the village - Where to donate used toys

Helping to raise parents with our own blend of parenting stories, advice and cool finds.
The village: helping raise parents with our own blend of parenting stories, advice, hacks and cool finds

SPRING CLEANING

Where to donate used toys

by Sarah Kossits

After you finally find the time to go through all of your kids’ toys and you have them organized to your heart’s desire, you may be wondering what to do with the mountain of items in the “reject” pile. Putting them in the garbage is a definite no (unless they’re broken & dangerous) and dropping them off at a bin—though a good option— is not satisfying as you would like the second-hand experience to be. If your goal is to find other ways to donate gently used toys that will have a direct impact on your community all while giving your children first-hand experience with donations & charity, then consider the four ways to donate them below!

Have a garage sale

While this option involves selling the used toys, it can still be a charitable learning experience for your children. Having a garage sale or participating in a flea market is one of the only ways to let your kids witness someone else taking direct ownership of the toys they once loved. Though they don’t realize it yet, the feeling they’ll get from watching another child light up with their old toy is one that they’ll enjoy having and that they’ll be proud to have. After the garage sale, teach your children about different types of charities and ask them to pick one they like. Donating the proceeds from the sale to the charity of their choice is a great way to give your children firsthand experience with giving their toys a second life and with generosity altogether!

Pass it down

Sometimes you don’t need to look far to find someone who would enjoy your kids’ old toys as much as they did. As they say, the simplest solution is often the one right front of your face! Passing them down to younger family members, friends or neighbours is a guaranteed way know that the toys will be used and loved again. As an extra-sweet bonus, maybe you’ll get to see your little one playing with their younger cousins using the same toy at a future family gathering!

Daycares & schools

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for daycares and schools to be severely underfunded. For many children, the few toys that these institutions have are all that they get to play with at recess, during lunch and after school! Chances are they’ll be playing with the same toys very often.

To get your kids excited about the idea of donating to a school or a daycare, ask them about their favourite school toys. They’re sure to have one and they’ll likely to talk about how much fun it is! Then tell them that they can make others just as happy as they are when they play with that specific toy by donating their old ones to a school themselves. Doing so will make the toys loved by many other children at once, giving them not only a second life but a third, a fourth, a fifth... the list goes on.

The same concept of a toy being loved by many children also applies to pediatricians’ offices. Give yours a call and ask if their waiting room toys can be freshened up.

Non-profits & shelters

Another way to give their used toys a second life is to reach out to local non-profits, children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, orphanages and social service departments. These places often face the same issues as schools & daycares in regard to underfunding and they all do very important work in the community.

For children in the hospital, the simple gift of a used toy is enough to brighten their day, which makes a world of difference for them (and their families!) in a difficult time. Similarly, parents coming out of abusive relationships sometimes have to flee quickly with their children. These families may end up using a local homeless shelter, so any toys donated there will provide comfort to a child during a scary time.

“To get your kids excited about the idea of donating to a school or a daycare, ask them about their favourite school toys.”

Donating to a local orphanage, social service department, child protection or foster care agency is also a very good option for your child’s gently loved toys because sadly, most children in these systems don’t have enough belongings to fill a small bag. Your donation can give children some stability by having something to truly call their own. Toys donated here also have the potential to provide joy to many children if given to foster parents, as they’ll see multiple kids come through their front doors.

Providing comfort to a child in a scary and uncertain situation may be a difficult thing to do, but donating used toys to a non-profit or a shelter allows you to have a direct impact on their lives and to give them a little light during a dark time.

When you’re looking for different ways to get rid of your kids’ used toys that will have a direct impact on your community, you can be sure that the places and ideas listed above will not see your donation go to waste. As a bonus, it will be a big teaching moment for your children as they will be able to see the impact the donation has for themselves and it can help them to better understand that not everyone is as fortunate as they are. Most importantly, it will instill in your children that helping others is a good & beautiful thing to do.

