- Women’s Shelters: Although these are hard to find many churches and non-profits can accept your donations and give directly to the shelter. Many women leave with nothing other than their children and some clothes to these shelters. Toys are certainly welcome to keep their minds off leaving their home.
- Fire stations: Firemen keep toys on hand for calls when there is a crisis. Stuffed toys (small ones are best) and other items are always welcome.
- Orphanages: Although they get a lot of toys as well during the holidays they don’t receive as many as hospitals do during the holidays
- Homeless shelters: Food, clothing and shelter are always top priorities however toys are welcome for those that come in children as well
- Churches: Many churches are safe havens for those in crisis.
- Programs or non-profits that travel with food and toys for children. Africa, South America, and many other areas of the world that have outreach programs just for their residents.
Each year I feel a bit guilty at the gluttony of gifts my kids enjoy over the holidays. Each November I find myself setting days aside to go through their playroom to clear out toys they no longer play with anticipating the influx of new in December. They have a difficult time letting go of anything being only 6, although improving. Once I explained where the other toys go and how another child can enjoy the excitement of their toy they simply start handing over. Being as fortunate as we are to afford to give our children a wonderful Christmas, many parents do not have that luxury. A thought for this holiday – if you find your children have been inundated with an onslaught of gifts, maybe see if they are willing to donate some that aren’t their favorite to another child in need. Explain to them the benefit that outweighs the negative to them, show them photos, explain on their level whatever their age is this month. I promise, once broken down in terms they can understand they outcome will be a lot less painful than you probably anticipate. To donate gifts after the holidays there are many places I recommend regardless of where in the country you live. As much as I do with Children’s Hospital through my company and ISP, I recommend against donating to Children’s Hospitals throughout the year. When we were there with Angel they told us they get so many throughout the year they can’t possibly go through them all. So why not spread the love? Places to donate: