The Power to Play

Toys Take the Spotlight in L.A.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony kicked off the opening of "The Power to Play" at the Museum of Tolerance.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony kicked off the opening of "The Power to Play" at the Museum of Tolerance.

By Cynthia Price,
Director of Communications

Shauntay Hinton helps a girl with a toy at the opening of "The Power to Play" in Los Angeles.

Shauntay Hinton helps a girl with a toy at the opening of "The Power to Play" in Los Angeles.

ChildFund International opened its exhibit of toys “The Power to Play – from Trash to Treasure” at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles on Sunday. ChildFund President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard and former sponsored child Shauntay Hinton spoke at the standing-room only event.

Children learned first hand how to make hand made toys using some of the same materials that children in ChildFund programs use to make toys.

Shauntay, a former Miss USA and now a host on the Fine Living Channel, spoke about how ChildFund allowed her to gain confidence. Anne spoke about the resiliency of children.

The exhibit runs through Dec. 31. If you live in the L.A. area or will be visiting the area before the end of the year, please stop by the Museum of Tolerance to visit “The Power to Play.”

Related Posts:
* From Mississippi to L.A.: Former Miss USA Tells Her ChildFund Story
* The Power to Play opens in Washington, D.C.
* Toys, Toys and More Toys!

From Mississippi to L.A.: Former Miss USA Tells Her ChildFund Story

Shauntay Hinton, who was crowned Miss USA in 2002 and has appeared on TV shows such as “Heroes” and “Criminal Minds,” is a formerly sponsored child through ChildFund International. She was enrolled in the Brickfire Project in Mississippi and attended Brickfire’s after-school program until she completed high school.

This Sunday, Sept. 13, Shauntay will speak at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles as part of the celebration of our traveling toy exhibit, “The Power to Play – from Trash to Treasure.”

Today Shauntay shares her childhood memories with us:

Shauntay Hinton This week I attended a Labor Day barbecue hosted by my management company at a really elegant residence in Pacific Palisades, Calif., a community on the west side of Los Angeles. I looked around at the setting and the other “celebrities” there and felt like I was a really long way from Starkville, Miss.

In fact, when one of the other guests happened to ask me where I grew up, and I told her Mississippi, she responded “Wow! Really? How awful was that?” To which I replied “Not at all. I must have gotten lucky!”

I explained that growing up in Starkville, we had a strong sense of community. For example, when I was very little, I attended a day care center called Project Brickfire. Project Brickfire was a conduit organization for ChildFund International and operated as part day care center/part community center with programs to promote the educational and social development of children.

I went on to give her an earful about how before I even knew who Oprah Winfrey was, when I was about 5 years old, I was cast in a play at Project Brickfire as the host of a talk show who interviewed historical figures including Dr. Martin Luther King and Dr. George Washington Carver regarding their contributions to American History. And boy oh boy, did they create a monster!

Shauntay Hinton as a childI made my mind up to never know a life without being on stage in some capacity. So to make a long story short, I think I got my point across to that other guest – if I hadn’t grown up in small-town Mississippi as a ChildFund sponsored child, I might not have been standing there talking to her at some fancy shindig in lovely Pacific Palisades that afternoon.

With programs emphasizing the arts and creative expression like plays, field trips and guest speakers, even providing a pen pal from across the world, ChildFund International helped me develop self confidence in front of an audience early on. Without question, my start as a sponsored child was essential to shaping my path toward a career in broadcasting because of the encouragement, instruction and support I received from the staff of Project Brickfire.

To read more about Shauntay’s experience with ChildFund International, click here. For more on “The Power to Play,” visit www.ChildFund.org/toys. Are you a formerly sponsored children through ChildFund? If so, and you would like to tell your story, please send an e-mail to content@childfund.org with your information.

The Toys Head West

By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist

From Richmond to Boston to Washington, D.C., our traveling toy exhibit – “The Power to Play – from Trash to Treasure” – has been seen by thousands of people on the East Coast. Now it’s time to move west.

These toys from "The Power to Play - from Trash to Treasure" were on display in August at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. They are now headed to Los Angeles.

These toys from "The Power to Play - from Trash to Treasure" were on display in August at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. They are now headed to Los Angeles.

