As moms, Hannah MacBride and Jessica Forrest are keenly aware of the consumption that goes along with raising kids. The average child acquires hundreds of new toys over the course of their young lifetimes, contributing to environmental problems such as habitat loss, carbon emissions, and ultimately, landfill waste. And parents are overwhelmed by all the kid stuff, which often goes unused and needs to be stored. Meanwhile, downtown community places that truly welcome and engage children are few and far between.
Recognizing these problems, but also the value of toys for fostering child development, Hannah and Jessica offer Community Toy Chest as an alternative model. The model offers a toy rental membership, a community play space, and STEAM enrichment activities. Toy rental members have access to a large inventory of high quality, educational toys, that they can check out and return when finished. The associated play space allows families to connect while children play. Guided sustainability and STEAM-oriented activities help children to learn and solve problems and provide opportunities to practice sustainable lifestyle choices.