The Power to Play

Toys Head to the National Press Club

By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist

“Whether creating a toy boat from an old flip flop, a doll from banana bark or a truck from an empty spray can, children have a remarkable power to play,” says ChildFund International President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard. Toy Truck

That remarkable power Anne speaks of will be on display from Aug. 3-28 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., as our toy exhibit, “The Power to Play – from Trash to Treasure,” is showcased. The National Press Club’s International Correspondents Committee and ChildFund International will host a special event from 3-5 p.m. Aug. 6 to showcase the exhibit.

Renowned journalist Helen Thomas will introduce Anne, who will speak on the toy exhibit and ChildFund’s work with deprived, excluded and vulnerable children around the world.

“These are children who have experienced all the grinding burdens the developing world can inflict on childhood – famine, war, poverty, sickness,” Anne says of the children who made the toys. “But the toys they made offer dramatic proof that – through it all – children can retain their sense of wonder, their desire to play, their indomitable spirit, and their ability to imagine and create … if they are given the support they need.”

For more information about the toys, visit www.ChildFund.org/toys. For more on the National Press Club, visit npc.press.org. The National Press Club is at 529 14th St. NW; the Aug. 6 event is open to the public.

Coming later this week: I head to Washington, D.C., to give you an inside look at the National Press Club event.

Toys, Toys and More Toys!

By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist

In the past six months or so, a spare cube at our International Office in Richmond, Va., became a giant toy box. One by one, box by box, toys were coming to us from all around the world. “We’re up to our eyeballs in toys,” was a common phrase heard on the fifth floor in our office. It was very true. 

Toys made by children around the world took over a spare cube at our International Office in Richmond, Va.

Toys made by children around the world took over a spare cube at our International Office in Richmond, Va.

But these toys weren’t the latest Elmo or Nintendo Wii accessory or Barbie dolls – these were toys handcrafted by children around the world in the areas ChildFund International works. These toys were soccer balls made out of rubber bands and trash bags; dolls made out of banana bark; toy boats made out of old shoes. These toys were made out of what some people consider trash, but these children created a treasure.

Now these toys will be shown in many cities throughout the United States in the next year in an exhibit called “The Power to Play – from Trash to Treasure.” Currently an exhibit is at the Boston Children’s Museum – if you’re in that area you better hurry as the exhibit’s last day is Saturday, Aug. 1.

A “Power to Play” exhibit is also currently on display at the Page Bond Gallery in Richmond, Va., through Aug. 21. Since we’re headquartered in Richmond, we wanted to kickoff the exhibit in our backyard.

The collection of more than 350 toys shows real imagination and creativity for using locally available materials that were often scrap or discarded by others. Some of the toys are unique to their place of origin; some tell the story of the social, economic and political conditions in which children find themselves; others are as universal as the soccer balls and kites that children across three continents have made using exactly the same techniques.

“We are sharing this toy collection as a visible demonstration of how the power to play helps children thrive and become leaders of enduring change in their communities and the world,” says ChildFund International President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard.

For more information about the toys, visit www.ChildFund.org/toys. For more toy photos, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChildFundInternational.

Coming Monday: The toy exhibit travels to Washington, D.C., and the National Press Club. We’ll take a closer at that event.

Toys from "The Power to Play - from Trash to Treasure" have been on display in Boston at the Children's Museum.

Toys from "The Power to Play - from Trash to Treasure" have been on display in Boston at the Children's Museum.

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