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Toy Drive at Totally Kids Benefits Local Families Affected by Autism

By joining with a local kids furniture retailer, a non-profit group and autism treatment center hope to bring smiles and growth to families already strapped with treatment costs through gently-used toy donations brought in from the entire community.

Bloomington, MN, May 14, 2010 --( By joining with a local retailer, a non-profit group and autism treatment center hope to bring smiles and growth to families already strapped with treatment costs.

Autism affects families regardless of their economic means. Children with autism often require treatments that are excessively costly to the patient’s family, making other needs and wants of the family difficult to satisfy.

One important activity for autistic children is the simple act of playing. Certain toys, puzzles, and games can prove extremely beneficial in the development of children on the spectrum. However, when budgets are constricted, toys and games are often the first expenses to be cut out. This costs the child valuable time to work on the sensory, motor, and communication skills that are honed through the act of play.

The Lovaas Institute and The Autism Recovery Foundation hope to provide a solution. Teaming up with the metro-area kids furniture and toy store, “Totally Kids,” they are hosting a toy drive that will benefit the families affected by autism directly.

Totally Kids is serving as the primary donation center and are continuing an effort they started last year as an Earth Day promotion, which evolved to become a benefit for the local non-profit group “Parents United Against Autism”. The program worked essentially the same as this year, however the supply of toy donations that Totally Kids was able to take in quickly outgrew the demand of the families, many of them Somali immigrants, that the non-profit worked with.

As it turned out, The Lovaas Institute and The Autism Recovery Foundation were looking for a new source for toy donations to go to families undergoing treatment at the institute, since a scheduling slip left their prior resource unavailable.

Dr. Eric Larsson knows from working with these families that they often don’t have any resources left to buy the “luxury” items most families take for granted. “It is really a burden for our families to shoulder the costs of toys, because in order to teach the children, we have to use many more toys (and specialized arrays of toys), which goes way beyond most families' toy budgets. Although the health insurance companies and the state cover the costs of care, the families have to pay co-pays for that coverage, and on top of that, they don't get the costs of the toys covered.”

Any gently used toys, games, or puzzles can be donated in person at Totally Kids located at 7876 Portland Ave. South in Bloomington. Donation receipts are available upon request for tax write-off purposes.

When: April 19th – 25th
Where: Totally Kids – 7876 Portland Ave. South, Bloomington, MN 55420
What: Toy Recycling Drive to Benefit Families Affected by Autism
Why: To promote the re-using of toys and alleviate the pressure of paying for treatments and the normal needs of children with autism.

Contact: Jesse R. Dumas, Marketing Director
Phone#: (952) 881-2425 (808) 772-3390 cell

Contact Information
Totally Kids
Jesse Dumas
Fax: 952-881-6467

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