How a Toy Store Inspired One Local Family

The temps are finally starting to cool off here in Scottsdale, and it’s amazing how our little city is starting to return to life. More cars, busier restaurants and stores, and just an increasing number of people wherever you go. While I like the hot, stillness of summer in Scottsdale, the place definitely feels more alive when the temps drop below 110 degrees.

I started the weekend with a bike ride. And, then we headed down to Yavapai Park so that Rex and Judd could watch Judd’s preschool teacher (Mr. Eric) play flag football. He’s the quarterback of the team, and kind of a hero to our two boys. Not the typical thing that we do on a Saturday morning, so it was kind of fun.

From there, we headed up to The Doll House & Toy Store in North Scottsdale because we wanted to pick up a gift for our neighbors who recently had a baby girl. I personally know the owners of the toy store, and they’re fantastic and truly dedicated to what they’re doing. It’s amazing to watch how they greet customers by name, offer inspired suggestions, and maintain a level of service that you simply do not see in big box retail stores.

We found the perfect gift that the boys could give the baby – a pink and lavender dump truck! What little girl won’t need a pastel-colored truck for taking to the park and playing in the sand? And, The Doll House wrapped the gift, too! Love it!!

Last November, we were first motivated to create One Local Family because our favorite local restaurant had gone out of business. But, there was also another reason that I’ll share with you now that specifically relates to toys stores that helped launch our “local” efforts. Here’s the story.

Three years ago, I was doing some family tree research to learn a bit more about my ancestral roots. In my online search, I happened upon a name of someone who appeared to be connected to our family, yet I had never heard of him before. I called my mother to ask her about the person. She couldn’t believe who I had found. It was her cousin who she lost contact with back in 1952 in San Francisco.

Thanks to Facebook, I was able to make contact with him! He’s now living north of San Francisco. I found out that he and his mother had relocated to Los Angeles when he was just three years old, and had no contact until I found him in 2008. What an amazing discovery this was!

I quickly organized a family reunion for him to be reunited with my mom a couple of years ago, and he is now thankfully a treasured member of our family to say the least. He’s fantastic, caring, and kind, and we’ve made up for lost time by staying in close contact. He loves our children, too.

Our cousin is also transgender.

One day last November, he called me. I thought it was to just chat. However, it turned out he wanted to share something that was upsetting him. He had gone to the biggest retailer in toys (I won’t name it here, but you can guess quite easily) to buy Rex and Judd Christmas presents. One of the salespeople who he had gone to for help laughed at him and treated him terribly because he looks “different.” However, he was focused on buying the presents for our sons, and did his best to ignore the treatment so that he could send gifts to the boys.

His story broke my heart! There was absolutely no reason for this situation to occur, and it shed light on the reality that we need to have a variety of places to shop, not just one choice. We need to be able to buy from those who treat us well, and not be subject to ridicule or discrimination because of how we look.

Fortunately, we found an alternative toy store near where my cousin lives – a local shop where I hope, if he wants to buy something for the boys, he will go. I never want him to receive that treatment again. And, no retailer should ever be able to get away with treating their customers like this!

Song of the Day: Freedom 90!

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One Response to How a Toy Store Inspired One Local Family

  1. Denise Crawford says:

    Great story! Your year-long odyssey continues to inspire me. I can’t say that I’ve taken the pledge as you have, but I do think about you when I have the choice between local and not local.

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