Christmas is a joyous time of the year, but for many children, Christmas can be a somber event when there are no gifts for them under the tree. Community members who wish to share a little bit of joy during the Christmas season may donate gifts to local toy drives throughout the community. The toys are offered to both kids in need and families experiencing hardships.
Toys for Tots Toy Drive
The United States Marines have hosted the Toys for Tots program to benefit children during the Christmas season since 1947. Toys for Tots is often announced every year on the radio and television to invite the public to bring toys for under-privileged children and families that have registered with the organization. Toys must be donated unwrapped and placed in donation bins indicated throughout local communities. Cash donations are accepted for the program as well.
Saint Vincent de Paul Villages Toy Drive
Organizations, such as Saint Vincent de Paul Villages, are open to toy donations during the Christmas season through its annual toy drive. Community members may donate new, unwrapped toys for kids inside retail stores and church parishes that have partnered with the organization. Monetary donations may also be given to the Saint Vincent de Paul's Santa Mike fund, which has been giving gifts to children for 40 years.
Spark of Love Toy Drive
Fire departments across the nation collect toys for children during the Christmas holiday, such as the Los Angeles County Fire Department's Spark of Love toy drive. About 35,000 toys are distributed to underprivileged children annually across the county. Residents can drop off new, unwrapped toys as early as Thanksgiving, to fire department locations and stores that have partnered with the organization. Sports equipment may also be donated to the organization as a gift for children. Check with your local fire department to see if they sponsor a similar drive.
Child's Play Toy Drive
Founded in 2003, Child's Play is a year-round toy drive where online visitors may donate toys via the internet. The organization teams up with children's hospital staff throughout the United States and abroad to create a wish list for patients who are in the hospital due to a serious illness. Visitors may select a location on the Child's Play website and be navigated to the hospitals wish list. Toys purchased on the hospital's wish list will be shipped to the hospital for the holidays.