Do you have a couple of teddy bears and action figures under your bed that are begging to be played but there are no more kids around your house? Or, if you are a child at heart and yet simply don’t have time for them anymore due to other hobbies and your career, how do you dispose of them properly?
A donation is always a great option for you, in that case. Instead of throwing old toys away, why not put them to another use? We think that donating toys is a timeless act of kindness not just to people but also to the environment.
- 1 Where to Donate Used Toys
- 2 What happens to donated toys?
Where to Donate Used Toys
If you want to know where you can send off your used toys so that they’ll have a renewed purpose, here are your options:
A good first option is to go into charitable organizations that take most material donations – including toys. Examples of such organizations include Goodwill and Salvation Army. Depending on where you live, different organizations could be available, so you can search your locality for qualified charitable groups.
By giving your toys to these organizations, you can help the less fortunate children to have happiness. Aside from giving the toys to the children, they might also sell some of them, in which the profits go into their programs that will benefit communities.
If you have a daycare center near you, old toys can be donated to them. After all, kids could wear out toys quickly so these daycare centers could have problems with managing their toy collection for their children. By giving your old and used toys, you are giving these kids new items to play with while saving the expenses of the center.
For those who don’t know where to find a daycare center, you can ask relatives, parents, neighbors, or search online. Look for the guidelines of the daycare center in question as to what they can accept for donation in terms of toys.
If you’ve seen a pediatrician’s clinic, you’re more likely to see a plethora of toys, which are used to entertain children while they are having their check-ups or if they are sick. That’s where your donations could go– if you like.
Try finding a pediatrician clinic in your locality and ask if you can donate your old toys. They will gladly accept anything, so long as it is properly sanitized and safe for little kids. Doctor clinics usually have non-fur stuffed toys with bright colors, which will entertain children during the check-ups.
Having toys in the pediatrician’s clinic will help a lot in setting a better mood for children. We all know how difficult it is for children to go see a doctor due to the bitterness of the medicine, the scary syringe needle, and various other tests. That’s why having toys could help pamper them when they feel stressed.
Aside from pediatrician clinics, you can also donate your old and used toys to a local hospital. Be wary that your toys should be properly sanitized so that they will be accepted. With this in mind, not all hospitals will take old toys to avoid illnesses from spreading.
Check the hospital in question to see if they are accepting toys for donation. Most of these toys go into rooms and pampering children, much like with pediatrics mentioned above.
Hospitals can be traumatic and stressful for young children, which is why giving them toys will keep them entertained, especially if the toys have bright colors. Children who are admitted will also lessen their pain and/or discomfort.
Homeless people are often kept by shelters – and you might find some children in there as well. This is why they could also be ideal places to donate your old toys.
If you know a local shelter, contact them to know if they do accept donations of toys. Aside from that, when you bring toys to the shelter, you could also bring other worthy donations that you know people could use, such as hygiene kits and clothes.
After all, if children get rescued and end up in a local shelter, chances are, they won’t have anything for themselves, so toys would make a great gift for them.
Children’s Homes and/or Orphanages
Are you worried about different toys not catering to different age groups? Check out a local children’s home near you – they will accept all kinds of toys for all ages. That’s because they will not just have young kids, but will also have older kids.
These older kids don’t get as many toys as the youngsters so if you do have such toys, you might want to donate to them as well. Locate a children’s home in your area to see what you can give to them, as well as other guidelines that you need to know about.
Military families are constantly supported by Operation Homefront, which will give toys directly to the beneficiaries. Children will feel stressed if they left their old toys at home due to war issues. That’s when they might need new toys – and you can donate them to the children.
As religious groups are also charitable organizations, they will gladly accept toy donations from anyone. They will use such toys to donate to children in need.
No matter what your religious belief might be, you’ll find these religious groups almost everywhere – but make sure that they’re reputable and have a clean record. Get a list of the kinds of toys that they’re willing to accept so you can prepare ahead.
Most often, religious groups will donate such toys to kids during the Christmas season, so it’s always a feel-good way of paying it forward.
Police and Fire Departments
Although an unpopular choice for donating toys, most police and fire departments can accept such. The reason for that is to comfort children who were greatly affected by a disaster, such as a fire incident, a traumatic event such as a crime, and many others.
To find out more, contact your local police and/or fire department to see what you can donate, and any guidelines, if ever. By donating to them, children who were greatly affected by any untoward incident will feel more comfortable.
Local Social Welfare Department
Get in touch with your local social welfare department to see what kinds of toys they can accept as donations. These toys go into social service as they continue to create programs that benefit the community, which might include homeless children and the like.
Your local social welfare department may vary depending on the type of government in your country, but there should be one in every city or town.
What happens to donated toys?
So, why should you donate toys? What are the benefits? Here are some to get you convinced:
1. Less impact on our dumpsite and the environment
When you go to a dumpsite in your locality, you are most likely to find a bunch of broken stuffed toys, as well as plastic play kitchen sets, dolls, action figures, and much more. The problem is that most of these toys are made from plastic material, which isn’t exactly biodegradable.
The result of this is harmful to our environment. When we leave broken and old toys into the dumpster, we fill up our landfills too much, leaving less room for other trash that we throw away. This, in turn, gives us the problem of finding additional space for other important activities, such as planting food crops.
Therefore, if we donate our old toys instead of just throwing them away will allow them to be saved from the dumpster. It’s always heartbreaking to see your Care Bears, Barbie, or Furby collection ending up in a big pile of dirt, forgotten and then crushed down by machines.
2. You give the toys a second life
As mentioned above, toys deserve to get a second chance. If you remember the movie “Toy Story” and all of its sequels, it teaches us the value of caring for our toys even if we no longer want to play with them anymore (or don’t have time for them).
By giving your toys away to charity and to people who don’t have easy access to them, you are giving a new purpose to the toys. If these toys had a heart and feelings, they would be filled with joy to have a second chance of being playable. And, when the toys get reused, it’s always a fulfilling experience.
3. You spread happiness
There’s nothing purer than spreading joy to the children. Many kids in orphanages and the like want to get a new toy for Christmas or during their birthday, but it’s not always possible. However, you can make it possible with a toy donation.
There’s a saying that goes: “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”. When you send away the toys that you no longer need, who knows – some kid (or kid at heart) might want to have that toy for themselves and it would bring them happiness.
The Foraged Life is a space for sharing stories. From bits made from homegrowns or hand foraged from nature to places to explore and adventure near and far. From stories from the wild to encounters with people and the earth that point to a way of doing life that is conscious of treading lightly and lovingly.