New Life Toys is our employment ministry in the 14613 neighborhood of Rochester.
The outreach involves hiring 6-8 adults from one of Rochester's poorest neighborhoods and training them to run a used toy store. New Life Toys not only offers training and supplemental income to adults who need work and work skills, it also makes affordable toys available to children in the neighborhood.
New Life Toys on Channel 8 News!
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC)
A local church with the mission of alleviating poverty in Rochester opened a used-toy store downtown this weekend. It allows parents to buy affordable toys for their kids this holiday season. The New Life Toys program also gives training and experience for those who need it most.
Parkminster Presbyterian Church is hosting its New Life Toys program for their fourth year. The church collects toys throughout the Fall, cleaning them and pricing them accordingly. Then, they hand-pick employees who apply from Rochester's Edgerton Neighborhood that are out of work and looking for experience.
Parkminster program coordinator Josh Thurston says, "We aim to find the people who need this ministry the most, and who we see are going to be able to learn those principles through this ministry."
Thurston has been with the program for three years, he says it provides a safe and stable environment for their team of six seasonal employees.
New Life Toys employee Mary Jo Newtown says, "We have mentors here that we go to if you know we're struggling with something we can go to them. And they'll reassure us or give us the right direction to go to."
For people in the program like Newtown, that guidance makes all the difference. She was out of a job for three years, and joined the program to get professional experience, as those skills quickly landed her a full-time job.
New Life Toys helped provide the same outcome for Sylvia Chambers. She entered the program a year ago unemployed, and returned for a second year in a supervisor position.
"It's stability to learn and grow more, and actually to me...I've learned to better myself," said Chambers, who credits the program with helping her land on her feet and finding work outside of New Life Toys.
"It gives people a sense of giving back and you know, being able to contribute which offers hope. Which is kind of the the tipping point to success," said Thurston.
Each year the sale rotates locations for the holidays. In 2016 they set up at the People's Ministry on Dewey Ave. They were open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays in December.
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Watch the Televised segment here.
New Life Toys preserves our environment by recycling all unsold toys. We ask you to recycle your unusable toys at Rochester EcoPark, (click for information).