You probably have several of the kids’ toys collecting dust at home and want to get rid of them through a donation. Luckily, there are many non-profit organizations in the US that will be happy to receive the old toys of your little ones.
In case you have a significant number of toys to donate, some charities allow you to schedule a free pickup with them. In fact, most of our last toy donations were picked up by the charities. There is even a way to ship the donation free of charge, which can save you time.
Most types of used toys are typically accepted in donations, as long as they’re in a great condition (i.e. gently used). You can donate puzzles, blocks, dolls, stuffed animals, action figures, toy cars, board games, craft kits, activity books and many other playthings. But you should always contact the organization beforehand to confirm they will accept your donation.
It’s worth noting many non-profits maintain thrift stores throughout the country where they sell the received donations. Any money they make from sales is used for funding their charitable activities.
Without further ado, below are some of the main places where you can donate your children’s old toys (and de-clutter your house).
Table of Contents
- 1. Toys for Tots
- 2. The Salvation Army
- 3. Habitat for Humanity
- 4. Society of St. Vincent de Paul
- 5. Goodwill
- 6. Vietnam Veterans of America
- 7. Big Brothers Big Sisters
- 8. The Arc
- 9. Ronald McDonald House
- 10. Public Schools
- 11. Daycare Centers
- 12. Toy libraries
- 13. Hospitals
- 14. Shelters
- Donation Town
- Give Back Box
1. Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to needy children. You’re probably familiar with the toy drives they do during the holiday season, which they’re famous for. The program accept toy donations year round at many locations throughout the US.
You can find the local chapter that’s nearest to you on Toys for Tots website.
2. The Salvation Army
This is a Christian charity whose mission is to meet human needs without discrimination in every way possible. They offer various programs that benefit the community including disaster relief, homeless shelters, adult rehabilitation and summer camps for kids. The organization also provides Christmas gifts to needy families and children during the holiday season.
3. Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. They aid families in buying decent and affordable housing including working with volunteers and receiving financial education.
Check Habitat for Humanity site to find their store in your region. You may ask them for a free pickup.
4. Society of St. Vincent de Paul
This is a Christian foundation consisting of members who strive to grow spiritually by offering personal service to individuals and families in need. Examples of charity services they provide include clothing, food, housing, utility assistance, medical care and transportation.
You can find their local shops near you on Society of St. Vincent de Paul website. They also may pick up the donation for free.
Goodwill is a nonprofit organization that helps people improve their lives by assisting them to find a job and grow their careers. To empower individuals for work, they offer job treating programs and some supportive services (e.g. access to transportation and child care).
You may find their retail store near you for donating toys through Goodwill website. Some of their branches can provide free pickup.
6. Vietnam Veterans of America
This is a nonprofit corporation that is committed to serving the needs of all veterans in the US. They provide several services like veterans claims assistance, financial advising and job placement plus outreach programs for homelessness, substance abuse, educational advancement and more.
If you’re interested in donating toys to them, use Vietnam Veterans of America website to schedule a pickup or find a drop-off location.
7. Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a charity organization that strives to change the lives of young people facing adversity to the better. The organization matches each enrolled child with a volunteer mentor who’s well suited to their needs.
To find the nearest office to donate toys to, search through Big Brothers Big Sisters page. Some locations do offer free pickup.
8. The Arc
This is a nonprofit organization that promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including children. They help disabled individuals through various initiatives such as future planning, autism travel awareness, fitness classes, special school education, criminal justice assistance and employment services.
You can find their local chapter for the toy donation on The Arc website. They may also agree to pick up the items for free.
9. Ronald McDonald House
Ronald McDonald House is a charity whose mission is to create and support programs that directly improves the well-being of children and their families. The organization helps alleviate some financial burdens for families with sick kids who are away from home by offering free lodging and meals. Since they typically house the entire family, toys are always needed to entertain the little ones.
To find a local center near you for the toy donation, check out Ronald McDonald House site.
10. Public Schools
Public school districts are typically underfunded and thus always welcome individual donations. They will be interested in any items that will be useful for their students especially educational toys (e.g. puzzles and blocks). If the toys you want to donate are developmental, you could give them away to their kindergartens.
You can search for public schools that are the closest to you here. Some schools may be willing to do a pickup for free in case you have many items to donate.
11. Daycare Centers
Similar to elementary schools, daycare centers and preschools (especially those that are free) benefit significantly from public support. You can donate almost any type of toys to these day nurseries. The children products they receive will help them in babysitting and teaching young ones.
To find free preschool centers for donations in your region, click here.
12. Toy libraries
Many low income families can’t afford to pay much for new playthings for their little ones, so they go to toy libraries to borrow some for free. Families may also hang out at those centers and allow their kids to play which keeps them from getting bored. Toys are always on demand in toy libraries and they will be thankful to receive your in-kind donation.
USA Toy Library Association website will help you check if there is a toy library in your area.
Almost all hospitals welcome toy donations for their hospitalized young patients especially children’s hospitals. But they typically accept only new toys to avoid any possible infections and are a bit strict when it comes to types of toys they would take. Some hospitals also require an appointment for the donation drop-off.
This webpage will help you to find all medical facilities that are nearby. In case you prefer to donate to nonprofit health centers (which charge affordable rates and usually receive funding from the government), search here.
Shelters may be one of the last places you would think of when wanting to donate toys, but it shouldn’t be. Many orphaned, underprivileged and abused children do end up in shelters (e.g. homeless shelters), which typically depend on public support. Your toy giveaway will help in alleviating the hardships those children go through and putting a smile on their faces.
Donation Town is basically a donation pickup search engine. You’re able to easily discover nearby charities that can pick up your toy donation. With that said, the site is not perfect as they possibly miss some charities that do offer free pickup.
To get connected with a charity for scheduling donation pickup, go here.
Give Back Box
Give Back Box is a vendor that partners with online retailers to reuse cardboard boxes for shipping donations. You simply use any boxes you have at home to pack your old items that you want to donate (i.e. children toys) then apply the free shipping labels they provide you. The donation will be mailed to one of the charities participating in their program.
There you have it, those are all places where you may donate the used kids’ toys you don’t want anymore. That’s better than letting those unwanted items accumulate in your house or throwing them in the garbage bin. You will reduce waste at home while giving away toys which will improve the lives of needy children and families.
When it comes to the donation method, you may choose to do a drop off, schedule a free pickup or even mail the toys directly using prepaid shipping labels.
It’s important to make sure the toys are not damaged or broken in any way before you decide to donate them. Basically, they should be in an excellent condition without any clear signs of wear.
Remember also to contact the organization before you go to their location with a box of toys. You don’t want your donation to get rejected for any reason and your time wasted as a result.
In case you can afford paying for shipping, you can always send the toys directly to one of the countless organizations that accept donations by mail (including the ones mentioned in this article).