SPRING CLEANING

Where to donate used toys

by Sarah Kossits

After you finally find the time to go through all of your kids’ toys and you have them organized to your heart’s desire, you may be wondering what to do with the mountain of items in the “reject” pile. Putting them in the garbage is a definite no (unless they’re broken & dangerous) and dropping them off at a bin—though a good option— is not satisfying as you would like the second-hand experience to be. If your goal is to find other ways to donate gently used toys that will have a direct impact on your community all while giving your children first-hand experience with donations & charity, then consider the four ways to donate them below!

Have a garage sale

While this option involves selling the used toys, it can still be a charitable learning experience for your children. Having a garage sale or participating in a flea market is one of the only ways to let your kids witness someone else taking direct ownership of the toys they once loved. Though they don’t realize it yet, the feeling they’ll get from watching another child light up with their old toy is one that they’ll enjoy having and that they’ll be proud to have. After the garage sale, teach your children about different types of charities and ask them to pick one they like. Donating the proceeds from the sale to the charity of their choice is a great way to give your children firsthand experience with giving their toys a second life and with generosity altogether!

Pass it down

Sometimes you don’t need to look far to find someone who would enjoy your kids’ old toys as much as they did. As they say, the simplest solution is often the one right front of your face! Passing them down to younger family members, friends or neighbours is a guaranteed way know that the toys will be used and loved again. As an extra-sweet bonus, maybe you’ll get to see your little one playing with their younger cousins using the same toy at a future family gathering!

Daycares & schools

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for daycares and schools to be severely underfunded. For many children, the few toys that these institutions have are all that they get to play with at recess, during lunch and after school! Chances are they’ll be playing with the same toys very often.

To get your kids excited about the idea of donating to a school or a daycare, ask them about their favourite school toys. They’re sure to have one and they’ll likely to talk about how much fun it is! Then tell them that they can make others just as happy as they are when they play with that specific toy by donating their old ones to a school themselves. Doing so will make the toys loved by many other children at once, giving them not only a second life but a third, a fourth, a fifth... the list goes on.

The same concept of a toy being loved by many children also applies to pediatricians’ offices. Give yours a call and ask if their waiting room toys can be freshened up.

Non-profits & shelters

Another way to give their used toys a second life is to reach out to local non-profits, children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, orphanages and social service departments. These places often face the same issues as schools & daycares in regard to underfunding and they all do very important work in the community.

For children in the hospital, the simple gift of a used toy is enough to brighten their day, which makes a world of difference for them (and their families!) in a difficult time. Similarly, parents coming out of abusive relationships sometimes have to flee quickly with their children. These families may end up using a local homeless shelter, so any toys donated there will provide comfort to a child during a scary time.

“To get your kids excited about the idea of donating to a school or a daycare, ask them about their favourite school toys.”

Donating to a local orphanage, social service department, child protection or foster care agency is also a very good option for your child’s gently loved toys because sadly, most children in these systems don’t have enough belongings to fill a small bag. Your donation can give children some stability by having something to truly call their own. Toys donated here also have the potential to provide joy to many children if given to foster parents, as they’ll see multiple kids come through their front doors.

Providing comfort to a child in a scary and uncertain situation may be a difficult thing to do, but donating used toys to a non-profit or a shelter allows you to have a direct impact on their lives and to give them a little light during a dark time.

When you’re looking for different ways to get rid of your kids’ used toys that will have a direct impact on your community, you can be sure that the places and ideas listed above will not see your donation go to waste. As a bonus, it will be a big teaching moment for your children as they will be able to see the impact the donation has for themselves and it can help them to better understand that not everyone is as fortunate as they are. Most importantly, it will instill in your children that helping others is a good & beautiful thing to do.

Sarah Kossits is a Montreal-based writer with five years experience writing about sports, feature stories, food and more! Having grown up with a very busy schedule, she became passionate about organization at a young age and still organizes every aspect of her life as an adult. In her free time you can find her playing hockey, sipping a strong coffee or taking a nap!

Sarah Kossits is a Montreal-based writer with five years experience writing about sports, feature stories, food and more! Having grown up with a very busy schedule, she became passionate about organization at a young age and still organizes every aspect of her life as an adult. In her free time you can find her playing hockey, sipping a strong coffee or taking a nap!

Top of Page