TOY LOAN CENTER—LIKE A LIBRARY, BUT WITH TOYS—OPENS IN COMPTONBy Allison Jean Eaton
Through a collaboration between the county’s Department of Public Social Services and the city of Compton’s Parks and Recreation Department, the county’s newest Toy Loan Center is set to open at Gonzales Park next week.
A special grand opening celebration will be held Monday, Oct. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the park’s community center, 1101 W. Cressey St., where the toy-lending operation will be located.
The program, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, allows registered children to borrow toys much like they would a library book. The county operates the program and provides the loaner toys for each of the 50-plus Toy Loan sites within its boundaries. These lending centers are housed at parks, schools, recreational facilities, libraries, housing projects and even a homeless shelter.
Last May, the city’s first Toy Loan site was launched at Kelly Park.
The new toy lending center will be open for several hours one day per week with volunteers as staffers. Toy Loan coordinator Idalia Almeida calls these workers “toybrarians.”
Children whose parents or guardians sign them up by filling out a registration card, much in the same way one would to obtain a library card, will be able to check out one toy per week. While there are no fees or fines for late toys, children are not allowed to check out another toy until the previously loaned toy is returned.