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The Right Way to Participate in the Annual Toy Drive
Our Buy American Mention of the Week!
by Roger Simmermaker
December 13, 2004

This time of year, annual toy drives are in full swing in cities across America. The purpose, of course, is to show our compassion to those children in our local communities who are less fortunate. What better way to make Christmas that much more special by putting smiles on faces of children that might otherwise receive no gifts from Santa?

But as in any act of good intentions, the end doesnít always justify the means, and we need to be careful about our activities to ensure the process is just as honorable as what we set out to accomplish.

To get straight to the point, well over 90% of all toys sold in America are made in China. Most conscientious Americans realize violations of child labor and human rights laws run rampant in communist China, where children under what we would consider a legal working age are routinely forced to work over 12 hours a day. Wages are often less than a dollar an hour. Since there few if any safety, pollution or environmental controls in China, these children work in much less than what we Americans would consider a healthy atmosphere. And thatís if you can get past the realization that children should be working in factories at all when they should be attending school, let alone in sweatshop factories.

So how can we avoid the trap of buying toys made by underprivileged kids in China to give to underprivileged kids in America? By buying American-made toys, games and sports equipment that are made under acceptable and humane conditions.

The question that follows, of course, is this: What, if any, toys and games are made in America? The answer might surprise you. Below is a list of toys, games and sports equipment that any underprivileged child in America would love to have this Christmas, and most of them can be found at any toy store.

Crayola Crayons
Play-Doh
Wilson Football
Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat
Radio Flyer Discovery Wagon
Chutes and Ladders
Clue
Connect Four
Boggle Jr.
Battleship
Candyland
Life
Monopoly
Operation
Mouse Trap
Parcheesi
Scrabble
Sorry
Stratego
Pop-O-Matic Trouble
Trvial Pursuit
Yahtzee
Tri-ominos
The Wiggles Lil' Big Red Car
Step 2 Tag-Along Trailer Plus
Step 2 Push Around Buggy
Step 2 Lifestyle Dream Kitchen
Little Tikes Explorer Wagon
Little Tikes Cook 'n Clean Kitchen
Little Tikes Shopping Cart Caddy
Scholastic Fruity Gummy Activity
Scholastic Rock Tumbler
Bicycle Playing Cards
Rallye Rescue Rider
Rallye Little Ms. Rider
Runabout Wagon (American Plastic Toys, Inc.)
Melissa and Doug U.S.A. Floor Puzzle

This is not a complete list of American-made items, but there is certainly a diverse variety of choices to make just about any child in America happy that might otherwise go without this Christmas. By buying America-made toys, games and sports equipment this year, youíll be supporting American workers by ensuring they get pay checks instead of pink slips, which will enable them to be able to afford Christmas gifts for their own children. There is no better way to break the cycle of using one underprivileged child to give to another underprivileged child.


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