How to Donate Toys to Goodwill Without Ever Leaving Home

Overview of the Give Back Box Initiative

Father and Son Putting Together Donation Box of Toys
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According to the Give Back Box, each year, an estimated 11 million tons of items are placed in the trash, which includes clothing, footwear, towels, and bedding. With the surge in online shopping, 30 million tons of cardboard boxes are also thrown away or discarded into landfills each year.

The Give Back Box

Parents quickly realize that within the first year of their child's life how toys overtake the living room. Within months babies advance from playing with rattles to pushing buttons on cause and effect toys, stacking blocks, completing puzzles and hopping on and off a ride-on toy. 

Birthday and holiday celebrations are the obvious times of year when toys enter the home. Lots of times parents unexpectedly buy little toys at the checkout line, or grandma comes to visit dropping off a few new items. With the push of a button, in 24-48 hours new toys can also arrive on the doorstep from popular online shopping sites like Amazon.

Having a toy donation strategy is important, and everyone's is different. Some people save toys for a sibling to use, and others offer toys to friends and family members. Many try and find community places which could benefit from their items. Some toys get sold during yard sales or in local community sale groups.

Keeping up with the requirements of community locations which could benefit from used toys is not easy. Most agencies, like Toys for Tots, prefer to receive brand new toys for donation, rather than gently used items. Donating and organizing toys for sale or donation can be very overwhelming. Unfortunately, to save time, many people opt to throw working toys and other items in the trash.

The Give Back Box is an initiative that now allows people to pass on their items to those in need. Families can now donate toys to Goodwill, without ever leaving the house. 

Here's How

  1. Take the time and sort through the child's toys and decide which items to donate. Small action figures, educational toys, rattles, teethers, cars, dolls, stuffed animals, puzzles and games are excellent choices for this program. Throw out broken toys that could be a choking hazard. Look through game boxes and confirm that all of the pieces are present. Consider sorting similar toys from a set by packing them into separate plastic bags.

  2. Gather up all extra cardboard boxes, especially those boxes received from various online purchases through retailers such as Amazon.

  3. Place your toy items and other items to donate, such as the toys into the box. Stuff the box completely. Add gently used clothing, shoes, linens (sheets and towels), and kitchen items. Do not donate electronics, fragile items, hazardous items or anything that includes a liquid.

  4. Seal the box, then go to and print a free shipping label. No need to have any payment ready, Goodwill pays for the shipping. 

  5. Secure the label to the box. Make sure to print a separate label for each box.

  6. Determine whether to drop off the box at a UPS or USPS location. For those who do not have time to get to a community location, it is also possible to go online through USPS and place an order for online pick up of the box.

  7. Once the box is picked up, it will ship to a local participating Goodwill organization.

  8. Do not forget to create an account with the Give Back Box. After printing the label, donators will receive a tracking number. Once the item is shipped, they will receive a receipt which can be used to keep track of items for tax donation purposes. 

Items delivered through this program are re-sold in a retail location. Goodwill uses the monies received from these sales for many reasons. Goodwill offers career counseling, education, mentoring and provide employment placement and job training for more than 2 million people each year.

Retail partners who are in support of the Give Back Box initiative include Amazon, Overstock, Loft, REI, Levi's, Asics, Ann Taylor, Uncommongoods, Bon-Ton, viva Terra, Ecru, Bonobos, Scrubs & Beyond, ebags, Lou&Grey, and Cherry Mad. Retailers who sign on to this initiative are not responsible for the shipping fee. Goodwill covers those. 

All United States states, including Alaska and Hawaii, can participate in this program. 

Gather a box and start filling it up! The community and the environment are both able to benefit from your generosity.