You can make a difference for a family in need who lives in your community during the holiday season by contributing to Toys for Tots. Organizations like Toys For Tots coordinate toy donation drives so that children have the benefit of receiving a few new popular toys, books, and other gifts during the giving season.
Toys for Tots is a nationwide, not-for-profit organization, organized by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, which has offices that coordinate donations located in each state. Toys for Tots gifts are given directly to individual families, as well as non-profit organizations that assist others in need.
A local Marine in your community is in charge of organizing the Toys for Tots campaign. Toys for Tots collections occur from October through early December.
After you purchase a new, unwrapped toy for a child aged newborn through 16, find a local drop-off location or host a toy drop-off event.
Types of Toys to Donate
While there are many lists of popular toys for kids of all ages, there is no donation wish list for Toys for Tots. Popular toy categories include sporting equipment like bags and balls, books, backpacks, board games, radio control cars/trucks, hand-held electronics, and skateboards/helmets. Do not toys that look like realistic weapons or food items.
Find a Drop-Off Location
Bring an unwrapped toy to a participating retail location nationwide. Organizations like Build-A-Bear Workshop, Kmart, doctor's offices, car dealerships, police stations, and local libraries usually serve as drop-off locations in your community. In addition, organizations that are drop-off locations may have other ways to help families in need.
Build-A-Bear Workshop donates a bear to a family in return for each toy donated. Popular toy and game companies usually donate cash or toys to Toys for Tots include Hasbro, Hallmark, UPS, The Walt Disney Company, Funko, Jazwares, Alex Brands, Asmodee, Discovery Toys, K'Nex, and Jakks Pacific,
Host a Drop-Off Location
You can host your own drop-off location by planning an event at your home, workplace, or community location. Encourage friends to stop by and donate an unwrapped toy at an upcoming holiday or birthday party.
You may also want to involve your children in the donation process by contacting the Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other community service groups who can organize a drive on their own.
If you are not sure what to buy or prefer to skip a trip to a store, you can donate money online using a credit card. Donations can also be made online in memory or as a tribute to individuals. Those giving an in memoriam donation will receive personalized cards as a thank you. Monetary donations can be made at any time throughout the year, not just during the holiday season.
If you sell used toys on eBay, you can donate 10% to 100% of your final sale price to the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation. Donors can receive tax deductions as well as a credit on eBay selling fees.
If you have an old car, truck, or recreational vehicle that you no longer want or need, you can donate that vehicle to Toys for Tots. You can claim a tax deduction for your donation. Toys for Tots will sell the vehicle and and those proceeds benefit the organization and its cause.
Volunteer Your Time and Resources
Many Toys for Tots locations benefit from individuals who volunteer their time to help the organization at the warehouse by sorting toys or dropping off signage and collection bins at retail locations.
Toys for Tots also need restaurants and individuals to donate food for volunteers.