Toy Rescue Mission was started by a Tacoma woman who imagined the stilluseful toys sitting in the local thrift stores would be greatly appreciated by underprivileged children in the area. She began distributing toys out of her own home but over the years the mission grew so much it required its own building. Toy Rescue Mission officially became a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 1994. We serve families in Pierce County who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances. Their stress of providing birthday and Christmas presents to their children are alleviated when they can shop in our toy store without charge.
Because we are nearly 100% volunteer run we rely on our many dedicated volunteers to refurbish the donated toys. They get great satisfaction in helping this segment of our population. And the thousands of donated toys we receive has reduced the amount of waste at the landfill. We are helping to recycle; give volunteers a fulfilling activity; and give joy through toys to thousands of children.
Our mission statement is: To refurbish and recycle gently-used toys for disadvantaged children and seniors in care facilities, while providing meaningful volunteer opportunities for the young-at-heart.
Evaluating Our Success
The success of our programs is established largely through several means, some tangible and other intangible. The tangible results are the detailed records that show increased growth and outreach in the communities we serve:
- Increased total number of toys we are able to provide to the community.
- Increased numbers of volunteers participating in our programs: all volunteers are required to document their hours in a logbook; this includes hours worked off-site (at home or at any other facility; i.e. groups performing activities at their locations). At the end of each month, hours are tabulated and kept in a database to be totaled at years end.
- Increased exposure (increased public awareness of our services).
- Increased numbers of children/seniors served: At time of service, each child served is issued a tracking form which documents the following information: childs name, age and gender, event (Christmas, Easter, birthday) and number/type of toys received. This information is placed in a database for compilation and comparison records at years end.
- Letters of appreciation/recognition sent to TRM from our recipients (individuals and organizations). The organizations with which we are involved (at this time about 75, but always growing) acknowledge that the provision of these toys allows them to expand their services and outreach in the community!)
- The intangible results are the words of appreciation and dedication of our volunteers, along with the FUN we are having, and the expressions of joy and gratitude written on the faces of parents and children alike!
- Increased organizational development to include new and expanded current programs.