Known for delivering joy to children in need through toys and play, The Toy Foundation is broadening its mission to support the millions of families now facing food and job insecurities as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Toy Foundation Board of Directors recently approved $260,000 in cash grants, which have been distributed to five non-profit partners.
Ellen Lambert, interim executive director of The Toy Foundation, said: “In many ways, the coronavirus simply compounded the stresses families nationwide were already facing, from where a next meal or paycheck would come from to ensuring a child has access to basic education essentials. By providing these cash grants, the Foundation is able to answer the urgent needs of at-risk children and families so we can spend more time focusing on the togetherness and play that we know also benefits all of our well-being.”
Anita Stewart, chief development and strategic partnerships officer of ParentChild+, one grant recipient, said: “These dollars are critical as we pivot our work to ensure we are providing crucial support to our now even more vulnerable and isolated families across the country.”
With a second round of grants now being considered, the organisations currently being supported by the Foundation are:
LA Students Most in Need, created in partnership with the California Community Foundation and serving more than 700,000 students and families in the LA Unified School District. The grant helped supply food, essentials, educational materials, and toys to 100,000+ individuals over a two-day period; supports its 68 Grab & Go Centers, which ensure students receive nutritious meals while schools are closed; and gets digital devices to families without access.
ParentChild+, serving vulnerable families across 15 states. The grant goes toward providing basic necessities and learning materials; hosting weekly virtual visits and early parenting education sessions to help families engage in reading and play to continue building school readiness skills; and developing a flexible curriculum that includes guidance on how to deal with physical and emotional issues that arise due to the pandemic.
First Responders’ Children’s Fund, providing immediate support to families of ill and/or quarantined first responders who cannot work to support their families. The grant directly supports 25 families, with an additional portion helping fund college scholarships to children whose responder parents cannot work or have died as a result of the pandemic.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), fighting child abuse and neglect with a network of 950 local programs in 49 states. The grant provides emergency funding to help train local organisations and volunteers in child support services networks and ensures every child at risk for abuse has a lifeline to an agency or volunteer worker during the pandemic.
Delivering Good, supporting a network of 700 local non-profit organisations across the U.S. The grant provides essential goods, clothing, and food to low-income families and vulnerable children and helps sustain local charities and work with manufacturing partners to supply healthcare workers with essential personal protective equipment.
Boys and Girls Clubs of America Covid-19 Emergency Relief & Recovery Fund, supporting clubs responding to the urgent needs of youth and families in their local communities. Funding helps keep digital lines of communication open while the clubs are closed and supports food deliveries to communities in need.
Lisa Gurwitch, president & CEO of The Toy Foundation’s long-time partner Delivering Good, said: “We are so grateful to The Toy Foundation for its grant, as it will allow us to send more than $300,000 worth of essential new products to people in need now and in the coming months. By supporting Delivering Good, The Toy Foundation is helping families and individuals around the U.S. impacted by COVID-19, including those facing poverty, homelessness, and job loss.”
In addition to these grants, the Foundation is working with its partners to donate learning toys to schools in need and to meet requests from nursing homes and child life specialists for additional toys, games, and supplies.
To learn more about the Foundation’s efforts, visit www.ToyFoundation.org