Molly Jackson: Giving Back

Toys for TotsDuring the holiday season, I really get into gift giving. It’s my thing. I go out of my way to get the weird and unusual gifts for people. It doesn’t matter for what religious holiday; I just really like shopping and need a way to justify the spending. Plus, it’s nice to make people happy with an item they never knew they wanted.

So, naturally, I’m a big supporter of Toys for Tots. I firmly believe that every child, no matter what religious celebration, should have some fun in their year. So when a geek I knew criticized me about giving “good toys” to Toys for Tots, I was seriously disappointed.

Here is a little detail in what happened. I am lucky in that I do get some nice toys throughout the year from various companies. The ones I don’t want or get a chance to do something with, get saved for donation at the end of the year. It seems like the least I can do. The best part is that they are usually geeky toys. I like being able to share toys that I loved as a kid with other kids today. So, the toy that drew the ire of another geek was a Masters of the Universe action figure. Cool, right? This geek was shocked that someone would donate that. As per him, this was too good to give away to Toys for Tots. Considering that the bin was mostly filled with discount toys, I was happy to have added some variety to the bin.

What I told him was that I can donate what I want and I wanted to share that toy with a kid who needs a toy. There was no need for me to keep it (I mean, it was cool but not a must have for me) so why not share it with someone who can really enjoy it. I also encouraged him to go shopping for toys he loves to share with kids in need.

At the end of the post, I’m going to encourage you all to do the same and donate toys. But first, I’m going to remind you that most successful franchises are considered successful based on toys sales. Think about that for a second. Do you have a franchise that you love that might be struggling? Maybe picking up some toys could help, not just to spread the word but also bump up those sales numbers. And hey, while you are at it, buy female characters too. That is, if you can find them.

I also want you to remember that as geeks, we are kinda honor-bound to pass on the things we love. I buy my niece tons of geeky presents even though she is two and has no idea what any of it means. I want her to feel comfortable with starships and superheroes from as young an age as possible. That is the other reason why I share these toys with charities. I grew up with the original MOTU and I loved it beyond belief. It is time for the younger generations to enjoy it too. Yes, kids can play with toys without knowing the backstory. But unlike our own childhoods, with the internet you never know what a kid may discover and what they might fall in love with. Spread your fandom and share that thing you love.

I’ve touted before that geeks can be very generous with their time and money. Donating for Toys for Tots is right up our alley! Toys are awesome and we all have ones we love and still play with. Times are tough for everyone but if you can afford it, please spread the joy this holiday season. Head to your local toy store, pick out something that you love, and share it with a kid in need.Giving Back