As your children get older, they'll likely outgrow or become bored with many toys that are in perfectly good condition. Instead of throwing them away or leaving them in your closets to take up space and gather dust, consider sharing them with organizations that can help get them into the hands of youngsters who will greatly appreciate them and put them to good use.
Where to Donate Used Toys
Many types of nonprofit organizations accept donations of toys. Some charitable groups sell donated toys, providing support for a good cause while also helping many families afford toys for their children that they would not otherwise be able to purchase. Others distribute the toys they receive directly to underprivileged youngsters. Still others make the toys available for children who utilize their services, providing entertainment during difficult times. There are many places to consider when looking to donate used toys.
Charitable groups such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and others accept donations of all types of secondhand items, including toys, for resale in thrift shops. Most of these types of shops take donations during their standard hours of operation, as well as via drop boxes placed in various areas within the communities they serve.
If your community has a shelter for domestic violence survivors or a homeless shelter that accepts families, consider sharing toys that your child no longer wants or needs with the organization. These types of shelters operate on shoestring budgets and rely heavily on donations. Toys can be an important part of the healing process for children in this difficult situation.
Church Day Care Centers
Many churches operate nonprofit day care and mom's day out programs. Many of them accept donations of toys that are appropriate for the age group of youngsters who participate in their programs.
It's likely you think of the library as simply a place to donate books, but many also have lending programs for toys, especially for younger children. It's worth the time it takes to make a call to your local branch.
If you'd like your toys to take on a new life, consider donating them to young artists. Many want bright and colorful items to use to enhance their projects. Who knows? Your old toys may end up in a masterpiece someday.
Believe it or not, there are several museums in the United States that would welcome your donations to enhance their exhibits. These include the Strong Museum of Play and the Tulsa Children's Museum. Contact each museum directly to see specific requirements. Your toys need not be in mint condition.
See one that has toys in the waiting room? It's likely that they were donated. When facing medical treatments - or simply waiting for a family member - most will welcome the distraction that your donation can give.
Foster kids are often shuttled from house to house and many foster families don't have a lot of extra money to spend on toys. That's why organizations such as Foster Cares are always in need of donations. Contact your local Department of Social Services to find a similar program in your area.
Preparing Toys to Donate
Each organization that takes donated toys has guidelines for what types of items are accepted. Most request that donations are in good condition and in proper working order, simply because they don't have the resources to repair broken items. Some are hesitant to accept used stuffed animals because of concern about the potential for transferring germs.
Before dropping off secondhand toys at a nonprofit organization call to verify that the types of items you want to give are things the agency needs. If the organization you contact isn't able to utilize what you want to donate, it's likely that the person you speak with will be able to refer you to another charitable group that is in desperate need of the items you have.