Volunteer Spotlight: Toy Box Project
Volunteer Spotlight: ToyBox Project
GiGi’s Playhouse Fox Valley is partnering with the ToyBox Project this summer to create our first virtual Talent Show!
An interview with Xansa and Vineeth, founders of ToyBox Project chapter in Aurora-Naperville.
Tell us about ToyBox:
Xansa: The ToyBox Project is a student led non profit based in the Aurora-Naperville area started in April 2020. The goal behind ToyBox was to create a sense of ease for children spending long periods of time in hospitals due to their illness. We [Xansa and Vineeth] started this organization because after spending lots of my childhood and teen years in the hospital I realized it’s a bummer for many reasons, but one that is overlooked is how dreary and boring it can get- especially if you’r a kid looking for something to entertain yourself. Our mission is to provide a sense of comfort to children in hospitals battling chronic illnesses and their families in the midst of their worries through donations of toys/books and various activities.
We also worked together since creating The ToyBox Project to establish an Ambassador program to further our reach to children’s hospitals in other locations and some of our chapters are currently in California, New Jersey, New York, and Dubai.
For the pandemic we shifted our focus to provide online activities and events with children’s achievement centers such as GiGi’s Playhouse [Fox Valley].”
How did you get involved with GiGi’s Playhouse?
Xansa: “At ToyBox, one of the goals is to provide teenagers with the opportunity to get involved with children in the community. We were already aware of GiGi’s Playhouse in the area and it’s mission. As a result, we decided to contact you and see if we can come up with an idea that incorporated our high school volunteers and ambassadors and the kids/teens from GiGi’s which ended up being the Virtual Talent Show.”
Tell us more about the Talent Show:
Xansa: “The Talent Show has been an incredible way for our volunteers and the Playhouse kids to gain a sort of interaction with each other even through the lockdown this pandemic has caused us. The kids and volunteers are having so much fun creating dances, singing songs, and doing science experiments.
- Eesha showed us her art collection filled with colorful animals and scenes
- Samanatha made the volunteers laugh with her knock knock jokes and hilarious puns
- Julian blew the volunteers away with his incredible science experiment skills
- Isabel and the volunteers are having a great time dancing and grooving to some Hamilton songs
Overall the kids and volunteers are bringing out a playful and fun side of each other and creating amazing memories virtually!”
Thank you ToyBox Project founders, Xansa and Vineeth, and all the volunteers for your enthusiasm and having fun with our participants.
Look for details about the airing of the first Virtual Talent Show coming soon!!!!
You can learn more about The ToyBox Project at: https://thetoyboxproject.com/