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How to Donate to Toys For Tots Year Round

Updated on November 2, 2014
Jack-in-the_box Toy
Jack-in-the_box Toy | Source

Donating to Toys for Tots

Most people think that they can only donate to Toys for Tots during the holiday season. However, this isn't true. There are a variety of ways you can donate throughout the year.

Although I donate to charity each month on another writing site I'm on, I always do additional donating during the holidays.

Many times it's through the local schools or other local organizations, but one thing I always do each holiday season is to donate through this organization.

No, we're not rich, but I can't imagine a child celebrating Christmas, without having the joy of opening a gift. I've been giving to charities during the holidays since I was a child and this has never changed.

I was quite happy to hear that there are different ways to help out this wonderful program any time during the year.

Marine Corps Flag

Marine Corps Flag
Marine Corps Flag | Source

Brief History of Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots is sponsored through the United States Marine Corps. It began in 1947 due to the efforts of Major Bill Hendricks who decided to go along with his wife's idea to donate a handmade Raggedy Ann doll to charity.

Since that time, things exploded with the program working with all of the 50 states and territories such as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Millions of toys are donated each year with millions of children receiving a gift for the holidays.

Old Car Picture
Old Car Picture | Source

Car Donations

Have an old vehicle taking up space that you no longer need? Whether it runs or not, you can donate it for free. Simply call 1-877-999-8322.

Not only are you helping out the kids, you get a tax donation as well. I have donated a vehicle to charity in the past as it's quite simple to do.

Marine Corp. Toys for Tots Promo


eBay Image
eBay Image | Source

Ebay Donations

If by chance you sell items online, you can sell them on eBay and donate a portion of your earnings to Toys for Tots. eBay has it set up where you can donate 10%-100% of your final sale to the foundation.

Remember, items don't have to be new to sell on eBay. Check to see if you have anything around the house you no longer use and you can sell it and help out the kids, while picking up some money for yourself.

Poll Time!

Have you ever sold anything online before?

See results

Native American Project

Native American Boy
Native American Boy | Source

Native American Toys for Tots

Over thirty year ago, Toys for Tots began the Navajo Toys for Tots Program which benefited the underprivileged children living on the Navajo reservation. The program expanded and began to include other Native American tribes including the Hopi, Duckwater Shoshone, and San Carlos Apache, to name a few.

Because of the addition of these other tribes, the name of the program was changed in 1997 to Native American Toys for Tots. Not only do they deliver toys for Christmas, they also donate books to help with the literacy program.

The children participating in this program are ones living in poverty level, some without basic plumbing needs. I don't know if you have ever visited a reservation before, but I have once and the lifestyle there was way different than how most Americans live.

Part of the Navajo Nation Location

Learn to Read Books

Learn to Read
Learn to Read
Includes 15 books to help kids learn how to read by using phonics.
MasterCard Image
MasterCard Image | Source

Toys for Tots in Memory or In Honor of

You can give the gift of a donation to a loved one or friend. There is no minimum amount.

However, the suggested donation is $15.00 and with that amount, a free email or greeting card will be sent to the person you have given the donation for.

Ideas include Christmas, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Mother's or Father's Day or any other gift giving occasion. This can be done directly on the Toys for Tots website and if you opt for the $15.00 and would like to have a card sent, you can pick your choice of card.

Donating Money to Charity

Money Image
Money Image | Source

Money Donations to Toys for Tots

Of course, monetary donations are always appreciated. It's as easy as sending in a check. I prefer this way as I have been a victim of internet fraud before and it was really difficult to deal with.

However, if you feel your bank card is secure, you can easily donate with it. Just go to their website and follow their directions. It's quick and easy to do.

Monetary donations can be made at any time of the year. They do so much to help children. I have donated since I was a kid and I can tell you how good it feels to help a child.

Many kids would not have a Christmas if it wasn't for this wonderful organization. As mentioned above, Toys for Tots also helps kids with their literacy program.

Toy Donations

Toy Donations
Toy Donations | Source

Toys for Toys for Tots

If it's during the holiday season, a donated toy is always welcomed. Toys can be donated from about mid-October through the beginning of December.

Many store locations will provide boxes at their stores where you can purchase a toy and then drop it off at a box provided by them.

These stores will have vehicles pick up the toys from Toys for Tots and then distribute them to needy children.

Should you be a retailer, all you need to do is to set up a box at your store and let your customers do the rest. You'll still get the sale, but the needy children will receive a Christmas gift in return. Everyone benefits!

Are you a part of a school? Set up a box in the main office for kids to bring in a toy. You might even suggest to the school to have contests as to which classroom can bring in the most toys.

Should you be planning a holiday party, ask your guests to bring a toy. They don't need to spend a lot. I recently purchased some at one of those dollar type stores.

