December is National Safe Toys and Gifts month. To honor that we decided to do a special episode with our dear friends Issabella and Pamela who are the co-founders of the non profit organization known as, The Archers Project. Join us for this episode where we talk about their incredible organization, ways to give back and things to note when gifting toys to children. We get into the ins and outs of their holiday toy drive which will continue to expand annually and much more! LISTEN NOW BY CLICKING HERE.
Side note: This will be our last episode before the new year because even doctors need a break! But you will not be disappointed come 2021. With that said, we hope that you have an amazing holiday season and don’t forget to get your last minute holiday gifts from small businesses!
Happy holidays and happy new year from your favorite MD duo. Let's get into the show notes:
♡ The Archer's Project
Pamela and Issabella met in college. When they met they realized that they connected because of their similarities which they attribute to their zodiac sign. As they are both Sagittarius's they decided to intertwine their horoscope into creating the name for their nonprofit. The name, The Archer's Project pays homage to their passion of giving back to the community and to their friendship.
Mission Statement: Aiming our hearts into the right direction
♡ What sets them apart from other organizations?
They are a woman run organization from the founders to their board of directors who come from various walks of life.
♡ The creation of The Archer's Project?
They were working with another lady who had an annual toy drive which motivated them to start their own organization as they wanted to make an even greater impact by reaching more people and give back on a lighter scale. We say, the more the merrier!
♡ First event?
The first event was known as, Operation Backpack. They got approved for their nonprofit amidst the covid pandemic so they came up with the idea of baking cookies and delivering them to frontline workers as a thank you for all that they do. They went around the NYC area delivering over 2000 cookies to EMTs, hospitals, police precincts, etc.
We had the opportunity to donate to this wonderful event ourselves and watching the process was incredible. Their homes were transformed into full on baking mode!
♡ Operation Little Dreamers
This is a toy drive that they did on a MASSIVE scale and the first one of its kind. They teamed up with another organization that have connections with local shelters which allowed them to give out letters where families and/or children can fill in what they want for the holidays. These letters were known as, Secret Santa wishlist letters.
The letters were then distributed to anyone who wished to donate so that they can fulfill the things these children wished for. Due to the pandemic they were limited in hand delivering most of the gifts however, they were able to deliver to various homeless shelters in Brooklyn, NY and to communities where children are in need.
Operation Little Dreamers is set to become an annual event with hopes of expanding on a larger scale. There's a secret that we can't tell.
During the covid pandemic the unemployments rates have sky rocketed increasing the number of people in need from various reasons.
♡ What did people ask for?
It's interesting that nobody asked for much. Many people asked for clothing, winter items, stuffed animals, sensory toys, scooters, basketballs, lol dolls, cars, and blankets.
♡ How to get people to DONATE?
They tried to reach out to people through word of mouth, through friends and families, their social media account, etc. The turn out was so amazing that they ran out of the letters and decided to compiled a list of what people wanted through an Amazon Wish List. With this list, they were able to donate to a third shelter that had over 300 families. If that isn't amazing, we don't know what is!
♡ Overwhelming Support
They went above and beyond for this event but they also exceeded their expectations! They believe that everything makes a difference so whether you donated one item or a hundred every donation counts. Reading these children's letters makes them feel emotionally connected to these children by making them want to do more!
♡ Upcoming events
They are currently trying to figure out what's next on their radar and will be launching something soon! We will of course keep you posted once we know.
♡ Secret Tips
Make sure you buy safe gifts
They request all the gifts to come unwrapped so that they can assess the safety and cleanliness of the gifts
If you want to give back just start!
You can reach out to a small business or your local Chabad for information.
♡ Where can everyone find you?
Be sure to reach out to them if you want to find out ways to donate, collaborate or for any other non profit related information.
♡ Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month
Prevent Blindness America named December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month. The point is to be able to be aware of what you are gifting. It is important to take into consideration a persons age, individual skills and abilities. During the holiday season and in general here are some ways to choose safe toys:
Inspect all toys before purchasing.
Avoid sharp edges and make sure they are sturdy.
Choose toys that can appeal to different senses (i.e.: sound or movement).
Consider interactive toys and think about the size of the toy relative to the child.
Check the toys for skill level and age appropriateness.
Make sure the toys have passed a safety inspection
If receiving sports equipment make sure you have protective gear
Educate yourself about lead exposure, symptoms of lead poisoning, and which toys have been recalled.
Old toys may be more likely to contain lead in the paint
Do NOT give toys with small parts (i.e.: batteries) which can cause serious injury or death if ingested as well as, increasing the risk of choking.
If the piece can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is not appropriate for kids under the age of three.
Do NOT give toys with ropes and cords or heating elements.
Do NOT give crayons and markers unless they are labeled “nontoxic”.
You can find out more detailed information on the APHA website by CLICKING HERE.
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