The holiday season has arrived! Do you have the desire to help those in need and at the same time purge your home of toys that are no longer being used? Here is a list of local organizations accepting donations of new and gently used toys, along with some places where you can sell used toys around central Indiana.
Where to Give New Toys
There are multiple ways to donate new toys to help those in need around Indianapolis this holiday season.
Riley Cheer Guild
The Riley Cheer Guild works with staff and volunteers at Riley Children’s Hospital and Indiana University Health to enhance the patient’s stay and experience. Donated toys are used for holidays, birthdays, and other special milestones. Call (317) 944-8705 or email RileyCheerGuild@iuhealth.org to discuss your donation and make specific arrangements with Cheer Guild team members. They have wish lists with Amazon and Target where you can purchase the items. To support the Riley Cheer Guild Music Therapy program specifically, shop their Amazon wish list.
St. Vincent Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital
St. Vincent Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital is hosting a toy drive to benefit the hospital’s Child Life program, School Program, and the Healing Arts team. The drive will provide toys and gifts for patients and families. If you have any questions or need to schedule a drop-off, contact the Child Life Team at 317-338-3582 or by email at ChildLife@stvincent.org. To find out their specific needs, you can view their wish list.
Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House of Central Indiana supports families whose children are receiving care at Riley Children’s Hospital and other local pediatric hospitals. This amazing charity provides the comforts of home, activities for patients and siblings, snacks and warm meals, and support in the family rooms at Riley Hospital and at the Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald House has a holiday wish list. If you need more information, have questions, or want to donate something not on their list, contact the Facilities Manager at 317-267-0605 x205.
Toys for Tots
For 75 years, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots Program has collected new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December. These donations are distributed as Christmas gifts to organizations that serve families in need in the community. Toys for Tots has an Amazon wish list. By shopping on Amazon, you can have the items sent directly to the Toys for Tots warehouse. You can also visit their website to find businesses that serve as drop-off locations.
Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child
You may have seen the Operation Christmas Child display at Hobby Lobby or know about the program through your church. Operation Christmas Child delivers shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, and personal care items to children around the world. Drop off your packed shoebox during the 3rd week of November to local church partners who then distribute the shoeboxes. Use average-size shoeboxes or plastic shoebox-sized containers or order preprinted boxes from Samaritan’s Purse. Fill the shoeboxes with a “Wow” item and include smaller toys, puzzles, hygiene items, and school supplies.
Salvation Army Angel Tree
Central Indiana’s Angel Tree is a way to give to a child (“angel”) in need by shopping their wish list for Christmas. When adopting an angel, you should expect to spend about $75-$100 on gifts and 2-3 stocking stuffers. Visit this website to choose your angel. Your donated gifts will go directly to the specific child you select. To make sure your selected angel(s) receives their gifts in time for Christmas, plan to deliver your gifts as soon as possible and no later than the final due date shown at checkout. Please limit your adoptions to 10 at a time. If your company, church, or school would like to adopt more than 10 angels as a group, please call 317-224-1007.
WRTV Toy Drive
Since 2001, the WRTV Toy Drive has served tens of thousands of Hoosier families. This year, toy donations will benefit Grace Care Center, Urban Act Academy, Project Angel, Amp Harris Foundation, Churches in Mission, Servants Heart of Indy, Lawrence Firefighters Family Assistance Program, and The Chin Community of Indiana. If you attend the Indy Fuel game on Saturday, December 17, you can join the Teddy Bear Toss where you toss your new bears and stuffed animals onto the ice after the Fuel scores their first goal.
Where to Donate Gently Used Toys
These local organizations are happy to take your gently used toys, sporting goods, books, and other children’s items and use them to benefit those in need.
The Julian Center
Founded in 1975, the Julian Center is Indiana’s largest domestic violence shelter whose mission is to help victims of domestic abuse become survivors. The Center offers supportive services, education, and cooperative partnerships that foster hope, promote self-sufficiency, and rebuild lives. The Julian Center accepts donations of new and gently used toys among other items like clothing and shoes, furniture, and household items that will then go to Thrifty Threads, a “store” where their clients can shop. Thrifty Threads offers the donated items free-of-charge for Julian Center clients to help them establish new beginnings. Any excess from the store is sold to the general public and these proceeds help fund victim programs and services.
