6 Easy Ways to Donate Toys to Kids in Need

toy train donation'Tis the season to teach kids the importance of being thankful for all that we have, and, just as important, the importance of giving back. As our little ones write their most-wanted gift lists, most of us parents are trying to remind them that not every child is quite so fortunate -- so show them there are ways we can help, like playing Santa ourselves!


Whether you pick up a few new toys to donate while doing your own holiday shopping or choose to clear out the playthings your kids have outgrown to make room for this year's haul, there are several charities that make it easy to spread holiday cheer. Check out each organization's website for more info on how you can donate in your area.

Second Chance Toys 

With over 200,000 toys donated, the purpose of this charity is twofold: Provide toys to children in need, and keep plastic playthings out of landfills. Only plastic toys are accepted and all batteries must be working. To avoid choking hazards, no parts that are small enough to fit through a toilet paper roll will be taken.

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Ronald McDonald House

The many families with seriously ill children who stay at your local Ronald McDonald House chapter will benefit greatly from your donation of new or gently used toys. A little fun goes a long way when you're sick and away from home.


When you drop off toys (new or used, and in good condition) at your area Goodwill, the profits from the sale of your donation will go to help create employment opportunities for people in your community such as single mothers and veterans.

Toys for Tots

One of the most well-known toy charities of its kind, Toys for Tots accepts donations of "new, unwrapped toys" as well as gently used items (the latter are sometimes given to facilities like daycares while the former go to individual children). 

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Stuffed Animals for Emergencies

A charity with a particularly sweet mission, Stuffed Animals for Emergencies gives plush toys to kids in times of crisis (such as fires, accidents, or natural disasters). In addition to used stuffed animals, it also accepts books, blankets, and other comforting items.  

Room to Grow

If you've got a little one who recently made the transition from baby to toddler, Room to Grow will take your used (but not destroyed!) bouncy seats, balls, blocks, high chairs, and other infant essentials.

Don't forget to get your kids involved in the action, too! Take them shopping and have them help clean out the toy box with you. Sure, they might be hesitant to part with some of their old things, but knowing that they're making another child's season bright is the best gift of all.


Image via iStock.com/Jovanmandic

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