But I can't throw these away!
August 4, 2010 1:29 PM   Subscribe

Where can I donate used toys?

I have a bunch of used toys from my younger sister - mostly stuffed animals, most of which are also in fairly good condition (some were barely touched). Unfortunately, I checked my local Goodwill and they do not take any toys. But are there any places that do? I would prefer places that have some charitable aspect vs. say, a thrift store. Location: Boston area.
posted by leedly to Grab Bag (17 answers total)
 
Around here, police and firefighters have programs to distribute gifts to needy children. You may want to call and ask if there's anything like that happening with those organizations in your area.

Two more thoughts -- Child Protective Services, and any local children's hospital.
posted by bearwife at 1:33 PM on August 4, 2010


Women's shelter? I'm not local, but that's what I'm planning to do when I tackle my kids' playroom. I don't know if they'll take stuffed animals, though. Lots of places won't because they can't really be cleaned.
posted by pyjammy at 1:34 PM on August 4, 2010


Salvation Army. Hadassah.
posted by musofire at 1:38 PM on August 4, 2010


If you don't mind donating to private individuals rather than groups or institutions, then Freecycle might be a possibility. I'd imagine the Boston chapter must be pretty lively.
posted by Bardolph at 1:43 PM on August 4, 2010


Homeless shelters, doctor's offices, health clinics, government offices - any place where children might have to hang out with their parents for a long time.

My local freecycle group always has offers and requests for toys, although not stuffed animals so much.

If they are particular characters, you might be able to sell them on eBay to collectors.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 1:44 PM on August 4, 2010


Check your county/state hospital or children's hospital, particularly pediatric rehab units. They may be able to use the toys in intervention or for inpatient use. Pretty sure they won't take the stuffed animals or anything that can't be sterilized though.
posted by lilnublet at 1:48 PM on August 4, 2010


The SPCA or other animal shelter might appreciate them. I know the S.F. one used to take soft toys.
posted by vickyverky at 1:49 PM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hospitals, at least around here, only take new toys with tags, and so do the shelters I've volunteered at – you may be unable to find an organization that will accept used toys. Try posting them on Craigslist to see who might need them?
posted by halogen at 1:59 PM on August 4, 2010


Around here, police and firefighters have programs to distribute gifts to needy children. You may want to call and ask if there's anything like that happening with those organizations in your area.

Every toy drive I've seen like this insists on new toys with packaging/tags intact. That's the whole point: needy kids finally getting a new toy all for their own, instead of a hand me down or something salvaged from Goodwill.
posted by availablelight at 2:05 PM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nobody will take used stuffed animals, as we discovered to our dismay recently, because they can't be sterilized. People try to sell them on eBay, but there are no takers there, either. We ended up just throwing them away.
posted by briank at 2:08 PM on August 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am in Electrician in Central Florida - and sometimes we work at this farm workers clinic. It is a non-profit group that helps migrant farmer workers (I live near among the Citrus Groves).

They love to get used toys, and distribute them to the clients.

I realize that there are no migrant farmers in the Boston area - but my experience makes me think that you should check out non-profit groups to offer services to immigrants.
posted by Flood at 2:34 PM on August 4, 2010


Casey Family Programs is a national foster care agency that has a Boston division. If they don't take donations, they will most likely have a resource or referral to those who do.
posted by nickjadlowe at 2:39 PM on August 4, 2010


Children's Hospital in Boston might be worth trying.
posted by cazoo at 3:49 PM on August 4, 2010


I found some links for used children's toys on google.
posted by bearwife at 3:56 PM on August 4, 2010


Umm -- in Boston. Among the links are the Boston Public Library and a number of Boston area shelters.
posted by bearwife at 3:57 PM on August 4, 2010


I just donated a bunch of used stuffed animals to a refugee family I found through our church. Seemed like a good use of the stuffed animals. So, try local churches/refugee organizations?
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:38 PM on August 4, 2010


When I bring things to my local kids' consignment shop, I sign an agreement that says if they reject the items for sale (and they take toys) I can pick them back up, or they will donate them. You may want to check with local consignment shops in your area to see if they can recommend something.
posted by pinky at 5:58 PM on August 4, 2010


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