A simple concept: sharing your toys

Bethany Gill admitted her idea was different, but everyone she talked to agreed it made sense.

As soon as possible, Gill, 25, wants to open a toy library in Fruita, where parents can check out toys for children. It will operate similar to a traditional library, but hers will have toys.

Gill doesn’t know anyone operating a toy library, so she is still tinkering with the idea, including the library’s name. She first heard about the concept while reading an article about an African tribe that successfully shared toys among the children. She thought it was a brilliant idea.

After all, as a mother, Gill said she has learned that children are constantly growing tired of their toys and are looking for “new” ones anyway. Through a toy library, she added, families could get “new” toys for free.

In her mind, Gill said, the toy library initially will be open one day a week in Fruita, where she has heard mothers complain about having to drive to Grand Junction for things to do with their toddlers.

However, the concept is still in its infancy stage.

“No one even knows what I’m talking about,” Gill admitted.

Here is how the Fruita toy library will work, at least right now, Gill said.

Families can check out one toy per child or up to four toys per family. The children have two weeks to play with them before the toys are “due.” The library will be free, but there will be a small late fee assessed for toys returned late and a fee assessed if toys are broken beyond repair. The late fee rate will increase, depending on how overdue toys are. And the damage fee likely will be $15 to replace broken toys.

The library will be in a trailer in the side yard of Fruita Christian Church, 208 N. Maple St.

Parents will have to sign up, and Gill will keep track of everything.

Right now, Gill said, before she can open she needs more clean toys and books in good condition. She plans to gear the library toward children 4 and younger, but she doesn’t want to exclude anyone at this point.

She has a 15-month-old daughter, Isabella, and knows some parents can’t afford to just go out and buy their children new toys all the time.

To donate toys, contact Gill at 623-5818. She also planned to put a bin for donations at Fruita Christian Church by today.

“I will take anything,” Gill said.


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