The clock is ticking for the Comox Valley Toy Library, and if time runs out, the not-for-profit organization may have to close its doors.
Volunteer Vivian Vaillant said the library needs to find a permanent home by the end of March, or else its collection of toys which it lends out for a yearly membership may have to go into storage.
“We’ve moved three times in the last year. We have pokers in the fire, but no real lead,” she explained.
The library, which is just shy of being open for a year, has moved from the outdoor pool area near the Lewis Centre in Courtenay, to The LINC (across the street) and back again to the pool area.
Because of summer scheduling, the organization has to be out by late March.
They are pleading for a new space, somewhere around 600 square feet, stroller-accessible, in a central location that has a bathroom.
“It does make it hard to grow when you are moving all the time,” Rebecca Mohrs, founder of the library, said in a press release. “We always notice a drop in usership right after a move. It would be great to just know where things are going to be.”
Because the organization hasn’t quite been open for 12 months, it is not eligible for grants, added Vaillant, nor does it have funds for rent or subsidized rent.
“We have a wish list, and we would love a space that we can open up to other parent groups as well.”
The library is 100 per cent volunteer run, and encourages parents to obtain new toys for their children every week without the clutter or cost.
For a one-time membership of $20 (the fee is waived for families with low income), members can pick up to five toys every two weeks for their children to play, and then exchange for new ones.
Toys are sanitized between loanings.
“Our number one goal is to reduce the amount of plastic going into the landfill. Kids get bored of toys so fast; if we have a library for books, it makes sense to use one for toys,” noted Vaillant.
The organization has about 100 members, and she added the library serves a role for anyone with children who enjoy having variety with their toys. There is also a “visiting membership.”
All membership fees go towards paying insurance, added Vaillant, who said when she was first made aware of the library, she donated some of her children’s toys.
“The kids had no problem donating toys for the library. It’s a great way for my daughter to be part of the community.”
The CVTL is open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesdays from 10 to 11 a.m., and Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m. For more information, or to share an idea for a permanent home, contact Vaillant at 778-992-1232.