Gifts from the Heart: Great Places to Donate New Toys & Gifts in Tampa Bay
There are numerous charitable organizations in Tampa Bay working tirelessly to ensure every child feels extra special on Christmas morning. But, these organizations cannot do what they do without your support and donations. We are often asked where families can donate to help local children during the holidays, so we put together this list to get you and your family started on the tradition of giving back!
If it isn’t feasible to give a new gift, consider asking your child to go through their toys and select a few they no longer play with to give to organizations like Salvation Army, Goodwill, local churches, preschools, and more! After all, this is a great time of year to make room for all of the new gifts. Happy giving, Tampa Bay!
Metropolitan Ministries: More than 18,000 families will be assisted by Metropolitan Ministries anticipates helping more than 18,000 families this holiday season, and the agency’s Holiday Tent is a great place to drop off new gifts so your kids can see volunteers in action. It is located near downtown Tampa at 905 North Governor St. with additional drop-off locations in Pinellas and Pasco counties. The most needed items include food and toys for infants and teens. Learn more about other ways to donate and find drop-off locations convenient to you: metromin.org/holiday-central
Ronald McDonald House Charities: Help bring joy to families and patients during their stay at the hospital. Some of the most needed items on this year’s Holiday Wish List include new toys and books for newborns to teens (especially for boys), gift cards and pantry items like packaged snacks and dry paper goods. Drop-off locations: Tampa: 35 Columbia Drive and St. Petersburg: 401 7th Ave S. To learn more and see the complete list, visit: rmhctampabay.org
St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital: The wish list includes items for children of all ages from infants to teens including teethers and rattles, Duplo blocks, Play-Doh, Matchbox cars, light up toys and educational games. You can drop off new items at the Information Desk in the lobby of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital located at 3001 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. from 7a.m.-7p.m. Find the complete wish list here: give2stjoeskids.org
Champions for Children: The Holiday Store opens for three days to allow families to “shop” for gifts for their children up to age 12. This year’s wish list includes educational toys and games, crib toys, arts and crafts sets, bath toys, sports equipment, action figures, remote control cars, culturally diverse dolls, girls’ accessories, children’s DVDs and more. You may deliver the new and unwrapped gifts until Dec. 9 at Champions for Children at 3108 W Azeele St. in Tampa. Learn more: cfctb.org
Toys for Tots: The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve is collecting new and unwrapped toys for needy children of all ages in our community. There are more than 100 drop-off locations in Hillsborough County which includes most Publix and Toys R Us stores. To find a drop-off location near you, visit toysfortots.org
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital: New and unused toys and gifts will support the annual Wonderland Shop for patients and families which provides a free shopping experience to help families celebrate the holiday season in the manner that best meets their needs. Items needed include bubbles, dolls, action figures, themed toys (like Paw Patrol and Frozen), art supplies, clothing, Legos, infant and baby toys, items for teens. You may bring the new and unwrapped gifts by December 19 to All Children’s Hospital located at 501 6th Avenue South in St. Petersburg. For more information, call the Child Life Department at 727-767-4323 . Check out the wish lists on Amazon: NICU NOOK, BABY BUNDLES, KIDS CORNER, TEEN SCENE
Originally published in the December 2016 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.