8 places to donate used toys that the kids will be excited about
Moms everywhere know how this goes: Kid gets excited over their new toy. Tears it out of the box before you can blink 3 times. Plays with it vigorously for maybe a single full day. And the end. So what do we do then? Find a way to donate used toys or leave them to rot in the toy chest for good.
We tend to get a pretty big influx of toys around the holidays and Birthday Week especially and while it’s definitely some of our favorite times of the year, it definitely becomes a little overwhelming with the toy clutter that ensues. Despite having numerous toy bins to store toys in, they still somehow end up all over the floor in the playroom. I remember a few years ago, I threatened to clear out their entire playroom and throw all of their toys away if toys were left on the floor.
They took me up on that challenge and came home to school one day to see bins that were almost completely bare. I had all of their toys in trash bags and was fully prepared to take them to the dumpster, but it dawned on me that to donate used toys would be a better solution. Turns out, I was able to get the kids in on the action and actually enjoying donating their toys. It has been the same experience ever since then.
A great way to get kids excited about giving back to the community is to encourage them to donate their used toys to other kids and families who can appreciate them. Here are 8 great places to donate used toys that the kids will actually be excited about.
8 Places to Donate Used Toys
Donate to a local Daycare
This was actually the first place we decided to donate used toys and the kids loved this idea. We have a great relationship with our former daycare, so I asked them if they could use additional toys for the facility. They clean their toys anyway so there’s not much hazard as far as that goes. Of course, the toys you donate have to be intact, able to pass their safety standards and be gently used, but many daycare facilities may be happy to accept your used toy donations.
Local Homeless Shelters
If there are local shelters in your area, most of them accept donations of slightly used toys. Which helps to brighten up the day of a little one staying there. Making their adjustment time a bit more bearable. However, since some shelters don’t accept toy donations, call them before taking the toys there.
Another great place that sometimes lets you donate used toys is a local children’s hospital. Because they only handle those under the age of eighteen, many children’s hospitals are extremely happy to receive donations of slightly used toys. It not only puts a smile upon the face of a child who’s not feeling well, but gives them comfort during their hospital stay as well. Giving this precious little one a chance to allow the child to come out inside of him or her and forget about their issues at hand.
Always call or visit them online to see if they accept donated toys and whether there’s a list of what is acceptable. Due to the risk of infectious illnesses, some hospitals do not take used toys.
Nearby Community Churches
A good majority of churches are happy to accept gently used toys. Which they either hand out to needy families with children, or put in their daycare facility. Enabling a child who is underprivileged the chance to enjoy playing with those toys just sitting around the house. From infants to preschool age children, community churches cater to kids of all ages. Donating used toys also enables the church members to occupy the youth during Sunday services and special religious events.
Social Service Centers
Almost all social service centers accept donations of gently used toys. Which is a good way to clean house and enables a child who might not have the privilege of having a toy of their own the chance to enjoy themselves. Helping them to be occupied while their parents are waiting to be seen. While there, inquire about other places that might take slightly used toys as well.
Foster Care Facilities
I have to admit, I was fairly clueless about the foster care system until a few years ago when I worked with Mattress Firm on a donation drive to foster homes. I hadn’t realized until then the fact that when these children enter foster care, they are often sent with only the clothes on their backs and nothing else. That means that their favorite dolls or action heroes are left behind. Fortunately, there are various foster care facilities that will take donations of used toys. And doing so makes such a big difference in a child’s life, despite an unfortunate situation. This is truly a noble way of getting good use out those old toys lying around the house. Helping to brighten up a child’s day and making them feel special.
Local Fire and Police Departments
When an emergency occurs, many firemen and police officers take along small toys and stuffed animals in case there’s a child who needs some comforting. Therefore, they are very thankful to receive donations of used toys and stuffed animals. It helps to calm them down in a dire situation, giving children some comfort during an otherwise terrifying time.
Military Family Charitable Organizations
Of course, we know military families move around quite a bit. What we don’t realize is that so much on their minds, most men and women in the military don’t have time or the means to take all of their kids toys with them from location to location. This is a great place to donate used toys while helping to make a military child’s adjustment somewhat easier.
Call the local VA regional office in the area and inquire about various military organizations which accept used toys. There are even some which will come directly to the person’s home and pick up the toys being donated.
Have you found other great places to donate used toys? Share those below!