Donating toys at Christmas is a great way to get into the holiday spirit and help ensure that all kids receive a gift during the holiday season, regardless of their families' financial situations. In the weeks and months leading up to Christmas, charities big and small, religious institutions and community organizations collect toys for children. There are also ways to donate gifts virtually if that is easier.
Donate Toys for Christmas Locally
In many cities and towns across the country, local institutions organize toy drives at Christmas time that benefit kids in the community who might not otherwise receive gifts. Check local newspapers for places to donate Christmas gifts in your area.
Video of the Day
You can also reach out to local businesses, shelters and religious institutions to determine who is accepting toys in your neighborhood. Be sure to check the rules for what types of toys are accepted, what age group is targeted by a particular program and whether or not the gifts should be wrapped.
During the holiday season, many companies and corporations also arrange opportunities for their employees to donate toys and volunteer. Therefore, if you work for a large company, reach out to the human resources department to find out if such opportunities are available to you.
National Toy Drives
Many national organizations hold toy drives during the holiday season. If you can't make it to a drop-off site, many of these organizations also accept monetary donations on their websites that go towards the purchase of Christmas gifts for children.
One of the best known organizations of this kind is the Toys for Tots Foundation, an initiative of the United States Marine Corps, for which there are local campaigns across the country. This is one way to donate toys to underprivileged children. Search the Toys for Tots website to locate an institution near you that is collecting gifts. Note that all toys must be new and unwrapped.
If you'd like to help military families specifically, Dollar Tree stores around the country partner with an organization called Operation Homefront to collect gifts for the children of service members.
Fulfill a Child's Wish List
If you prefer a more personal way to donate toys, consider fulfilling a child's wish list through the U.S. Postal Service's "Operation Santa" program. It works like this: You visit the Operation Santa website and "adopt" a letter a child has written to Santa Claus. You then pick out a gift for that child and mail it from a participating Post Office. The child will receive the gift, addressed from Santa.
The Salvation Army's Walmart Angel Tree program also allows people who want to donate toys at Christmas to purchase gifts from a specific children's wish list. The lists hang from a Christmas tree inside participating Walmart stores. The Salvation Army distributes the gifts to children in need.
Similarly, the Prison Fellowship, a Christian organization that supports incarcerated people, teams up with churches through its Angel Tree Christmas program to provide gifts for children who have a parent in prison. Families receive a Bible along with their gifts.