Second Chance Toys

Bronna Lipton

Stories From Main Street: New Jersey Non-Profit Gives Toys A Second Life

December 09, 2018 - 4:00 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Help a child in need and the environment at the same time.

“We are the real Toy Story,” said Bronna Lipton, executive director of Second Chance Toys.

Lipton is a mother on a mission, starting a non-profit that is committed to repurposing toys that would otherwise be thrown away.

Second Chance Toys being delivered
Bronna Lipton

“Second Chance Toys is a charitable, non-profit that promotes collections of gently used plastic toys and then we match those collections with organizations that serve children in need,” she told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams.

The organization began roughly a dozen years ago, when her then-teenage daughter took note of colorful toys that were in fairly good conditions piled up at the curb on trash day.

“I was driving around with my daughter, who at the time was in high school, and she noticed all these beautiful toys, colorful toys that were in these piles of trash in our neighborhood,” Lipton explained.

She said they found doll houses, toy trucks, carriages and various other toys that they loaded into her truck and then cleaned in her basement.

“The hard part was finding an organization that would take the toys,” Lipton noted.

They brought the first batch of toys to a shelter for battered women in Newark.

“I cannot tell you what a feeling it was to see the expression on their faces, it was beautiful, it was heartwarming and that's when we decided to continue to do this,” she explained.

Lipton and her daughter, Sasha, continued to collect toys together, eventually starting their own organization dedicated to rescuing toys.

When Sasha went off to college, 1-800-GOT-JUNK stepped in to volunteer. Now, Second Chance Toys works with the organization regularly to collect used toys that can be cleaned and repurposed.

Bronna Lipton

The organization is also sponsored by Kohl’s, Kidville, Rose & Rex, Uber, Johnson & Johnson and Viacom.

Second Chance Toys Volunteers from Viacom
Bronna Lipton

“The thanks from the parents is so heartwarming, they're almost brought to tears because in some cases, in many cases, it gives them their dignity back,” Lipton said. “This has presented them with the opportunity to be able to give their children a toy and that's dignity right there.”

The organization also encourages children to come donate their toys to other kids in needs, and in the process, teaches them about charity.

Second Chance Toys collects twice a year: around Christmas time and Earth Day.

Twelve years ago, Lipton never thought she would be on a mission to rescue toys but she wouldn't have it any other way.

“It was a complete detour and I'm so happy,” Lipton said. “It's been a real a real journey and we're still on it.”