Of course I had seen the vibrant smile from countless photos and heard the infectious giggle on various video clips, but nothing could quite prepare me for the inimitable positivity and passion for life when meeting this lady in person! I am of course talking about Shweta Chari, founder of Toybank and philanthropist personified!
Setting up Toybank in August 2004, Shweta started a journey that would see her dream to give every child within her reach the opportunity to play, fulfilled. Unable to continue witnessing the severe deprivation that robbed innocent children of one of their fundamental human rights – their childhoods – Shweta went about tirelessly gathering unwanted toys and games that could be distributed to kids across Mumbai and rural Maharashtra.
As the years went on and the bank of supportive volunteers and friends grew, so did Toybank’s outreach and unwavering reputation.
As they celebrate their TENTH year and approach a monumental figure of 30,000 children reached this year alone (!) - Child Action have never been prouder to call Toybank partners and friends.
Every single day Toybank work with children who will have never even seen a toy, let alone played with one. The toy distribution project gives children the joy of owning a toy, while the impact centres give them the chance to learn and have fun with their peers.
It therefore seems fitting on this momentous occasion to say a HUGE THANK YOU to those that have supported Toybank!
To all the children here in the UK who have held bake sales, carried out toy tombola’s and given up their time to help their peers in India, please know how very grateful Toybank are for your support and the massive differences you are making to their lives. And to all the teachers out there who have collected and counted up pennies, pounds and notes whilst supporting your students in becoming the next generation of philanthropists – you too have been instrumental in giving these children their childhoods back.
So let us say it again, thank you so much!
Let’s keep going! Here’s to the next ten years…and the next!