Wheeler Mission Center for Women and Children
Wheeler Mission’s Center for Women and Children helps people who are facing homelessness and poverty by offering critically needed goods and resources. This organization commonly accepts donations of books, DVDs, sporting goods, games, stuffed animals, and toys that are clean and in good condition.
Salvation Army Family Stores
The Salvation Army has a couple of Central Indiana thrift stores that accept gently used toys, books, and games. The Salvation Army sells these donated items at their Family Stores and proceeds are then used to fund their Adult Rehabilitation Centers.
Goodwill Industries is a nonprofit organization that assists individuals through programs like their career centers, online trainings, and career advancement tools. The stores commonly accept donations of toys, games, books, puzzles, and sporting equipment for children of all ages in good, clean, working condition.
Holy Family Shelter
Holy Family Shelter provides free residential services to assist families experiencing homelessness in the transition to permanent housing. The shelter offers emergency residential shelter, food, hygiene supplies, access to telephones, laundry facilities, and transportation. The shelter does accept donations of construction paper, coloring books, arts and crafts items for children, and school supplies. Because they are frequently given toy donations, call the shelter at (317) 635-7830 to make sure they can accept your donation.
Resources of Hope INC Foster Care Support
Resources of Hope INC works with foster families in Central Indiana by providing resources to meet the physical and emotional needs of foster youth. This organization accepts donations of new or gently used toys and clothes. If you want to drop off donations, that can be done at their office on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays between 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. In preparation for their Christmas event, “Hope for the Holidays: Breakfast with Santa,” they are accepting donations of new toys, pajamas, and $25 gift cards for kids 0-17 years of age. To find out information, visit the event webpage.
Stuffed Animals For Emergencies (SAFE)
Stuffed Animals For Emergencies (SAFE) is a 25-year-old nonprofit that distributes donations to organizations in the area that support children in traumatic or emotional situations. SAFE accepts all sizes and styles of new and gently used stuffed animals, children’s books, coloring books and crayons, children’s blankets, children’s clothes, and baby items. All items must be clean, in great shape, and free of stains and tears. SAFE does not accept battery-operated stuffed animals, toys, or dolls. The only Indiana Chapter is currently in Ft. Wayne. For more information, you can contact Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daycares, Preschools, Churches, and Schools
Check with your local daycare, school, or church to find out what their donation policy is and what they can or cannot accept. Some toys may not be accepted due to subject matter, electronic components, or age appropriateness.
Park Library Boxes
A good place to donate books, puzzles, chalk, and small card games would be the free library book boxes often found in parks. Consider donating card decks, jump ropes, bubbles, and chalk for children to play with at the park.
If you are unable to donate your toys, here is a list of consignment shops around Indianapolis where you can sell used toys.
3115 Meridian Parke Dr # R, Greenwood
Kids Kloset buys quality, gently used kid’s clothing, toys, furniture and accessories. At Kids Kloset, you can sell your infant, toddler, preschool, and educational toys, games, puzzles, books and DVDs. No appointment is necessary to drop off your items, just visit during normal business hours. List your items on their buying form and come back once items are processed.
578 W Northfield Dr. #1040, Brownsburg
Kiddiewinks is a kids resale shop in Brownsburg. Check their Facebook and Instagram pages regarding updates on what they are accepting for the week.
Once Upon a Child
Multiple Central Indiana Locations
Once Upon A Child accepts toys designated for children from birth to age 8 that meet current safety standards and include all parts. They regularly purchase activity toys, books, DVDs, electronic toys, games, bikes, kitchen sets, learning toys, puzzles, outdoor toys and ride on toys from popular brands like Disney, Fisher-Price, Little Tikes, and Melissa and Doug. Make sure to call up your nearest location to make sure they are accepting toys.
Kids Go Round
2481 E Main St. Plainfield
Kids Go Round is a consignment store in Plainfield that buys children’s toys that are clean and in complete working condition with batteries. They ask you drop off your items in a hard plastic container. It typically takes three to four days to go through the items because they do not buy on the spot. Once your toys have been sorted and you’ve recieved a call back, you have 48 hours to pick up your items before they are donated.
No time to take your excess stuff somewhere? Schedule a pick-up through AMVETS
Prepare for the newest collection of Christmas toys and gifts in your home and share some smiles with kids in need at the same time. As an added bonus, your own children may learn something about generosity from the experience of passing on outgrown toys to others. Happy giving!