If your kids are anything like most, their holiday wish lists are filled with requests for new toys. And once the holiday comes—and they're happily playing with their gifts—what do you do with all of the old toys that are cluttering up the house? Or all of the baby equipment that the kids have outgrown?
For safety reasons, fewer and fewer places seem to be accepting gently used toys. But before you put those toys out on the curb, consider these Long Island organizations that accept preowned toys and baby items provided they are clean, undamaged, and in working order.
For safety reasons, most charities do not accept cribs or car seats. However, many will accept strollers, bouncers, and even baby care items such as diapers. At this busy time of year, however, contact these charities to make sure they haven't reached their donation limits. One other tip: Ask your preschool child's school director, local library, or church. Often, those institutions are willing to accept used toys and books from someone they know and trust.
Looking for more ways to help your community? There are plenty of holiday volunteer opportunities for kids and families. And for other seasonal activities, check out our Long Island holiday fun guide or these 30 things to do over holiday break with Long Island kids.
Support youth athletics by donating to the Children's Sport Connection in Garden City. Photo courtesy of Children's Sports Connection
1225 Franklin Avenue
Is your garage or basement full of sports equipment the kids have outgrown? This organization takes off your hands sports equipment in good condition. Call or schedule online for pickup.
999 Herricks Road
This nonprofit, based in New Hyde Park, accepts donations of used toys and baby equipment. Call for hours at its five Nassau drop-off locations.
Interfaith Nutrition Network — Hempstead
211 Fulton Avenue
Unopened packages of baby wipes, diapers, and formula are gladly accepted all year round. You can drop canned goods, toys, or clothes off from 9:00-11:00 am, or from 2:00 to 4:30 pm every Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary.
The LICC says it is seeing an increase in children in need. Baby care items such as diapers and wipes are appreciated, as are unopened packages of formula. Packaged toys, or those opened but in like-new condition, are accepted Monday through Thursday from 9:30am until noon, or from 1 to 3:30pm. The council is in particular need of hats, gloves, and scarves for kids 14-16 years old.
Mother and Child Ministry — Seaford
2197 Jackson Avenue
St. Michael's & All Angels Episocpal Church's food shelf program now includes services for mothers with young children. Donations can be dropped off in Seaford on Wednesdays between 4 and 8pm and on Sundays between 1 and 4pm. Accepted donations include baby care items, gently used toys, baby equipment, children's clothing, and personal care items mothers can use.
505 Willis Ave
New toys, or those in like-new condition can be donated to St. Aiden's if you visit the Upper School on weekdays. Enter through the white door.
Schedule a pickup and support Vietnam Veterans of America charities. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Veterans of America
1900 East Jericho Turnpike, East Northport
585 Portion Road, Lake Ronkonkoma
Drop off those gently used toys, bikes, clothes, and baby items, or check online for your nearest donation bin. Donated items are sold in stores and on an online auction site. The revenue funds valuable employment tracking and job placement services for those in need. More than 2,000 items are placed on Goodwill sales floors each day.
7001 West Sunrise Highway, Holbrook
700 East Patchogue-Yaphank Road, Medford
Drop off donations at any Savers store. Accepted items include toys, sports equipment, books, stuffed animals, puzzles, games, housewares, and clothes. The Suffolk stores are open from 9am until 9pm each day, and you can ring the doorbell at the front to drop something off. For every donation that is made, Big Brothers and Sisters of Long Island gets a share of the profit. Savers also supports recycling, donatin unsellable items to less affluent countries, where they can be used or sold.
Vietnam Veterans of America — Central Islip
2 Wilson Boulevard
This nonprofit makes it easy to give. Schedule a pickup online, label, and leave on your porch or curb gently used toys, baby equipment, clothing, and household items. The organization also takes small furniture and electronics that are no more than five years old.
98 Austin Street
Call LI Head Start's central administration for your closest drop-off location and for a list of items accepted. There are more than 25 centers throughout Suffolk County alone. Most locations take used clothing, baby equipment, and toys.Head Start serves families below the poverty line, so donations of toiletries, mittens, hats, and coats are greatly appreciated.
Big Brothers Big Sisters accepts books, and small and stuffed toys. Photo courtesy of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island — Levittown, Islandia
70 Acorn Lane, Levittown
145 Sycamore Lane, Islandia
Find your nearest donation bin online or schedule a pickup. Either way, BBBS accepts stuffed toys, small toys, and books.
Drop-off locations include:
66 Church Street, Freeport
65 Atlantic Avenue, Hempstead
992 Prospect Avenue, Westbury
211 Blue Point Avenue, Blue Point
110 Bellerose Avenue, East Northport
414 East Main Street, Patchogue
319 East Main Street, Riverhead
227 Little Neck Road, West Babylon
Salvation Army Thrift Stores accept a variety of items, including toys, stuffed animals, books, and large baby items. Drop off your donations at one of the organization's many locations or schedule a pickup online. The Salvation Army also takes car donations. You can check with individual centers about donating small furniture items and appliances
This article was originally posted in 2014 and was updated by writer Rebekah Yahoves in December 2018.