Toy library’s final gesture

By Benalla Ensign

Benalla Toy Library has closed its doors after serving the community for more than 40 years.

During that time the volunteer organisation has given pleasure to countless children, allowing them access to high-quality educational toys to explore and enjoy.

However, in the past decade, toys have become more affordable and accessible to increasingly busy families.

These societal changes, coupled with the availability of iPads and other IT devices, has reduced the demand for toy borrowing services.

Late last year, the Toy Library committee made the decision to auction their toys and donate the money raised, along with residual funds, to a local charity.

Tomorrow Today was chosen and the foundation said it was ‘‘honoured and grateful’’ to be the recipient of the funds, more than $8000.

Members of the Toy Library Committee were pleased to learn that part of the money donated would be used to purchase resources for Tomorrow Today’s PEEP program, a free learning and development program for families with children aged 0 to 5.

Committee member Maren Hazell said: ‘‘Tomorrow Today seemed like the perfect place to donate the money. They support local Benalla people, especially families, which was our sole focus as a toy library.’’

Funds will also be used to establish a weekly music program for Benalla’s young children.

This will be a great asset for the Benalla community as music can play an important part in developing children’s pre-literacy skills.

●If you are interested in helping set up a music program for Benalla’s young children, phone Pat Claridge at Tomorrow Today on 57621211.