OPINION: OPINION: Figuring Out How To Give This Season

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    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    OPINION: Figuring Out How To Give This Season

    Share The Gift Of Toys...


    By C.J. Stunkard


    We are nearing the biggest time of year for charitable giving. When the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas remind us of how blessed we truly are, our sense of gratitude motivates us to offer time and money for causes that resonate with us and our personal interests—whether religious or communal.

    Being figure collectors and toy enthusiasts, Christmas and Hanukah are specifically powerful times for most of us. We have real emotional ties to memories of gift-getting from many fabled December mornings. I remember getting the G.I. Joe Battle Wagon and VHS copy of the G.I. Joe: The Movie in 4th grade and spending my entire vacation watching the tape while shooting missiles across the room at an Overtkill with sound FX backpack. I remember the joy of opening Stargate figures back in ’94 when I thought there was no way I’d be getting them. I even remember getting my first Ghostbuster at age 5 (Sorry Venkman fans, but I was in Winston’s corner all holiday season). For better or worse, special gifts framed several of my holiday experiences, and I always remember loving the friends, family, and—yes—the action figures of the holiday season.

    Of course, not every child gets the benefit of beloved gifts at the holidays. In fact, many do not; they do not get to enjoy the holiday the way many of us did, especially now given that we are in a much harder financial environment than we were during the economic boom of the late 80’s and the 90’s.

    That being said, I am writing this post early and asking my fellow figure fans to join me in making this holiday special for children. Many opportunities exist to give, at least in the States, with some organizations accepting toys they pass directly to children. That’s right. You can shop for great figures that you know you will make it into the hands of children.

    My top recommendation: Toys for Tots. This charitable operation by the United States Marine Corps is responsible for distributing toys to or near the communities where those toys are collected, allowing individuals to provide a gift to local families. Toys for Tots offers locations around the country where gifts can be donated. I believe that nearly every Toys R Us in the country partners with them, but check out the Toys for Tots website directly for more details and drop-off location information.

    I’m writing this in October, so you should have ample time to budget and support charitable giving to children this holiday season. You might even have time to sell a few of the extras from your collection to earn coin for that very purpose. While I don’t believe that the Christmas and Hanukah holidays are all about toys, I know that it’s a big aspect of joy and celebration for children, and the kindness of others can make a big impact on a young life.

    How bout it, figure fans; remember those special gifts from childhood? You can be part of someone else having a wonderful holiday. Sure, you may never meet the child or see his or her face, but you’ll know you’re action was a blessing to a kid in need of extra kindness. And that’s practically a gift that you give yourself.

    Additional Honorable Mention: For any Lego Enthusiasts, I participate in a small charity called Creations for Charity. The giving method is simple. Independent Lego builders create custom builds that other enthusiasts and hobbyists purchase. All proceeds go to buying Lego on sale across the country, which in turn is passed to Toys for Tots for distribution. I believe the charity gave away over $8000 MSRP of Lego to Toys for tots last year.


    By C.J. Stunkard


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