When you donate Christmas toys to needy children, or abused, sick and neglected children, you provide a glimmer of hope and inspiration for kids in the U.S. and around the world. Holiday donations are desperately needed, such as: donated Christmas toys, clothes, children’s books, stuffed animals and other gifts that provide for children’s basic needs, with a large number of charity organizations gearing up for what is expected to be a greater number of donation requests and applications for Christmas assistance than previous years.
When you consider the large number of evacuees affected by Hurricane Gustav, followed by Hurricane Ike along the U.S. Gulf, along with the nearly 13 million U.S. children and low-income families living below the federal poverty level, the need for help from charity donations, toy drives and Christmas donations for needy children and families is very high.
Not only do toy donations and gifts for Christmas bring a smile to children in need, but generously giving from the heart is an excellent way of teaching children compassion and empathy for others less fortunate then themselves by directly involving children in toy drives and toy donations, but charitable giving helps kids have a better understanding and appreciation for what they already have.
How and Where to Donate:
When choosing the how, what, when and where to donate toys and gifts, get your children involved. Discuss re-gifting and donating outgrown, unwanted, rarely used toys, clothes, games and stuffed animals in excellent condition to charity organizations, hospitals and clinics that need them.
Needy children stuck in hospitals for long periods of time with chronic health conditions would greatly appreciate your donation of art supplies, board games, toys and stuffed animals as Christmas gifts, providing needed entertainment and distraction from sometimes painful tests and treatments.
Donate unwrapped, new or gently used toys, games, clothes, children’s books and stuffed animals to needy children to trustworthy charity organizations, making sure gently used items, toys or board games have all the needed game pieces. Before donating used gift items, ask yourself if you or your child would want to be given such a gift for Christmas, based on the condition of each item.
Angel Tree-The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program provides new clothing or toys for children of needy families, with angel tree’s often found in high-traffic areas such as malls, churches and corporations. Each tree is decorated with numbered paper angel tags with the first name, age and gender of a child who will receive the gift. To sponsor a child from the Angel Tree, simply remove one or more tags from the tree and purchase appropriate gifts for the child or children described on the tags. The organization displaying the Angel Tree is also the collection point or drop-off location for all gifts.
Toys for Tots- The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program helps needy children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; playing an active role in collecting and delivering a shiny new toy at Christmas. Local toy collection campaigns begin in October and last until December 22, with toy deliveries normally taking place on December 23 and 24. Community members drop new, unwrapped toys at toys for tots locations, which are collection boxes positioned in local businesses. These toys are stored in warehouses, sorted by age and gender, and then delivered to needy children at Christmastime.
Operation Christmas Child- Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to needy children around the world through shoe boxes or small plastic containers filled with unwrapped toys, school supplies, candy and other gifts, then shipped to needy children overseas with a personal note included. Suggested gift ideas include toys like small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, and toys that light up and/or make noise. Christmas gifts of pencils, pens, crayons, markers, coloring books and other art supplies are encouraged, as are gifts of toothbrushes,
toothpaste, bar soap, and other personal care, hygiene items.
Make a Wish Foundation- You can make this holiday season special for children dealing with life-threatening medical conditions and illnesses by your generous donations to the Make a Wish Foundation of America Adopt-A-Wish program, thus helping a child’s dream come true. Make a Wish’s unique holiday donation options help grant the wishes of children, creating special memories for the wish child and family. Those who adopt a wish by making a donation are provided a unique and special story of how your donation bought joy to a wish child.
My Two Front Teeth- My Two Front Teeth is a non-profit, charity organization that provides donated toys to underprivileged children in daycare, preschools and community agencies. You can donate toys online; just sign up to receive an email notification prior to the holiday season, choose a child to sponsor and purchase and donate toys to children in need via My Two Front Teeth. My Two Front Teeth offers a personalized, online gift-giving experience to aid underprivileged children. Children are selected through community organizations and allowed to individually pick their one holiday wish.
The Christmas holiday season is fast approaching, so start an annual tradition of charitable giving, donating toys and other items to needy children and families. Setting the right example and role-modeling heartfelt giving, volunteering to help serve holiday meals in shelters or soup kitchens for the homeless, children are less likely to grow up with a serious case of entitlement and will have better appreciation and gratitude for what parents have done for them throughout the years.