Kids in Winston-Salem can exchange toys and video games that promote violence and aggression, such as toy guns and knives, for basketballs, footballs, puzzles, board games and non-violent computer games during the 23rd annual Peace Toys for War Toys Exchange, to be held this Saturday, Dec. 19, at 1pm at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex. The exchange is sponsored and organized by the Carl H. Russell Sr. Community Center.
The exchange is for youth ages 3-14 who are accompanied by a parent. High school students can register for a chance to win one of two laptop computers donated by Venable Tax Services. Kids will also have an opportunity to win bicycles and other special prizes that promote fitness, education and peace.
This year’s Peace Toys Exchange has been moved to a Saturday afternoon to accommodate parents who work, said Ben Piggott, the exchange organizer. Previously, the exchange was held on a weeknight, Piggott said, and “parents were rushing to get home and make dinner and then get to the event.” Piggott, the director of the Russell Community Center, started the exchange in 1993 as a way to help children learn from a young age to deal with problems peacefully. In 2000, Piggott was honored by the National Crime Prevention Council for starting the program.
Doors will open at 11:30am Registration will close at 12:30pm The exchange is expected to conclude about 4pm. Anyone wishing to donate unwrapped toys for this event is asked to call call Piggott or a member of the Russell Center staff at 336/727-2580, or drop them off at the center, 3521 Carver School Road.