Each quarter, GreenStar selects three local not-for-profits to be the recipients of our Bring Your Own Bag, Use It for Good program donations. Our BYOB program encourages shoppers to bring their own bags by providing them with a token worth 5¢ that they can donate to one of the chosen organizations. At the end of the quarter, we make a donation to the groups based on the number of tokens given by our customers. This quarter, our recipients are the Finger Lakes Toy Library, Sustainable Tompkins, and the Learning Farm.

The Finger Lakes Toy Library is one year old and going strong!  Since opening their doors on June 22, 2017, the Finger Lakes Toy Library has enrolled over more than families who enjoy access to over 800 educational toys that encourage discovery and creative play. The collection features science toys, building toys, pretend play, puzzles, and costumes, primarily focused on children ages 0-7, plus an all-ages board game collection.  On a typical day at the Finger Lakes Toy Library, you will find children playing cooperatively together while caregivers share stories, grandparents discover new toys with grandchildren, and community members donate toys from their collections.

Play is increasingly being shown to be invaluable to the development and education of children, especially during early childhood. Toys, the tools of that play, are not always easy to come by, especially the variety of toys that will best stimulate a growing child. Toys, especially high-quality ones, can be cost-prohibitive. They may take up a lot of space, cluttering homes. When children are done with them, it takes time and energy to find them new homes. A collection that we all share can help simplify our lives. A toy library instills a deep understanding of sharing culture into children from a young age, and they learn what it really means to share.

A family may check out 3 toys at a time, or 1 per child if the family has more than 3 children.  Toys are loaned for a period of up to 3 weeks. Memberships are on a sliding “pay what you can honestly afford” scale.  The Toy Library serves a diverse group, including families who might not otherwise be able to afford access to these important materials. Stop by and visit the Library, at 609 West Clinton Street, Suite 106.

GreenStar is pleased to be a part of supporting the Finger Lakes Toy Library and their mission here in Tompkins County!

Are you involved with a not-for-profit organization that might benefit from our Bring Your Own Bag, Use It for Good program? Apply here.