Breathing new life into old toys, the Toy Lab is an interesting nonprofit that caught our eye in this month's issue of "Ready Made" magazine. Happen, Inc. is a nonprofit that was created in 1999 when Tommy Rueff left a career in advertising to pursue a passion for the arts and changing kids' lives.
Through a number of outreaches and classes, Happen, Inc. provides an environment for parents and kids to connect creatively through art activities. One of those outreaches is called the Toy Lab.
The Toy Lab is our favorite outreach at Happen, Inc. Over 1,200 pounds of plastic is saved from the landfill each year as a result of the Toy Lab. Instead, the toys are washed and sanitized, broken into parts, and send to the "Hunks o' Junk bin in the Lab. Toy Lab volunteers help the young guests to reassemble them into their very own unique creations.
Though the creations coming out of the Toy Lab may not be the most attractive or chic, we love the ingenuity behind this idea. Not only does the Toy Lab benefit the environment and stimulate the creativity of our kids, but it even gives parents a place to send all of those old toys the kids are no longer interested in. The Toy Lab is currently located in Cincinnati, Ohio. But if you can't drop off your old toys at the Lab, maybe you can even consider breaking up your old toys yourself to see what new creations can be made.