The Topp family is moving soon.
Amongst all the packing, a second activity is taking place — pruning. Clothes have been pushed into the charity donation box. Items have been posted on freecycle, and occasionally even collected.
(As an aside, we have now had two individuals and one charity fail to pick up a really nice desk and office chair. Does anybody want a really nice desk?)
It has also been Maggie’s first opportunity to give to charity. We asked her to choose what toys she wanted to take with her to our new home, and what toys she wanted to give to other girls and boys who don’t have any toys.
No pressure. No quotas.
And she chose a surprising number of items to go to kids who don’t have as much as she does, so they can play with and love some of her toys. I get the distinct impression that, amongst the real cast-aways, some of the toys being given away are on their way out because she likes them, and thinks someone else will like them too.
I’m a proud papa.
And I want to do right by her, and get the toys to girls and boys who don’t have any toys of their own. But there doesn’t seem to be a charity that does this in the UK — even children’s charity used toy drives are looking to re-sell used toys, rather than give them to children. Here’s what Argos say about last year’s toy drive:
We’ll then pass them on to Barnardo’s, the UK’s biggest children’s charity, to sell and raise vital funds
Yep. A children’s charity, in the run up to Christmas, cannot find a better use for used toys than selling them.
The only clue to this peculiar behaviour has been found in the Daily Mail:
Officials said they had been forced to abandon the scheme after being told that, under EU safety regulations, all toys would have to be subjected to an extensive inspection and that the charity could be held liable if any child suffered an injury.
Grains of salt that must be taken with uncorroborated information from the Daily Mail aside, this seems to generally be backed by comments on boards and the fine print on donation guidelines. So it seems that European children aren’t allowed to play with my daughter’s toys, in case they get hurt.
What about children elsewhere? Anybody know of any UK charities that might be interested in shipping Maggie’s toys off to another part of the world, to be given to kids with a toy deficit?