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Giving back: Turning truffles into toys

Thursday 5 May 2016 8:51am

Physiology Compliance Officer Rachael Holloway and Anatomy Postdoctoral and Teaching Fellow Natasha Flack have busy lives that they say are enhanced by volunteer work.

Knowing the joy a child feels playing with a new toy is a huge motivation for volunteering on the Mornington Toy and Games Library committee, Physiology Compliance Officer Rachael Holloway and Anatomy Postdoctoral and Teaching Fellow Natasha Flack say in the Bulletin’s latest story in its volunteer series.

Each year the friends help make over 1500 dozen (delicious) truffles as the main fund-raiser for the toy and games library. It can be a sticky business, but both say being committee members offers plenty of rewards.

As President and grant writer Rachael says when things go well - like getting grants for new toys or anything else needed to run the library, and seeing the kids obviously loving choosing new toys to borrow for a fortnight - it’s all well worth it.

Natasha says volunteering has always been a part of her life: “I’m also a sucker for being a part of committees. I like to know what’s going on and giving my two cents worth. I’ve been Committee Secretary for two years… I’ve just taken on the role of website maintenance too.”

Rachael and Natasha agree that toy libraries are a fantastic community resource.

Natasha says it is important to her that a place like the toy library continues to survive.

“It’s providing toys and games to children without the exorbitant costs of purchasing them yourself. My family joined when my daughter Sophie (now three-and-a-half) was only seven-months-old.”

“She’s been there so often she now doesn’t need to come, she can give me a ‘wish list’ of the toys she wants me to get while she’s off at swimming lessons with Dad. It cracks me up every time.”

Rachael joined the committee when she was already very busy.

“The committee needed members and even though I was back at work full-time and have three children I thought it was something I would enjoy doing not just for myself but also because it involved the children. The committee is a really friendly bunch so it has been lots of fun. It’s good to get out and do something other than work and kids.”

“Sometimes being on the committee can be a big time commitment … but I’ve learnt that even though life can be busy, it is rewarding to help out, even a little bit, with organisations that provide great resources to the community.”

The committee just wishes it had more resources so it could open the toy and games library more often, to be more accessible for more people.

Natasha says the kids that come in when the library is open love playing with the toys and “we all do it for the kids.”

Contact the Mornington Toy and Games Library: Contact for Dunedin toy libraries: