Today, The LEGO Group announced the launch of LEGO Replay, a pilot program that will accept any and all previously used LEGO bricks and donate them to children’s non-profits in the United States. The effort is a collaboration with Give Back Box, Teach For America, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. Below are the details.
The concept of LEGO Replay is simple: collect any loose LEGO bricks, sets, or elements, place them into a cardboard box, and visit LEGO.com/Replay to print out a free UPS shipping label. The package will be sent to the Give Back Box facility, where each brick will be sorted, inspected by hand, and given a rigorous cleaning. This process is possible because LEGO bricks are made from high-quality, durable materials, designed to be used for generations. “We know people don’t throw away their LEGO bricks,” said Tim Brooks, Vice President, Environmental Responsibility at the LEGO Group. “The vast majority hand them down to their children or grandchildren. But others have asked us for a safe way to dispose or donate their bricks, so with LEGO Replay, they have an easy option that’s both sustainable and socially impactful.”
Brooks and his team spent the past five years working on the project to ensure the process surpassed the highest safety standards and adhered to U.S. regulations. They then connected with Give Back Box, a charity dedicated to “recycling” 11 million tons of unused clothing, footwear, and other textiles that end up in U.S. landfills each year. Give Back Box is social enterprise company whose objective is to fundamentally change the donation behavior of online retail shoppers and other donors. It has created a system to enable online shoppers and other donors to donate unwanted items in a cost and hassle-free way. “I am excited to join the LEGO Group in this pilot program,” said Monika Wiela, founder of Give Back Box. “Growing up in Poland, I didn’t have many toys as a child, so this collaboration is rather personal for me. What’s better than giving a child the gift of play? For us, the number of donations we receive is critical to a successful campaign, so we’ve made it as easy as possible for folks at home to send in their idle bricks.”
Teach For America will receive the majority of the elements and will provide them to thousands of classrooms across the country. They work in partnership with urban and rural communities in more than 50 regions across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. “Learning through play can have a tremendous impact on a child’s cognitive development. Through play, children develop fine motor skills, think creatively, and can learn how to problem solve through teamwork,” said Susan Asiyanbi, Teach For America’s chief operating and program officer. “But not everyone has access to such resources. LEGO Replay, and the instructional resources they provide educators, will help give more students access to this opportunity.”
Bricks will also be sent to Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston for their after-school programs. Since its founding in 1893, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) has been providing a safe haven filled with hope and opportunity, ongoing relationships with caring adults, and life-enhancing programs. The organization serves more than 14,000 young people, ages 6-18.
The non-profits can expect to receive the first shipments in November 2019. Once the pilot is complete in spring 2020, the LEGO Replay team will evaluate a possible expansion of the program. So, check your attic and basement and see if you have any unused and unwanted LEGO bricks lying around. LEGO Replay is happy to take them and put them back in the hands of children who are eager to build!
What do you think? How do you like the idea of the LEGO Replay program? Do you have any unused LEGO that you would like to donate? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below!
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Good for Lego to be willing to organize this public-spirited initiative. But I think it could be enormously simplified if people who wanted to donate bricks put them in a mesh bag and put them in their washing machines at low temperatures and then marched them to local schools, Boys & Girls clubs and other children’s charities.
Cut out the carbon-intensive transportation chain. Cut out delays. Look in the faces of the kids you want to benefit and give them the face of someone who cares about them.
I agree that local is always better, but as a second best option this is not ba. Kudos for lego to take the initiative to recycle their bricks!
It seems that this program by LEGO may be temporary, so donating to local schools is always going to be the best option. I think they should also donate to Toys for Tots.
So, I guess this program is US only for the meantime?
Then, if I’d have spare bricks available, I guess I could just donate them to my nephew or nieces, or to some local charity operation, anyway. Maybe this would work better for rural areas.
This is a nice idea. I hope they will continue and add more charities to their list. In fact, ideally, they could set up a website where they can pair donors with local non-profits and schools who would be happy to receive the Lego.
I would prefer to donate locally, but I could see this being useful when people don’t want to do much work and want to get rid of their Lego. It’s a good project from what I can see.