Beginning Sunday, Sept. 13, West Coast residents and visitors to Los Angeles will get to see our display of hand-crafted toys at the Museum of Tolerance. The exhibit will remain there through the end of the year.

The toys were made by children around the world in the countries in which ChildFund International works. Toys range from soccer balls made out of rubber bands and trash bags to dolls made out of banana bark to boats made out of old flip-flops.

ChildFund International President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard and MOT Director
Liebe Geft will launch the toy exhibit with a ribbon cutting at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 13. They will be joined by Shauntay Hinton, former Miss USA and ChildFund International sponsored child, who will share her inspiring journey.

“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,” Anne says.

On opening day, the museum will hold workshops for children to create toys made from recycled materials donated by a local “green” toy company.

So if you’ll be in the area that day or anytime through Dec. 31, check out the Museum of Tolerance at 9786 W. Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles.

What to know more about the toys?
* ChildFund.org
* Our latest news release
* “The Power to Play” Opens in Washington, D.C.
* Toys Head to the National Press Club
* Toys, Toys and More Toys!
* RANDOM ACTS (Washington Times)
* Helen Thomas attends ChildFund toy exhibit (UPI)
* YouTube
* Facebook

“The Power to Play” Opens in Washington, D.C.

The Display at the National Press Club

By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist

For ChildFund International, our toy exhibit – “The Power to Play – from Trash to Treasure” – is more than just a display of creative toys. It embodies the essential qualities of children, qualities that have been the foundation of our work for 70 years.

On Aug. 6, our traveling toy exhibit was officially launched at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Joining ChildFund President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard in the celebration were Helen Thomas, dean of the White House Press Corps and renowned journalist, and Myron Belkind, chair of the International Correspondents Committee of the National Press Club.

Here are highlights from the celebration:

Toys at the National Press Club

More toys at the National Press Club

For additional photos, visit our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ChildFundInternational.

AUG. 10 UPDATE:
Take a listen below as Anne Goddard discusses the toy exhibit with WTOP, a top radio station in Washington, D.C.

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.

Celebrating a New Name and Continued Commitment to Children

ChildFund International staff members gathered for a flag-raising ceremony July 1.

ChildFund International staff members gathered for a flag-raising ceremony July 1.

By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist

Anyone who has traveled along Interstate 64 in Richmond, Va., in recent weeks has probably noticed a big tarp covering part of our building. Under that tarp is a new sign with our new name – ChildFund International.

The ChildFund International sign has been covered since late June.

The ChildFund International sign has been covered since late June.

At 11 a.m. this Friday, that tarp is coming down. That day we’ll be celebrating our new name and our work with children around the world.

“We will celebrate our new name and our continuing commitment to serving the world’s deprived, excluded and vulnerable children” says ChildFund International President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard.

In addition to Anne, you’ll hear from ChildFund donors Jim Lindsey, a Richmond resident and retired Virginia Commonwealth University assistant professor, and Mick Foley, the well-known wrestler who, among other contributions, has helped build seven schools in war-torn Sierra Leone.

Entertainment includes performances from Richmond-based Ezibu Muntu African Dance and Cultural Foundation and SPARC (School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community). Tours of ChildFund’s Kenyan classroom, which features items from a ChildFund program in that country, will be available.

If you plan to attend, please arrive by 10:45 a.m. We are located at 2821 Emerywood Parkway, just off Broad Street near Glenside Drive.

The celebration of ChildFund International’s new name continues at 7 p.m. Friday as “The Power to Play – from Trash to Treasure,” an exhibit of toys created by children in ChildFund’s programs, debuts at Page Bond Gallery in Richmond.

Toys such as this one from Zambia will be on display.

Toys such as this one from Zambia will be on display.

The collection of more than 350 toys shows real imagination and creativity by children for using locally available materials to design toys of all shapes and sizes that roll, float, peddle or strum. The toys will be on display July 10 through Aug. 21 at the Page Bond Gallery, 1625 W. Main St. Friday’s opening reception is from 7-9 p.m.

For a sneak peek of the toy exhibit, click here to check out a video of children making toys. 

For more information about ChildFund International, click here to visit our Web site.

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