Local toy company volunteers put on their superhero capes and brought the magic of play to 250 at-risk children yesterday at a special Play Your Part event hosted by The Toy Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the North American toy industry, in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester. The event was held at IBEW in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Dozens of Northeast toy companies, including Ceaco/Gamewright, The LEGO Group, Schylling, Thames & Kosmos, and TOMY, participated in the event, either by donating toys, sponsoring activities, and/or sending company volunteers, who handed out hundreds of toys to all the children in attendance and animated activities for the kids – including “x-ray” vision games and photos with Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Thor, and Black Panther. Thousands of additional kids in need throughout the Boston area will receive gift bags from the event throughout the holiday season and beyond, helping them celebrate birthdays, special occasions, ceremonies, and more.
Nearly 7,000 toys provided for this cause – from action figures and dolls to board games, craft kits, puzzles, sports toys, and more – were donated by manufacturers, retailers, and distributors to The Toy Foundation’s Toy Bank.
“It’s heart-warming to see members of the toy community roll up their sleeves and band together to help children in need – especially as the holidays draw near,” said Jean Butler, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “From inspiring and fun-filled activities, to the thrill of unwrapping a brand-new toy to call their own, these children were given the opportunity to have fun and just be kids despite the struggles they endure each day. We are so thankful to all of the volunteers and companies that helped make this event a great success!”
“BGCD would like to thank all of the ‘superheroes’ who made this year’s Play Your Part event possible,” said Mary Kinsella, vice president of education at Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester. “Thanks to the generosity of local toy industry volunteers, more than 250 deserving kids from BGCD received an extra boost of joy as we kicked off the holiday season. In addition to having the opportunity to engage and try out some of the very best educational toys and games, the volunteers involved worked hard to make the kids feel like the superheroes they truly are!”
Children got into the spirit by donning superhero capes for the event, donated by Rubie’s Costume Company, Inc. “Rubie’s was honored to be part of The Toy Foundation’s important work and excited to make a difference by donating to these beautiful kids!” said Howard Beige, executive vice president of Rubie’s Costume Company, Inc.
Play Your Part – Boston is the latest in a series of events hosted by The Toy Foundation in partnership with children’s charitable organizations that are the touchpoint to underserved kids in their local areas. Earlier this year, Play Your Part held events in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale, FL. More than 40,000 children in need were impacted by Play Your Part in 2019 alone.
The Toy Foundation and BGC Dorchester thank the following event sponsors for their support: the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), Ceaco/Gamewright, Empire Group, The LEGO Group, Rubie’s Costume Company, Inc., Schylling, Thames & Kosmos, and TOMY.