How to Donate a Toy to Toys for Tots

There are dozens of ways to give and gift toys to families in need

Toys for tots donation at build a bear workshop
Build-A-Bear Workshop

Do you want to make a difference to a family in need who lives in your community?

During the holiday season, many organizations like Toys For Tots coordinate toy donation drives so that all children have the benefit of receiving a few new popular toys, books, and other gifts during the holiday season.

Toys for Tots is a nationwide, not-for-profit organization, organized by the Marine Corp, which has offices that coordinate donations located within each state. Toys for Tots gifts are given directly to individual families, as well as non-profit organizations who assist others in need.

A local marine in your community is in charge of organizing the Toys for Tots campaign. Toy collections for Toys for Tots occur from October through early December.

After you purchase a new, unwrapped toy for a child aged newborn through 16, follow these steps to donate to Toys for Tots:

Find a Drop-Off Location

Bring an unwrapped toy to a participating retail location nationwide. Organizations like Build-A-Bear Workshop, Toys "R" Us, Babies "R" Us, and AC Moore might be drop-off locations in your community. In addition, organizations that are drop-off locations may have other ways to help families in need.

In the past, Build-A-Bear Workshop has donated a bear to a family in return for each toy donated. Toys "R" Us has incorporated their #playitforward campaign. When buying gifts, people can tag an image on social media with the #playitforward hashtag. In return Toys "R" Us has offered to donate additional toys to Toys for Tots. Popular toy and game companies have also worked along to donate cash and/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,

There are also drop-off locations at smaller community locations, so visit to search for the location nearest you. 

Host a Drop-Off Location

You can host your own drop-off location by planning an event at your home, workplace or in a community location. Just encourage friends to stop by and donate an unwrapped toy. Consider encouraging friends to bring toys for donation to a holiday or birthday party.

You may also want to involve your children in the donation process by contacting Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other community service groups who can organize a drive on their own. 

Donate Money

If you are not sure what to buy or do not have the time or resources to get to a store, you can donate money online using a credit card. Donations can also be made online in memory of or tribute to individuals. Those donating in memory of will receive personalized cards as a thank you for their donation. Monetary donations can be made at any time throughout the year, not just during the holiday season.

eBay Donation

If you like to sell used toys on eBay, you can donate 10-100% of your final sale price to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Donators can receive tax deductions, as well as a credit on eBay selling fees.

Donate a Vehicle

Do you have an old car, truck, or RV that you no longer want or need? Consider donating your vehicle to a charity like Toys for Tots, you can receive a tax deduction and the organization is able to receive proceeds from the donation.

Volunteer Your Time and Resources

Many Toys for Tots locations benefit from individuals who volunteer their time to help the organization at the warehouse sorting toys or by dropping off signage and collection bins at retail locations.

What Types of Toys to Donate

While there are many lists of popular toys for kids of all ages, there is no preapproved donation list for Toys for Tots. You may want to consider donating toys from categories that include sporting equipment/bags/balls, books, backpacks, board games, radio control cars/trucks, hand-held electronics, and skateboards/helmets. Please do not gift food or toys that look like realistic weapons.

Toys for Tots is also in need of restaurants and individuals who are able to sponsor food for volunteers.