Totally Kids and Parents ever be united against Autism toy drive success(es)?

Don't the tikes deserve fun things?

(I know they really aren't meanies. The headline reads funny. :-))

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