Toys for Tots Donation Spots in New Jersey and More Places to Donate Toys

The Toys for Tots Foundation bring Christmas joy to children in need. Photo courtesy of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
The Toys for Tots Foundation bring Christmas joy to children in need. Photo courtesy of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation

Looking for Toys for Tots drop-off locations in New Jersey and other ways to make donations? Read on for a list of organizations accepting goods this holiday season. 

The holidays are a time usually associated with feelings of joy, but for many New Jersey families, they're actually very stressful. Parents who struggle to provide their children with basic needs like adequate housing, food, and clothing worry about paying for presents and making the holidays special. Unfortunately, the reality for many families is that they cannot purchase any gifts at all.

That’s where toy drives come in. Toys For Tots, USPS Operation Santa, and many other organizations collect new toys every holiday season to deliver to kids in need. Police departments and government offices in towns including Burlington, East Newark, and Jersey City also host toy drives with conveniently located toy drop-off boxes.

Donating toys during the holiday season is a lovely illustration of what the holidays are truly about. Read on for ways your family can donate toys in NJ and spread around some of that good holiday cheer. Check out other feel-good holiday ideas, like our holiday and Thanksgiving volunteer opportunities for families, in our Guide to Christmas and Hanukkah in New Jersey.

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Toys for Tots Drop-Off Locations 2022 in NJ and Other Ways to Donate

1. Toys for Tots – Locations Throughout New Jersey

The 2022 holiday season marks the 75th anniversary of the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Toys for Tots is probably the most well-known of the holiday toy drives, delivering gifts (and hope) to children who are less fortunate. There are several ways to donate. You can either drop off your donation at a toy drop location or visit the Virtual Toy Box and pick a toy to donate. Monetary donations are also welcome. 

If you need help: Toy applications are accepted and managed by your local Toys for Tot office. Click here to find a campaign in your community.

2. NJCDC Holiday Gift Drive – Paterson

Last year, the AmeriCorp “elves” at New Jersey Community & Development Corporation in Paterson collected over 6,000 toys for more than 1,400 Paterson children. Make this holiday season better and brighter by dropping off your new, unwrapped toys at NJCDC’s headquarters. You can also buy toys directly from their Amazon Wish List and Target Wish List or make a monetary donation toward purchasing toys and gift cards. Donations are collected through mid-December and distributed at the organization’s annual holiday party.

If you need help: Contact the NJCDC to register your child for the annual toy distribution.

RELATED: 27 Holiday Activities and Christmas Events in New Jersey in 2022

Fulfill a child's wish with Operation Santa. Photo courtesy of USPS
Fulfill a child's wish with Operation Santa. Photo courtesy of USPS

3. USPS Operation Santa – Local Post Offices Throughout New Jersey

Every year children from across the country put pen to paper and write out a hopeful list of possible presents. While many of these would-be gifts end up under the Christmas tree, many go unanswered. Visit the USPS Operation Santa website and browse letters from hopeful children. Choose a letter to adopt (or a few), fill out the wishlist, wrap the gifts and bring them (plus the necessary postage) to a participating post office by Monday, December 19, so kids can receive them by Christmas. Letter adoption starts Monday, November 28.

If you need help: Santa is now accepting letters at the North Pole. Letters must be postmarked before or on Monday, December 12, to qualify for Operation Santa.

NJ Rise Toy Drive grants the wishes of a child or struggling family. Photo courtesy NJ Rise Toy Drive

4. NJ Rise Toy Drive – Hightstown

Fulfill the exact holiday gift wish of a child or struggling family. Scan the available profiles online and purchase the wish list toy. That single, specially chosen gift lets them know that someone in the community is thinking of them. Toys can be dropped off Monday, December 5-Friday, December 8 at the First United Methodist Church in Hightstown. Gift card donations are also welcome. Gifts will be distributed at Rise’s holiday party on Saturday, December 10.

If you need help: Register your child online or in person by Wednesday, November 30. The earlier you sign up the better chance your child will receive a gift at the holiday party.

RELATED: Christmas Tree Farms in New Jersey

Toys for Tots 2022: Salvation Army Angel Tree
Stop by a Salvation Army Angel Tree to choose a gift from a child's wishlist. Photo courtesy of the Salvation Army

5. Salvation Army – Multiple Locations

Beyond the iconic red kettles, you find stationed outside of grocery stores this time of year, the Salvation Army also hosts one of the biggest toy drives in New Jersey, collecting 100,000 toys each year. Help them meet that goal by bringing your donations to your local Salvation Army location. A Walmart registry for toys is available online, as well as the option to make a monetary donation. Look for the Salvation Army’s Angel Trees at local businesses and retail stores. Simply select a tag from the tree and fulfill the holiday wishes on the tag.

If you need help: To apply for assistance for any of the Salvation Army's holiday programs, contact your local Salvation Army office for more details.

6. Operation Sleighbells – Long Branch

Brighten a family’s holiday season via Monmouth County’s Family & Children’s Services’ Operation Sleighbells. Sponsors and recipients remain anonymous to preserve the dignity of participating families. This year, this program is asking for gift cards by Saturday, December 2, and monetary donations are also appreciated. Volunteers will then give families the gift cards in early December so they have time to buy their kids gifts for the holidays.

If you need help: Families in need must sign up in person. This year, sign-ups were held in mid-October and only accepted a maximum number of applicants per day. 

7. Project Self-Sufficiency Season of Hope Holiday Toy Drive – Newtown

The Season of Hope Holiday Toy Drive collects new, unwrapped toys for distribution to children and teens in need throughout Sussex and Warren counties. Items can be dropped off at Project Self-Sufficiency in Newton Monday to Thursday. Donations of gift wrap, ribbons, gift bags, and boxes are also accepted.

If you need help: Advanced registration is required to receive a toy, and you must be a resident of Sussex or Warren County to qualify. To register, call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500.

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