Donating to Toys for Tots

toy donations

Is your small business interested in helping families in your community this Christmas season, here is how:

Toys for Tots and similar organizations look for donations in the holiday season. Their goal is that all children can receive gifts like books, new popular toys, and other items as gifts for the holidays.

Toys for Tots is not-for-profit and operates in all states. It was founded by the Marine Corps and takes donations at its offices across the nation. Gifts donated to Toys for Tots are either handed out directly to families with children or passed on to other non-profit organizations that also help those in need.

Organizing Toys for Tots campaigns every year is handled by a marine in your community. Collections take place from October to the early part of December.

If you want to donate a new and unwrapped to for any child from newborn through age sixteen, here are the steps for Toys for Tots donations.


You will drop off the toy at any of several retail locations throughout the nation. Toys stores or Build-A-Bear Workshop are likely locations in your community to drop off a toy or two. Typically, the organizations that accept toys for Toys for Tots help needy families in other ways as well.

Build-A-Bear Workshop always donates a bear to a family in need in return for each toy donation they accept. Many game and toy companies also help by donating cash or toys for Toys for Tots.

To find the drop-off sites in smaller towns and locations, go to to the find the drop-off site nearest you.


Anyone can host their own Toys for Tots drop-off location. You can plan an event like a Christmas party in your home or at work and suggest that attendees bring an unwrapped toy.

“We have placed a container in our office for Toys for Tots donations for several years now,” says Adam Gibson, owner of Ace Appliance Appliance Repair. “This makes it convenient for employees to contribute to a wonderful organization!”

Some folks get the rest of the community involved by getting the Girl Scouts, Cub Scout, or other organizations to run their own donation drive.


If you do not really know what kind of toy to buy and donate, you can donate with a credit card online. Many folks will make their donation in the name of a loved one or other individual. When you donate in memory of someone you will receive a personalized thank you for the donation. You can give money to Toys for Tots at any time of the year.


Folks who sell used toys on eBay can choose to donate anywhere from ten percent to one hundred percent of the final sale to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Those donating this way can get a tax deduction as well as credit on selling fees through eBay.


Toys are not all that you can donate to help a family in need. An old RV, truck, or car can be donated to Toys for Tots or another charity. You will get a deduction on your income taxes and the organization will benefit from the donation.


Toys for Tots uses volunteers at many drop-off locations. Give your time and skills over the holidays to help families in need by helping sort toys or drop off signs and collection bins at drop-off sites in your community.


Toys for Tots does not have a specific list for “approved” donations. Good gifts to give include board games, backpacks, books, sports equipment, radio control cars and trucks, skateboards and helmets, and hand-held electronics. However, please do not give food and please do not give toys that look like real weapons!

There are organizations other than Toys for Tots that accept food for families in need. However, during the busy time of the year Toys for Tots locations may have many volunteers working. At those times restaurants or individuals may choose to provide food for the working volunteers.