People asking for free toys
I listened to some radio stories of folks in these hard times going on Craig's list to ask for toys for their kids. (And other things and help-me requests, too, such as, pay my rent or whatever).
I was surprised when one of the featured requestors said he didn't get any replies.
Not that I'm promoting begging (which was a term thrown around in the report), but certainly the idea of freecycle or other "giveaways" hasn't had a bad rap and it provided a way for folks to get rid of any kind of stuff they didn't need, in whatever way works best for them, and not apparently caring whether they free-cycled their old dining room table to a needy person or a millionaire.
So you know there are all these toys for tots programs and things but it certainly doesn't seem crazy, with all the toys that go in the dumpster or to Goodwill or the church rummage sale, to just give them to someone else directly. Wal-Mart might not like it, but it seems like, if you take a given neighborhood of a few square miles, we could provide for much of our children's Christmas wishes (this would be even more true for small children) by just holding a swap-meet! Perhaps sanitation issues are a bigger concern now. Or you'd like not to have to have someone come by your house, so you'd like a clearing house (which is what Toys for Tots does).
Also I guess that is what the Goodwill store does, not free, but at a low price--but it seems like there'd be room for a complete toy store, with all the plastic doo-hickeys we buy our children.