If your kids have outgrown their toys, like most parents you’re probably wondering where to donate toys.
That’s why giving them away to someone who needs it is such a good idea.
Thankfully, there are lots of places where you can donate toys near you and online.
So whether it’s stuffed toys or toy cars, if you have toys to donate, you’ve got options.
What will I learn?
Toy Donation Options
Here are the best places to donate your children’s gently-used playthings.
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The Marine Toys for Tots is a program that gives children free Christmas toys. By donating, you put presents under the tree of a less fortunate child on Christmas morning.
You can donate a toy to one of the program’s toy drop locations or host a Toys for Tots event at your home or workplace and collect toys for the program.
Goodwill accepts toys that it then sells to others. Any money they make from selling the toys is used in programs that benefit those in need in your community. Since Goodwill stores sell a range of toys, make sure that your local store has a need for toys by calling ahead first.
If the store already has a surplus of toys, it might not accept your donation, but just give them a call to ask.
You’ll be giving a family a low-cost toy and you’ll be helping to fund important programs near you that help the needy.
Just visit the site, and search for a Goodwill location near you. You can use the filters to find specific types of Goodwill locations too, like donation centers.
Like Goodwill, The Salvation Army accepts toy donations and puts them on the store floor for others to buy. It then uses the proceeds to fund local programs for the needy.
You can donate toys to the Salvation Army by visiting the website and finding a location near you.
Just find your local Salvation Army, using the website we linked to above, and then call to find out if they would be willing to accept your toy donation.
Donating toys to the Salvation Army is a great way to provide low-cost toys to children near you and to support the important work that the Salvation Army does.
Second Chance Toys is an awesome organization that exists to provide toys to kids in low-income households, particularly the ones living at or below the poverty level. You can donate any plastic toy that has all of its parts and batteries.
Unfortaunly, the origination only ahs local drop off locations in a few places including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
However, according to their website, “If you have or can collect 50 or more gently used plastic toys, we will arrange for a drop-off at a local organization.” Just got to the “collect toys” section on the site to register and follow the direction from there.
This is an awesome national 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to helping military families so they can thrive. They help military families with anything from rent and mortgage to utilities, groceries and foods as well as toys for their kids. Visit their website to contact them to see about donating your kid’s gently used toys (or brand new toys) to military families in your area.
Freecycle is a great website where people can get stuff for free and give stuff away to people in their own towns.
If you’re not bothered about getting the tax deduction you’d get when donating to a charity, you may want to give Freecycle a try.
This non-profit organization gives you a quick way to donate your used toys. Just post the items you want to donate on there. Of course, make sure you are safe when meeting up with the person you’re donating to, so meet in a public place and don’t share your address or any other personal details.
The Ronald McDonald House is an organization that provides accommodation and facilities to families whose children are getting care in a nearby hospital. Basically, it makes it possible for families who live further away from the hospital to be near their children while they’re being cared for.
Since the Ronald McDonald House provides facilities for entire families, it’s often in need of toys to keep siblings entertained while they’re staying there.
You can donate toys to your local chapter. Just visit the website to find your local chapter.
Stuffed Animals for Emergencies is a wonderful organization that does just as its name suggests – it provides stuffed animals for children to cuddle in times of emergency.
Having a stuffed toy to cuddle can help children to feel safe during times like natural disasters or during an ambulance ride, for example.
LetGo isn’t a charity, but it’s still a place to consider giving away used toys. The site is a marketplace where you can buy and sell stuff locally. Although its focus is on selling stuff, there is actually a section just for free stuff where people can list the stuff they want to give away.
This means that you could post your used toys on there and give them away to someone nearby who needs them.
10. Local Thrift Stores
Local thrift stores often take used toys to sell in their store. You can help families to get access to affordable toys by donating yours to a thrift store nearby. All you need to do is call and ask beforehand whether the store is looking for used toys to sell.
Here’s a list of thrift stores near you.
Like LetGo, OfferUp is an online marketplace where you can buy stuff and sell stuff to people near you and also ship items. OfferUp does have a section just for free stuff as well. You could list your toys on there and give them away to someone who needs them.
Again, 5miles is an online marketplace for selling a range of items locally. But it also has a section just for free stuff where you can list your gently used toys.
Another site where you can donate stuff to people nearby is Craigslist. Sure, the site is mostly known as a place to buy and sell stuff. But you can also give stuff away free stuff near you.
Just list your free toys in the “Free” section of Craigslist there and people in need are sure to snatch them up.
DonationTown.org is a website where you can donate furniture, clothes, household items and of course children’s toys.
The site allows you to find local charities that pick up donations. To get a list of charities in your area, just enter your zip code on the site. Then you can schedule your donation pick up – and it’s free. Featured by major news outlets like The Washington Post and Forbes, DonationTown.org is an awesome site for finding charities near you.
15. Doctor’s Offices
Doctor’s offices need toys to keep children occupied in the waiting room or even as a reward for making it through a checkup. So you could help out by donating toys.
16. Local shelters
Children at shelters can feel more at ease if they have toys to play with. So call around local shelters to see if they accept toy donations.
17. Children’s Hospitals
Many hospitals need toys for their patients to play with while they’re hospitalized, and their patient’s siblings will likely need toys to keep them entertained in the waiting room.
Not all hospitals will accept used toys though, but some will, so it’s worth calling to see if your local hospital will accept your toy donation.
18. Preschools and Nurseries
Preschools, nurseries, and daycare centers often need gently used toys. So they may be willing to accept your donation. With so many children to entertain, these places go through toys pretty fast.
Call a couple of daycare centers, nurseries, and preschools near you to see if they’d accept your toy donation.
19. Churches, Synagogues & Mosques
Consider donating your used toys to your local church, synagogue or mosque. Many places of worship offer daycare or nurseries to their congregation. As this service is usually low-cost or even free, they are often in need of toys. So give back by donating your toys to one near you.
Where Else Can I Donate Toys Near Me?
If you don’t have or like any of the options listed above, here are a few other places that accept toy donations that you can consider.
- Foster Programs
- Police and Fire Departments
- Animal Shelters
- Art Schools
I know it may seem like some of these places are unlike places to need and accept toy donations, but they do.
For example, Tulsa Children’s Museum and Strong Museum of Play accept donations because their museum revolves around kids. Some libraries also have toy lending programs that let local kids borrow toys. So if you can’t find any place around you to donate your toys to, consider other unlikely places that could actually use toys.
Ready to Donate Toys?
So whether your kid’s toy chest or organizer is overflowing or your children have actually outgrown them and no longer play with them, you don’t have to toss ’em in the trash. Now that you know where to donate toys, consider one of these options.