30 Day Giving Challenge: Donating Gently Used Toys

This month I’ve been finding ways to give of my time, talents, and money every day from supporting friends to teaching Sunday School at my church.  With the holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to give the gently used toys your children no longer want or play with to children in need, so one of our giving projects this week is to go through toys to decide which ones should be donated. One challenge I have always faced in donating toys is that many organizations will only accept toys that are new in their packaging.  However, the weeks leading up to the holidays are the perfect time to donate to locations that sell used toys at greatly reduced prices giving families with limited budgets the opportunity to buy gifts for their children.  To help you and your family participate in the 30 Day Giving Challenge by donating gently used toys, I’ve compiled a list of places that will accept toys that are no longer new.

1. Second Chance Toys: With locations in the New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Chicago areas, Second Chance Toys collects and recycles plastic toys for kids in need.

2. Women’s Crisis Centers/Shelters: We donated many of our baby items to a local clinic for women facing the uncertainty of an unexpected pregnancy, and many similar locations will accept toys for the women and children they serve.

3. Children’s Hospitals: Every hospital has a different policy regarding the types of toys that they can accept, so be sure to call ahead.

4. Church Nursery: Most places of worship provide a nursery service for their members, and they often need new toys for the littlest members of the congregation!

5. Freecycle: Freecycle is a way to give items away at no cost to people locally who could use those items.  Be aware that some people watch Freecycle listings to find items to sell for a profit.  When we use Freecycle I watch the responses to try to determine where there is actually a need.

6. Family to Family: Family to Family is a nonprofit matching families who are able to give with families in need. They let me know via Twitter that they also accept gently used toys for their families!

7. Thrift shops, Salvation Army, Goodwill: If you are able to find a thrift shop with a charitable component, you’ll not only provide families on a restricted budget with a greater variety of toys to purchase, but the money they spend will go to a good cause.  We like to donate to our local hospital women’s board thrift store.

8. Hold a Yard Sale, Donate the Money: While it can be frustrating that charities such as Ronald McDonald House are not able to accept gently used toys, they can accept monetary donations.  Sell the items your children no longer need and include them in the process of donating the funds raised to a charity of their choice!

9. Children’s Counseling Centers: Contact your county government to find out if there are children’s counseling centers that are able to accept donations.

10. Organizations the “Pick Up”: In many areas the Vietnam Veterans of America, Easter Seals, and Purple Heart Service Foundation (and many other organizations) will pick up your donations.

11. Operation Christmas Child: The Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child accepts gently used toys in their holiday shoeboxes for children, but act fast! Collection week is happening now!

If you’re a blogger, feel free to link up your giving post here. Don’t have a blog? You can leave a comment below with your giving ideas. I invite everyone to participate.

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