they say about good intentions?
include going through that stack of magazines on the desk and cleaning out my
purse (down to the crumbs and gooey things I didn’t know were in there.) I also
make a list of New Year’s resolutions that pertain to me (lose weight, be more
cheerful, don’t yell at kids) but these get sidetracked soon after the second
encore presentation of the Rose Parade.
Robert Mahar, self-appointed grand poobah of the Junior Society, of which I am
a proud member. The society is “dedicated to the proliferation and advancement
of better than average kiddie culture and design,” which means I get a weekly
e-mail on everything from Halloween pumpkins to arts and crafts projects and
sales on unique children’s items. I love it. (www.juniorsociety.com)
Mahar, of Los
Angeles , is also proprietor of the online shop Mahar
Drygoods which offers artisan-created goodies for children and grown-ups who
like vintage stuff (count me in). Suffice to say, I’m a Mahar fan, so when he
pointed the way recently to a unique campaign, I listened.
He calls it
“pay-it forward/random acts of kindness/secret Santa love.”
marked the second annual World Wide Christmas Toy Drop organized by the Toy
Society, am Australian-based group that makes handmade toys and leaves them in
public places to be found and given homes by strangers. The project has
attracted people from the Netherlands
to Greece , Guatemala
to Japan .
is at www.thetoysociety.blogspot.com.
“I’ve become a regular visitor, reading about
the various ‘toy drops’ in places near and far and loving the accounts by those
who have discovered and given homes to these toys,” Mahar said. “It’s such a
simple act of kindness and some of the discovery stories are really moving.”
Last year, more than 100 toys were
made and dropped and the numbers for this year will be out next month. Mahar
made his contribution by making a red and white sock elf featured in his shop.
“I left him hanging from the
fencing that surrounds a child development center
playground in my neighborhood,” he said. “The Toy Society has downloadable
labels that read simply, ‘Take me home, I’m yours!’ and a letter that
explains the project and encourage the finders to report back and let
them know the toy has been claimed.”
Mahar said people are so ingenious
and thoughtful, “not only in the creation of these handmade toys but in their
drop locations – everywhere from the safety seat of a frozen shopping cart to
the toy hanging out in the manger of a nativity diorama. I can’t tell you how
much I love this idea.”