Are your kids’ room’s being overrun by stuffed animals they no longer play with?
Don’t throw them away unless they are terribly worn. Instead of clogging up landfills, give the stuffies a second life and put a smile on the faces of needy children. You can donate your stuffed animals to organizations such as these:
Value Village, a Savers brand, is a for-profit, global thrift retailer offering quality, gently used clothing, accessories, and household goods. Their business model of purchasing, reselling and recycling gives communities a smart way to shop and keeps more than 650 million pounds of used goods from landfills each year. They also help more than 120 non-profit organizations by paying them for donated goods, which supports their local community programs and services. Go to Value Village Locations to find a location near you.
THE SALVATION ARMY
All Salvation Army Thrift Stores, are 100 per cent charity-based and exist to generate funds to support Salvation Army programs and services that help residents in the areas in which they operate. Donated clothing and other goods are efficiently and ethically recycled and sold to offer practical assistance for children and families. Go to Salvation Army Locations to find a location near you.
The Good Stuff Connection Thrift Shop
Located at 154 West 3rd Street in North Vancouver accepts a wide variety of items with proceeds and donations benefiting women and children staying at SAGE Transition House and men, women and children referred by other community social service agencies. The need for donations vary each week, so call ahead to arrange a donation at 604-987-1773 or visit their website
Local Police or Fire Department
Some local law enforcement agencies will take donations of new and gently used stuffed animals to calm children in times of crisis. Check with your local departments to see if they accept donations.
Local Homeless and Women’s Shelters
Shelters that house women and children try to provide as much comfort and support as possible in this transitional time. Many will accept new and gently used stuffed animals to hand out to children who pass through their doors.
Call your local Social Services office, gospel missions, churches, day cares, and other community organizations that are in contact with needy children in your area.
Try contacting a local public school and see if any kids at the school are low-income and could benefit from donations. You can also keep your ears open for toy drives organized by schools, grocery, or department stores.
What to Avoid
When you are donating stuffed animals or used toys in general, there are several points to keep in mind:
- Don’t Give Broken or Excessively Dirty Toys. Most facilities don’t have the resources to clean and repair items, so they may get tossed in the garbage if they aren’t in good condition
- Don’t Give Recalled Items. Return these toys to the manufacturer, do not donate them.
- Don’t Wrap Stuffies or Toys. Leave donations unwrapped and entirely visible.
- Don’t Leave Items Unattended. Don’t leave items at the charity’s door. Call ahead, take items to a designated drop-off point, or arrange a pickup time.