Do you have gently used toys or books your kids aren’t using anymore? Instead of abandoning them on the Island of Misfit Toys, donate them to one of these organizations and make someone else’s holiday brighter. Check out each org's website to see if they accept other donations besides toys and books, too.
Guidelines: Varies by organization
Don’t have time to sort through all your kids’ stuff for each different charity? Donation Town brings hundreds of organizations together, so you can send your used games, sports equipment, action figures, dolls or stuffed animals to one place. Keep in mind they don’t accept broken toys or toys with missing parts. Find a charity in your area online that you can schedule a free pickup of your goods with.
Guidelines: Accepts everything light and small enough for a person to easily carry
Downsize their stuffed animal collection this season by giving a few to a child in need. In partnership with The Vietnam Veterans of America, you can schedule a pickup that benefits their org through Pick Up Please. Give away everything from board games to dolls to sports equipment.
Guidelines: New or gently used children's books
This organization specializes in promoting literacy at a young age. Medical providers associated with the org give kids books at well-visits to emphasize the importance of reading from an early age. There are 67 spots to drop your books off in the state, so you're bound to find a locale near you. You can also give a monetary donation, donate via your Amazon purchases and more.
Guidelines: Toys can be used; books can be used, but must be in good condition
Roxbury’s social services department in Morris County) is on the lookout for all kinds of household items, including baby clothes, used toys, and crafting supplies. Not close to Roxbury? Call your local social services department to see if they’ll take similar donations.
Guidelines: You can donate just about anything
The most famous symbol of giving back during the holiday season accepts all kinds of stuff from clothes to bikes to stuffed animals. Schedule a pickup of your items or drop it off at a NJ donation box.
How to Donate: donate.salavationarmyusa.org
Guidelines: Plastic toys
This group will give the tons of old toys in your house a new life (and your family more living space). Plus, handing them in at one of the locations in NJ or NYC keeps that non-degradable plastic out of landfills. Keep in mind this organization requires batteries to be included if a toy needs them to operate. Also, they're a seasonal operation, so drop-offs near you may only be running around Earth Week in April and December during the holidays. Check back online as the holiday season draws nearer.
Guidelines: Nothing that looks like a realistic weapon or with food; must be new
Run by the US Marines, Toys for Tots has several toy drop-off locales that you can leave new, unwrapped toys at. Search by county to find a spot near you. You can also set up a collection near you yourself, host your own Toys of Tots event at home or volunteer at a nearby warehouse.
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