Teaching our Children to Pay it Forward

November is here, which means it is a particularly special time for giving. As a parent, I find it extremely important to teach my son the idea of giving back to his community. And, as a parent, I also understand that it is hard to find spare time or money to do so. Today, I will share with you the perfect opportunity for you to set a good example of “paying it forward”, while also enjoying quality time with your little one(s).


In 2001, the AJ Show on Energy 103.7 participated in a radio-thon at Rady Children’s Hospital. While there, they learned that the children being treated in the hospital were lacking in toys to play with. This sparked an idea for AJ. Each year around Thanksgiving, he will have a toy drive to collect new toys for the children at Rady Children’s. Every year, AJ is lifted high off the ground in a scissor lift, and has committed to live there, in the lift, until he reaches his goal.

This toy drive became known as the AJ’s Kids Crane!

The first year, AJ’s Kids Crane was able to collect 10,000 toys, thanks to the generosity of San Diegans! As the years went on, they increased their goal. 14 years later, they now have a goal of collecting 100,000 brand new toys for Rady Children’s Hospital!


AJ’s Toy Drive in 2014

Starting in November of this year, AJ’s Kids Crane will kick off their 14th year of the toy drive and we want our MomsGuide readers to contribute! As a mom of a Rady Children’s NICU baby myself, I can’t stress the importance of this amazing organization, the staff that works for it, and the children who spend time there. This hits close to home for me, and I hope it will for you too.


Baby Oliver on the day he graduated from Rady Children’s NICU

This year AJ is taking it one step further and providing some great mommy & me activities during their toy drive. Not only will you feel good about donating to a great cause, but you can enjoy some quality time with your little one!

Every weekday starting on Friday, November 13th from 11am-2pm, AJ’s Kids Crane will have some fun events for moms and their kids!

Princess Visits & Crafts:

Friday, November 13th- The Ice Sisters
Monday, November 16th- The Little Mermaid
Tuesday, November 17th- Cinderella (2015 Live Action movie version)
Wednesday, November 18th- Tinkerfairy
Thursday, November 19th- Snow White


Tumble Gym:

Friday, Nov 13th from 11am-2pm
Mon, Nov 16th, from11am-2pm
Tues, Nov 17th, from 11am-2pm



Weds Nov 18th from 11am-2pm
Thurs Nov 19th from 11am-2pm


All you need to do is show up with a donation of a new toy or cash for the toy drive and you get to participate in the “Mommy and Me” activities! Please help us make a difference this year. For more information, go to:


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