Calgary community launches toy-lending library
Sunalta Toy Library aims to help parents living in apartments and condos
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If the shelves and toy boxes at home are overflowing, there’s a new library in town.
On Tuesday, the Sunalta Community Association (SCA) launched their toy lending library. A service that helps their community, made up mostly of renters and multi-family dwellings, to have access to a catalogue of toys.
Mune Hassan, SCA Programs and Facility Manager said there was a lot of excitement for the launch, especially because it was right after family day.
“It’s one of Calgary’s first sharing economy initiatives,” Hassan said. “Many of us invited our family and friends and people from the community.”
With a valid SCA membership, and an annual fee of $20, Jenn Balderston, executive director of the SCA said there are more than 160 toys to choose from, and opportunities to volunteer a mere four hours a year to to keep the program inclusive accessible for all.
“We were approached a couple of years ago by two young women who had toddlers who said they’d love to launch a toy-lending library,” said Balderson. “Unfortunately, they had to move out of Calgary for work, we were really at a loss.”
The project was put on pause, but was re-energized by Calgary’s Community Hubs Initiative.
Balderston said their library was made possible by a generous anonymous donation, and support from groups like the United Way of Calgary and Area, the City of Calgary, and the Rotary Club of Calgary.
The library includes unique board games from the Sunalta local game store Sentry Box, puzzles, STEM and educational toys, there’s a Nintendo switch available, sports equipment and winter to summer convertible wagons – there’s even a blow up castle.
“Most parents are in apartments, so they don’t have the space,” Hassan said. “That was the idea, was to get large toys and wagons and things the parents wouldn’t be able to have space for.”
There are more items being added to the catalogue as the program continues including donations coming from local businesses across the city, community groups and residents.
The lending library is open every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m and Thursday’s from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.