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The holidays have been upon us since, well, Halloween, as the Christmas stockings roll out ever earlier into chain store aisles, lights begin to appear next to jack-o-lanterns, and everywhere it’s Christmas, before we even had the chance to dig into that Thanksgiving turkey. Traditionalists like to wait until after Thanksgiving, like around Black Friday or even December 1st, or 14th, before they break out the seasonal decorations for the gift-giving holiday season. There are many good arguments for waiting. It adds more meaning to each individual holiday, for one. Another good reason is that not everyone is in the position to enjoy the gift-giving holiday season.

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 45% of US children live in low-income families. About half of that number, 16 million children, live below the federal poverty level of $23,550/year for a family of four. That’s a lot of kids who aren’t going to have such happy holidays. I wonder how they feel during this time of the year?

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Thankfully, the 3D printing space, with its collaborative spirit, has made concrete moves to address children’s poverty during the holiday season. One company, Imagine That 3D, a 3D printing marketplace headquartered in Murray, Utah, has impressively launched a “3D Printed Christmas” toy drive for children living in poverty, and there are many ways that you can get involved.

toy5First of all, it must be acknowledged how many cool 3D printed items make good children’s toys. There are so many cars, action figures, robots, Lincoln Log and Lego-like building blocks, and other items that there seems to be a direct link between 3D printing and the world of toys (for kids of all ages, of course). So Imagine That 3D’s idea is a natural fit.

You can contribute in several ways. You can 3D print toys and drop them off at the Imagine That 3D Shop in Murray, Utah, if you are local. You can also 3D print toys and send them to the shop if you so desire. Another great idea is to make a donation to them, using the donation button on their webpage, so they can add more toys to the list they are already planning on making. Know some other 3D printing people where you live? You can organize your own local 3D printing toy drive. Hey! Why not teach children about 3D printing as you are giving them gifts? You can use the Share button on the webpage to help get the word out through social media about this opportunity to share the 3D wealth with grateful children this holiday season.

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You get the idea! Like 3D printing itself, this idea captures the 3D printing community’s spirit. As the Imagine That 3D Facebook banner reads: “Possibilities Are Endless! Imagination Has No Boundaries! Learn What You Love, No Matter Where You Are.”

And Happy 3D Printing Holidays to All, and to All a Good Night!

 

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