It's easy and cheap to pick up jigsaw puzzles, coloring books, crayons and more. At the store near me, they had some Dominos sets for only $1.00. I was able to purchase several items, without spending too much.

If you have a child who received a new toy as a gift and he or she doesn't want it, why not hold on to it until Christmas and then donate it?

Do keep in mind that there has to be enough time for the foundation to collect the toys and distribute them, so you will need an early December cut off date. I suggest sometime during the first week of December.

Woody from Toy Story
Woody from Toy Story | Source

Need a Toy?

Should you be in need of toys, you can go to the Toys for Tots website and request a toy. It will ask for your state and country, then direct you to the individual in your county that can help you.

When you go to pick up the toys, just be sure to have a valid ID and a current bill with your name on it.

This is to be sure you are properly identified. Then, you won't have to worry that your child won't get anything for Christmas.

Toddler at Christmas


Donate to Toys for Tots

As you see, there are many ways to donate to this wonderful organization and know you are helping a child to have gifts for Christmas that otherwise wouldn't be able to.

Being that it's run by the Marines, you know it's an organization you can trust. I know how special Christmas is to my kids and I'm glad that there is a place so willing to help kids during the holidays and year round.

Which organizations do you donate to?

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    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California


      That's so kind of you to have donated to them.

    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California


      Thanks for reading!

    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California


      Thanks for the nice compliment.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image


      6 years ago from Kansas

      It is a great program, and one that I have donated to a few times.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 

      6 years ago from Earth

      Good to know - thanks for sharing!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      6 years ago from USA

      As always you give us news we can use. Thanks for the info.

    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California

      Deborah-Diane I don't think most people realize that you can donate year round.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image


      6 years ago from Orange County, California

      I never thought about donating to Toys for Tots the year around. I really like this idea! Thanks for sharing it.

    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California

      I appreciate that Au fait!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      Some great ideas here. There are few more exhilarating things one can do than to help someone in need. Voted up, useful, and awesome!

    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California

      Thank you billybuc!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm not much for pancake toppings so I chose this hub instead since I strongly believe in giving back to the community in any way possible. You have quite a few comments here for a new Hubber. Well done, Janis!

    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California


      That is really thoughtful of your kids to do. Enjoy a proud Mommy moment that your kids care about others.

    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California

      Suzanne Day,

      What's great about donating old cars is that many places don't care if they're running or not.

    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California


      It's true. People remember during the holidays, butfor get during the rest of the year.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      6 years ago

      Great ideas here, more than I ever even realized existed. My kids love donating to Toys for Tots every year, their Sunday school has a toy drive and they like to take some of their allowance and go shopping for a couple of things to put in the bin. What a great, important organization; it would be nice to think about giving to them all year round instead of just during the holiday season. Great hub!

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 

      6 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Some great ideas for donations to charity here. I particularly like the donating of old cars, which I see often around the place and which would be very useful to others. Cheers & voted useful!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Yes--I also agree with DreamerMeg--everyone forgets all about it once the winter holiday season has passed. Kids have birthdays, as well, and some families have a tradition of gifts at Easter as well. There is a year-round need; same goes for food, but the call for donations stops after the holidays. Very sad.

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      So sad for children that don't have any gifts at Christmas (or birthday).

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 years ago from Shelton

      a very well organized hub writerjanis :)

    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California


      It really is sad. Thanks for the vote up.

    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California


      If you have slightly used toys, I would suggest places like Goodwill or women's homeless shelters. Personally, I love the idea of old-fashioned wooden toys. Little kids would probably really appreciate them.

    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California


      Thank you. I really appreciate that.

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      Great hub. It is sad to see a child have to go without a toy for Christmas. Voted up.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      I do think this is a great program, but I am also disheartened that they insist on "new, unwrapped toys." I can perfectly well understand a child's desire for a nice toy, but there are also plenty of perfectly good, gently used toys available, and no one seems to want those to be donated.

      We, ourselves, are of extremely limited means, and cannot afford to purchase a new toy to donate; heck, I couldn't even afford to get my own grandkids toys except for a couple of junky dollar store items.

      However, we do have a full workshop, and my husband is an expert woodworker. We could easily reproduce old-fashioned style wooden toys and/or refurbish used toys...but everyone is so caught up in the 'bright brand-new shiny packages' (mostly cheap and sometimes dangerously lead-contaminated Chinese imports), that no one is being taught the value of hand-me-downs, and gratitude for getting any gift at all. Carefully hand-crafted or lovingly restored toys are rejected by these programs. it galls me.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      This is great Janis! we do have a similar thing over here too, in fact I have bought a toy for the charity too, wonderful hub! voted up and shared, nell

    • WriterJanis profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California

      It truly is a great organization.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This sounds like a great organization and a great way to help children, WriterJanis. Thanks for the information.


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