by Stephanie Phillips, ChildFund special assistant
The dim evening light filters through the windows of the Denver Press Club spotlighting the tables of toys. These aren’t ordinary toys found in local toy shops—these are unique toys constructed of recycled materials, made by the hands of children from around the world.
ChildFund International’s traveling toy exhibit, the Power to Play, made a stop at the Denver press club last week. The exhibit was not only an opportunity for donors in the Denver area to view the toys but also to gather and celebrate their commitment to ChildFund. Many of the donors attending the reception have been sponsoring children for more than 30 years.
As attendees walked around the room, they marveled not only at the ingenuity and creativity the children used to craft the toys but also at the materials they used. All of the toys in the Power to Play exhibit are made from materials people throw away on a daily basis—plastic bags, tin cans, scrap wood and empty containers.
“We want as many people as possible to see this exhibit, because it is not an ordinary exhibit—it is extraordinary because kids have made these toys with their own hands. I call them the original environmentalists,” said ChildFund International President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard, who greeted donors at the event.
Athena Boulgarides, Regional Development Officer for ChildFund, explained how play helps children’s development. “Play is an astonishing gift that children give themselves,” she said. “Through play they solve problems and test new ideas. Play is the key to the future of their psychosocial development, emotional development—and honoring that is a gift.”