The holiday season is right around the corner and what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than giving toys to children in need? In a year rife with hurricanes, heat waves, and other catastrophes, families are struggling more than ever to provide toys for boys and girls – especially some of the new toys of 2021 which tend to be more on the expensive side of things.
It doesn’t help that the cost of living keeps going up and the rate of homelessness doesn’t appear to be going down. Every little bit helps, and while some families are struggling to make ends meet, a gift for their child can make all the difference.
This Christmas, adding a little extra something to your list can be done with ease. Charities like Toys for Tots, Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and Operation Homefront are hard at work spreading the Christmas spirit to those who need it most. Donating has become easier than ever.
How to Find a Toys for Tots Drop Off Location Near You
Toys for Tots has delivered 566 million toys to children since its inception in 1947 and continues to serve struggling families today. Run by the US Marine Corps, it’s one of the top charities in the country providing less fortunate children with presents during the Christmas season.
To find a drop off location near you, type in your city and county here, and you’ll be provided with a list of businesses accepting donations. If you prefer making a cash donation, you can do that too.
The Best Types of Toys to Donate to Toys for Tots
While Toys for Tots does not print a list of suggested toys, it goes without saying that toys without batteries, toys that require add-ons, electronics, and anything that can’t be enjoyed immediately after being unwrapped should be avoided. Also, avoid anything used, anything that resembles a realistic weapon, anything food-related, or anything containing chemicals.
All toys should be new and unwrapped. Books and homemade toys are also accepted. For age guidelines, check with your local drop off location – this can vary in different areas.
Where Else To Donate Toys Locally
Making donations has never been easier. Local places to keep in mind include hospitals, shelters, churches/synagogues/mosques, children’s centers, nurseries, schools, and grocery stores. Charitable organizations and resale charities like The Salvation Army and Goodwill are also great places to consider, as well as Operation Homefront (which helps arrange toy donations for military families). And don’t forget to check your local toy stores for specials – many stores will have the option for you to purchase an item and have it donated on your behalf.
Also, Ronald McDonald House is a charity that aims to keep families together, and they’re always looking for toys.
Local women’s shelters are also a great place to donate old and new toys because they’re always loaded with children.
How to Have Your Toy Donations Picked Up
In an ever-increasing world of convenience, making donations doesn’t even require leaving the comfort of your own home. Some of us work 40+ hours a week and don’t have time to make the trip to our local drop-off center, no matter how eager we are to do so. Fortunately, some charities and organizations are willing to pick up your donations.
Freecycle is a great resource for donating locally. Sign up for free, post the toys you’d like to donate, and some lucky family will come to pick them up.
Craigslist is an oldie but goodie. You can always list in their free section and reach out to families in need.
Where to Donate Old Toys
Donating old toys is another great way to provide for children this Christmas. Your local Salvation Army and Goodwill are great places to consider. They take your used toys and sell them at very affordable prices. They also accept clothes, books, and other items. Also consider daycare centers, hospitals, local orphanages and local businesses in your neighborhood.
Goodwill Donation Hours
(Hours may vary by location, so be sure to call your local Goodwill)
- Sunday 12–5PM
- Monday 9AM–9PM
- Tuesday 9AM–9PM
- Wednesday 9AM–9PM
- Thursday 9AM–9PM
- Friday 9AM–9PM
- Saturday 9AM–9PM
Salvation Army Hours
(Hours may vary by location, so be sure to call your local Salvation Army).
- Sunday Closed
- Monday 8AM-5PM
- Tuesday 8AM-5PM
- Wednesday 8AM-5PM
- Thursday 8AM-5PM
- Friday 8AM-5PM
- Saturday 8AM-5PM
This holiday season, help bring joy to children who may not be fortunate enough to sit around the Christmas tree, sipping hot cocoa, watching A Christmas Story in the warmth of a comfortable living room. Even one small toy can make all the difference!
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