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Toy Fair Gives Back To Community After Booths Are Broken Down

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While the annual American International Toy Fair came to an end this week, it’s not the end for some of the toys, which are being donated to kids in need. NY1’s Jessica Abo filed the following report.

From beanie babies and beanie ballz to bunnies and bubble makers, the 108th American International Toy Fair packed the Javits Center this past week with the tools kids need to have fun.

But have you ever wondered what happens to these products after the booths are broken down? It turns out many of them go to children in need.

“We'll be collecting plush and board games and dolls. It's all over the map,” said Jean Butler, executive director of the Toy Industry Foundation, the charitable arm of the North America Toy Industry. “This foundation represents the collective commitment of the whole toy industry to help the children who need it most.”

It starts with volunteers going around the trade show in search of vendors who would like to contribute.

“We'll be asking the merchants if they want to donate to charity and we'll go up and down, talk to everybody on the floor, and then we’ll come back around and do the collections,” said volunteer Daphne Cales.

Once the toys and collected and packed up, the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) will distribute the tens of thousands of toys worth more than $250,000.

“We have our trucks deliver them to the agencies that have been designate by TIF and to additional agencies, the Founding, for example, Bronx Works and so forth,” said Janice Weinman of Kids in Distressed Situations.

“It's been an amazing feeling to give a toy to a child who may, in any other situation, not have a toy,” said Cales.

“Rather than shipping it back or selling the samples, we think it's important, being a U.S. toy company, to give back to the community,” said John Gessert, president of American Plastic Toys. “Honestly, it's fantastic to see one of your toys in their hands during one of these events.”

Volunteers say they can't wait to come back next year to make sure these toys get into the right hands and keep bringing smiles to children’s' faces.

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