Thursday, May 13, 2010

Toys Loaned Free to Children -- 75th Anniversary of Program

           NEWS RELEASE


                                    Contact:  Judy Hammond, Director of Public Affairs, (213) 974-1363

        Brian Lew, Assistant Director, (213) 974-1652 

        Shirley Christensen, DPSS, (562) 908-8311

May 13, 2010


Toy Loan Program Recognized

Children’s Program Celebrates 75th Anniversary



The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has declared May as “Toy Loan Children’s Month” in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Toy Loan Program, which serves more than 30,000 children annually.


The Toy Loan Program is a free service that allows children to borrow a toy once a week from one of the 53 toy loan centers located throughout the County.  It is a voluntary community effort sponsored in part by the Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS).  It is the oldest free toy lending program in the nation and is operated by the non-profit 501(c)(3) Toy Loan Advisory Board.


Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who authored the motion honoring the program, said reaching the 75th anniversary milestone is a reflection of the organizational strength and long-term positive impact of the program.


“Much has been accomplished since this unique effort began in 1935, and the Toy Loan Program continues to be an integral service provided to Los Angeles County children,” he said.


The program remains virtually unchanged since its humble beginnings.  There are no membership dues, and fines are not imposed for late returns.  For a child to borrow toys, all that is required is a membership application card signed by a parent or guardian.


DPSS Director Philip L. Browning said the Toy Loan Program provides an opportunity for children to learn responsibility and social skills through interactive play.


Individuals, groups, and several toy manufacturers donate toys used by the program. The toy loan centers are run independently by volunteers.  They are located in parks or recreation facilities, children’s centers, libraries, housing projects, community service buildings, and on skid row in downtown Los Angeles.  Each center is different from the others, but all adhere to the basic tenets of teaching children the values of honesty, patience, courtesy, promptness, cleanliness, cooperation and responsibility. 


I am pleased that we can continue to provide this critical service to the children of Los Angeles County.  DPSS is committed to reaching out to families during this period of economic uncertainty,” said Browning.



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