10 Places to Donate Toys to Children in Need
Published Dec 13, 2021
According to child psychologists, toys play a big role in the development of a child. It helps develop not just their motor and cognitive skills but also their social and emotional intelligence.
Unfortunately, not all children have access to toys. While some kids have drawers full of toys, there are some who’d never played with a store-bought toy their whole life.
So rather than chucking your children’s old toys in the trash, find a place where you can donate them. Your children may not find these toys amusing anymore but there are kids who’d be more than happy to play with them.
If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a quick guide on how and where to donate toys to children in need.
Where to Donate Toys
Finding a place to donate your children’s old toys isn’t that hard. There are a lot of places that accept and are in great need of toy donations. These includes:
When thinking about donating toys, you probably didn’t consider giving them to a hospital. But some hospitals conduct toy donation drives for the sick children in their care. We all know how stressful hospital confinement can be and it’s even more so for children. Having something to play with can help take their mind off their predicament.
But if you’re donating to a hospital, remember that these places usually have very strict hygiene protocols. They may not accept a used toy or if they do, it must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
2. Children’s Homes
Children’s homes often have limited budgets. So they usually rely on donations for the children’s basic needs like clothing and toys. Coordinate with the local children’s home in your area and ask what type of toys they’re accepting.
If you can, bring something for the older children too. They often get bypassed in favor of the younger ones since most of the toy donations they receive are for toddlers.
3. Local and National Charities
Charitable institutions like Salvation Army and Goodwill accept toy donations too. They sell it in their thrift stores and the proceeds will be used to fund their various charitable programs. But if you want to make sure that a child in need benefits directly from your donation, there are also many local charities that accept toy donations.
4. Homeless Shelters
According to statistics, nearly 1 in 5 homeless people in America are children. And many of them stay in homeless shelters. As you can imagine, most children in these shelters don’t have enough clothes and much fewer toys to play with. As such, your donation will surely be appreciated.
5. Daycare Centers
With lots of children to care for, daycare centers are always in need of new toys. If you don’t use a daycare service yourself, you can ask other mothers in the neighborhood. Or you can check online for daycare centers near you and ask if they accept toy donations.
Remember that the kids in these centers are really young – mostly toddlers. So make sure that the toys you donate are appropriate for that age range.
6. Places of Worship
Most religious centers accept in-kind donations, including toys, for their members in need. You can ask your place of worship if they accept toy donations. Or if you’re not affiliated with any religion, you can also ask friends and family if their place of worship could use some old toys. Many religious centers also regularly conduct donation drives where you can drop off in-kind donations like toys.
Just remember that some types of toys may not be acceptable or appropriate in some religions. So it’s better to call them beforehand before dropping off your donation.
7. Fire Departments
Firemen don’t just put out fires. They also help comfort distressed and injured children at the scene and toys are a big help. That’s why fire departments often accept toy donations from the public. The San Francisco Fire Department even has a long-standing toy donation program where they distribute the toys they’ve collected to unfortunate children all year round.
Contact your local fire department to see if they’re accepting toy donations and where you can send or drop your donation off.
8. Local Social Services
The Social Services Department assists many families in need. They can point you to which families can use those toys you’re donating. Some local councils also accept donations for their play area and toy libraries. Contact your local social services to know where you bring your donations and what type of toys they need.
9. Neighbors in Need
If you have neighbors who can’t afford toys for their kids, then why go far? Donate the toys to them instead. You can invite your neighbor’s kids or drive over to their house. It will not only foster good neighborly relations but is also a great opportunity for your kids to make new friends.
10. Recycling Programs
If your kid’s old toys are in great need of repair, no organization will probably accept it. And you shouldn’t donate broken toys either. But rather than throwing them in the trash where they’ll just end up in landfills, donate them to recycling programs instead. Get in touch with your local recycling service if they accept toys. If not, there are also organizations that accept old toys and clothes and recycle or upcycle them.
How to Donate Toys to Children in Need
Now that you know where to donate toys to unfortunate children, let’s talk about the do’s and don’ts when donating toys.
1. Consider their toy needs.
Children of different ages and genders prefer different sets of toys. So when you’re donating toys, it’s always a good idea to coordinate first with the organization you’re donating to. Ask them what kind of toys they need and the ages of their beneficiaries. If your donation isn’t age or gender-appropriate, it won’t probably be of much use.
2. Donate only toys that are still useful.
If you’re donating used toys, make sure that they’re still usable. Don’t donate toys that are already chipped, covered in rust, or have stopped functioning years ago. Remember that you’re donating toys so some children can play with them too. Just imagine the disappointment on their faces when they learn that the new toy they have is broken. If you don’t want to see that look on your kids’ faces, then surely other parents feel the same too.
3. Separate the toys by age and gender.
This isn’t really a must but it’s a good practice. It reduces the workload for the people who will distribute it to the children.
Remember that at the end of the day, it’s not just about giving out toys. It’s about giving hope to children who can only dream of having such toys. You never know whose life you’re changing with those donations. So keep them coming.
(Related: Here’s Where to Donate Baby Clothes in the US)
Donate To The Poor & Homeless Of South Florida
Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen has fed the poor and homeless in South Florida over 900,000 hot meals since 1993. Our tax deductible non profit organization also accepts and distributes donations such as clothing, toiletries, shoes, bicycles, and more. You can donate to help the poor and homeless through our website.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer and devoted Christian. She has a passion for writing about topics related to morality and helping the poor and homeless. She is the lead author for the Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen blog.
Correct Digital, Inc is paid by private donors to provide website digital marketing services to this non-profit organization.