A Japanese organization believes one child’s unwanted toy could help save another child’s treasure — and teach both a valuable lesson.
Second Life Toys takes children’s old toys that are falling apart and repairs them using pieces from donated toys. The recipient gets their old toy back, good as new but with an adorable replacement, like a squirrel’s tail serving as an elephant’s trunk.
The recipient writes a thank you note to the child who donated the toy, and both learn the mutual good that comes from giving.
The process, the organization explained to ABC, is meant to open a conversation about organ donation in Japan, where they say the subject is somewhat taboo.
“Simply, for the Japanese people, the topic of organ transplant conjures up an image of death, and therefore becomes a barrier for them to talk about this topic,” they said in an email. “When it comes to child organ transplant, the tendency intensifies.”
Because of this, the organization said, the organ donation rate in Japan is very low.”In Japan, currently there are about 14,000 people waiting for organ transplant [sic]. Among them, only 300 people receive the actual organ transplant annually,” Green Ribbon Project Committee Director Misa Ganse explained in the organization’s introduction video.
Second Life Toys hopes that the process of donating toy parts will serve as a metaphor for organ donation for children and adults alike.
“Transplanted toys are the very representation of lives saved through organ transplant,” the organization explained. “Not just the children but their friends and families will also understand the value of organ transplant by interacting with the toy.”
The organization currently accepts toys from all over the world, but they must be sent to Japan. They said they hope to expand in the future.