Monday, January 16, 2012

First Toy Drop for The Toy Society

Sophia, Olivia, and I are participating in The Toy Society this year as part of our personal 12 in 12 challenge. Our goal is to volunteer, donate different items, and make some financial contributions all while trying to make a positive difference in the lives of people in need, animals, and the environment.

The Toy Society is a craft/street art project spreading love throughout the streets of the world. According to its website, "The Toy Society is all about giving you a 'something for nothing' experience. Every Toy Society toy 'dropped' around the world is handmade.  You can read about the drops and finds at"

The first step was to make a toy. I made a little hand-embroidered bear from a felted wool sweater.  The bear has a green bow around its neck. 

Felted and Hand-Embroidered Bear
Handmade toy I created with a felted sweater
and cotton embroidery floss.

Then, I printed a "Take Me Home" label. I chose to glue the label onto an envelope. Inside the envelope, I handwrote a short note.

Note in the Envelope
Envelope with hand-written note.
The next step is to print the letter explaining the purpose of The Toy Society and what the finder should do once s/he finds the toy. I found an image from a vintage children's book and glued that onto green paper and put the note from The Toy Society by it.

Description of Toy Society
Letter explaining The Toy Society and
what to do when the toy is found.

Once all the components are ready, Iplaced them in a sealable plastic bag. I hole-punched one corner and put a green ribbon through it so I could attach it to the item where I was placing it.  We chose a little "Customer in Training" cart at Cub Foods (a grocery store) near where we lived.

Olivia by the Cart with the Toy
Olivia by the "Customer in Training" cart
where the toy is waiting for its own owner.

I chose Cub as the first drop-off point for a couple of reasons:

(1) It's going to snowing and be relatively cold over the next few days. I didn't want the toy and the contents getting damaged (even though the bag was sealed. Also, fewer children seem to be playing outside compared to the summer; and

(2) When my dad had Alzheimer's Disease and was still able to go to the grocery store (up until September 2011), the employees at Cub near where he lived were always so kind and compassionate towards him. When he no longer could count money, he simply would open his wallet to cashiers he would recognize and trust that they would take only the money for the groceries (which they did).

The employees at Cub's grocery store and pharmacy near him always listened to my dad and made him feel valued...even when he lost the ability to communicate effectively. I wanted the first toy drop to be in a place that had special meaning for our family, and in memory of my dad who died earlier this month (on January 5th).
Toy We Randomly Dropped Off at the Grocery Store
The toy ready to be discovered by
a young "Customer in Training."

So the toy is waiting in the little cart, ready to be discovered. Hopefully, the new owner will enjoy playing with her/his new teddy bear.

Toy Waiting for a Child to Find
Area with small carts for children.
We're wondering who will find the bear!


Connie said...

What a wonderful charity!
For over 30 years I have been involved in a local charity - a Toy Library for children with Learning Difficulties - though I don't take an active part now I still make donations when I can.
Good wishes for your work in your chsrity - a cause close to my heart!
Many thanks for your comment on my blog, Connie, UK

What Remains Now said...

What a wonderful idea. I'd never heard of The Toy Society before. I know my little girl would have been over the moon to find a present like this. So fun!

Heather @ Thirty Three Mom said...

That is so sweet! How often do you plan on dropping toys?

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Connie - That sounds like a great charity that you're involved with in the UK. Such an interesting concept - a Toy Library. Wish there was something like that locally.

What Remains Now - It's an organization worth checking out. I hope the child who finds the teddy bear enjoys it when s/he finds it.

Heather - My daughters and I are going to be doing this monthly during 2012 as part of our 12 in 12 challenge. It's one of 12 actions that we are taking each month during 2012 that hopefully will make a difference in the lives of other people, animals, and/or the environment.

Rita said...

What a sweet idea. And it's nice that Cub holds a special place in your heart due to your father, too. :)

I've also heard of bringing toys to the local hospitals for the children's wards or to the local domestic abuse shelter (of course they are sometimes hard to locate for a reason).

Juddie said...

... a gorgeous little bear! I'm sure the finder will be thrilled! :-)