Since opening their doors in 2015, Toy Lending Library has seen continuous growth. In 2021, children and families checked out more than 3,500 boxes and nearly 6,000 boxes in 2022. This year, they’ve already hit a record month with over 700 boxes checked out at once.
According to the USA Toy Library Association, there are about 400 toy lending libraries in the United States. With parents recognizing the convenience, sustainability, cost savings, and benefits of borrowing toys rather than purchasing them, it's no wonder that these numbers keep increasing.
Executive Director Anelis Coscioni hopes to expand to 100 locations within the state of South Dakota in the coming years and is currently working with Sioux Empire United Way to identify any unmet needs in our community before moving into other locations. Today their boxes can be found in 16 locations from Madison to Vermillion with local sites in First United Methodist Church, Siouxland Libraries, South Dakota Voices for Peace, and the Bookmobile.
With a successful 2024 campaign, Toy Lending Library (TLL) will become a partner agency and funded program through Sioux Empire United Way. We are excited to partner with an agency that’s always thinking about the needs of our community and expanding their impact. With the help of community supporters like you, we can ensure that local children continue receiving toy boxes built to promote creativity, physical and emotional health, school readiness, and more!
New Toy Lending Library’s boxes designed for inclusive play.
With the help of community partners, the Toy Lending Library of South Dakota has received funds to create 35 new boxes showcasing children with vision loss/blindness, autism, deaf/hard of hearing, sensory disorders, and physical disabilities/rare diseases. Experts at the Center for Disabilities worked alongside TLL to select the toys, books, and skill categories for each box in hopes to” foster opportunities for inclusion and play for children of all abilities.”
With nearly 1,500 free toy boxes already in circulation, Anelis recognized a community need to put “Inclusion in Action.” During her event on October 19th, she passionately shared that she wanted to “create toy boxes that talk about disability and encourage children to recognize when someone looks different & ask how can we play together?”
Anelis is a firm believer that “all children want to play and play is the best way for children to learn new skills or forge new friendships” and that’s why she’s excited about using her boxes to create awareness that we are all different, but we can all learn and play together.
For a closer look at the contents of each new inclusive toy box, click on the associating tabs below.