No season makes us realize how blessed our kids are than the holiday season. That’s why it’s important to give back and help those in need. Toy donations are something even very young children can understand and participate in. We’ve gathered up a few locations collecting toys to provide a magical holiday for children who would otherwise not have one.
Obviously, the most well-known toy drive is the U.S. Marine Corps’ annual Toys for Tots Drive. Since its founding in 1995, the Toys for Tots program has distributed more than 512 million toys to more than 237 million less fortunate children. This year, they have launched a virtual toy drive on DonateAToy.org, where you can choose the toys you want to donate.
Becca’s LEGacy donates collected toys to Chicago-area hospitals to help children with cancer. New, unwrapped toys, art supplies, puzzles and more for infants through teens can be purchased through the foundation’s Amazon wish list.
Salvation Army toy donations run through Dec. 22 at locations throughout Chicagoland. The goal is to provide toys to less fortunate children and children whose parents are currently in the prison system. You can be matched to a child online or purchase through their Walmart registry.
As one of Chicago’s oldest toy drives, MSV offers area families a chance to “shop” for toys, stocking stuffers, books, games, clothes and stuffed animals for each of their children and have their gifts wrapped. Each family is also provided with a bag of food, including a turkey. You can ship toys to their location or donate online.
Due to the pandemic, Lurie Children’s Hospital is only accepting toys and gifts through its Amazon wish list. You’ll find a variety of toys on the list for children that will ship directly to the hospital.
Ronald McDonald House Charities are putting a pause on their regular toy and book donations. Instead, they’re asking that purchases be made of the most-needed items for their houses and family rooms from their Amazon wishlists. Items include instant oatmeal packs, disposable gloves and more.
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This article originally published in Dec. 5, 2016. It has been updated with the most recent information.