One of the most contentious thing about this wonderful LEGO hobby of ours has been the price increases which happened a few months ago.
Against a backdrop of soaring inflation and the rising cost of living, affecting everything from energy, petrol to food, it’s been a particularly hard year for many individuals and families.
With Christmas approaching, I wanted to give back to the community, and less fortunate, so in the last few months, I’ve been working on a LEGO charity drive in the background, looking for suitable community organisations that I could purchase and/or donate LEGO to.
On a personal level, it’s been quite jarring, enjoying and getting excited about all these new LEGO sets that cost hundreds of dollars, which is an incredible, incredible privilege, but I found it hard to not think of families and disadvantaged kids that may not have an epic toy, or LEGO set to open at Christmas.
I decided to donate a significant chunk of the revenue and earnings from this site, on behalf of you, the readers of Jay’s Brick Blog, and I wanted to also throw in a quick thank you for helping make this possible – whether you’ve clicked and bought something with an affiliate link, or scrolled past an ad.
Here’s what we’ve been able to donate this year, and why I chose them.
- Fairy Bricks £1500 (approx AU$2,600)
- Dandelion Support Network – approx AU$2007.23 in LEGO sets
- Beyond the Brick Creations for Charity stream – US$500 (approx AU$740)
- Doin’ It For Rural Kids – AU$1281
- Paying off laybys – AU$500
Fairy Bricks do incredible and important work in the community, collecting, and donating LEGO sets to children’s hospices and hospitals, brightening the lives of sick children in hospital.
They primarily operate in the UK, but have affiliates and partnerships all over the world with local LUGs (LEGO User Groups) to help distribute LEGO sets to hospitals.
Dandelion Support Network came through a recommendation I was given, and they’re based in New South Wales, Australia. A reader saw this callout for Christmas gifts, and shared it with me, and they do really important work with local communities, so I sent and ordered them a ton of LEGO sets for all ages – trying to use local independent toy retailers like I’m Rick James Bricks for part of the purchase.
Beyond the Brick typically run a charity stream each year in support of Creations for Charity, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization where builders from all over the world donate custom LEGO creations to sell and raise money to buy LEGO sets for underprivileged children during the holidays.
I’ve supported their charity livestreams for the past few years, and was more than happy to tip in U$500 for their efforts this year, which raised over US$11,000!
Another fantastic not-for-profit I was able to support this year is Doin’ It For Rural Aussie Kids. They do fantastic work in regional and rural regions of Australia, reaching out to some of the most remote communities and towns who are doing it tough due to circumstances outside their control.
With the floods being especially bad this year, I was really happy to help donate over AU$1000 worth of LEGO. I also like to handpick these sets that I donate, because I want the kids who receive them to have the best possible sets, instead of weird clearance-type sets.
Check out the photo above to see what I picked out, and yes, I did buy a ton of Super Robots!
And last but not least, I also paid off about $500 in laybys in some local toy stores. For my global readers, laybys are kinda like “buy now pay later”, where parents can put aside toys, and pay them off in instalments, run directly by toy stores.
Don’t forget, LEGO’s Build to Give campaign is still running. Build a present, and share it on social media with the hashtag #buildtogive, and LEGO will donate a set to children in need!
Apologies that this was all done in clandestine fashion as it was a really busy period. I would’ve liked to involve the readers and my community in this, but maybe next year, I’m definitely thinking of doing something like this and inviting nominations, or at least some more participation with organisations to support.
Keep an eye out for more initiatives like this next year, and again, thank you so much for helping to make stuff like this possible. Together, we’ve been able to effectively donate AU$7,000 to various causes!