Teaching Children to Donate


packing baby food for hurricane sandy victims

Whichever holiday you are celebrating at this time of year, it typically involves gift giving/receiving. If your child’s wish list is as long as my kids’ lists were when they were young, your play room will be overflowing with toys after the holidays. My husband and I took advantage of this time of year and created a rule; for every new toy that was received, an old toy had to be given away. This is a good rule for birthdays too!

Limiting your child’s wish list is a challenge for parents. Children want the current hot toy of the season, the latest movie paraphernalia, or the newest game system. They try their hardest to convince you that all of their friends have “it”, and they must have “it” too; in fact, they can’t live without it!

We were lucky enough to know one child who greatly appreciated our hand-me-downs. He was the youngest of six children whose carpenter father was struggling to start his own business. You may not personally know someone in this situation, however, there are several organizations that appreciate and welcome used toys.

Your child will learn an invaluable life lesson, along with learning they don’t need to keep all of their “stuff” in order to be happy. I am also extremely thrilled that neither one of my children became a hoarder!

Here’s a list of some local organizations that accept used toy donations.

Family Services of Westchester
This nonprofit program’s Big Brothers Big Sisters trucks will travel to your home for a scheduled pickup of your old toys (and clothing, house wares, furniture and small appliances).  From Peekskill to Pelham, Bronxville to Bedford, call 1-877-399-2570 to arrange for free home pickup of donated household items. To schedule a pick-up online go to www.bbbsdonate.org.

Salvation Army There is a Salvation Army in White Plains (16 Sterling Avenue; 914-949-2908) and one in New Rochelle (562 North Avenue). Head to either one to drop off your old toys Monday through Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. until close. Call for business hours.

Goodwill Industries
Goodwill has a location at 380 Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford; 914-347-1510. But there are other drop-off spots that will accept toys. Call for information.

Your Local Church
You’d be surprised how many churches would be thrilled to take a toy donation. Stop by your local church and ask if you can donate for the next thrift sale fundraiser, or ask your pastor on Sunday. Churches always know someone in need, and you may end up getting to drop off the toys to needy families yourself.

Donate Toys to Veterans – PickUpPlease.org

With Pick Up Please, helping America’s Veterans with your donations has never been easier. You can donate clothes, furniture, toys and other household items through a convenient donation pick up at your home. Pick Up Please can pick up your donation within 24 hrs. in most locations.


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