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, 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.
Support youth athletics by donating to the Children's Sport Connection. 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.
30 W. Columbia Street
This nonprofit accepts donations of used toys and baby equipment. Call for hours at its six Nassau drop-off locations.
Interfaith Nutritional Network — Hempstead
211 Fulton Avenue
Unopened packages of baby wipes, diapers, and formula are gladly accepted all year round.
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.
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 Thursdays between 4 and 7pm. Accepted donations include baby care items, gently used toys, baby equipment, children's clothing, and personal care items mothers can use.
Schedule a pickup and support Vietnam Veterans of America charities. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Veterans of America
1500 Middle Country Road, Centereach
1900 East Jericho Turnpike, East Northport
Drop off those gently used toys, bikes, clothes, and baby items, or check online for your nearest donation bin.
7001 West Sunrise Highway, Holbrook
700 East Patchogue-Yaphank Road, Medford
Although not a nonprofit, proceeds from donation sales at Savers and Value Village stores go to support charities. Accepted items include toys, sports equipment, books, stuffed animals, puzzles, and games.
Vietnam Veterans of America — Central Islip
2 Wilson Boulevard
This nonprofit makes it easy to give. Schedule a pickup online, label, and then leave on the porch or curb your gently used toys, baby equipment, clothing, and household items.
Big Brothers Big Sisters accepts books, and small and stuffed toys. Photo courtesy of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island
98 Austin Street
Call LI Head Start's central administration for your closest drop-off location and for a list of items accepted. Most locations take used clothing, baby equipment, and toys.
145 Sycamore Lane, Islandia
Find your nearest donation bin online or schedule a pickup. Either way, BBBS accepts stuffed toys, small toys, and books.
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 pick-up online.
Top photo: Clearing out space in your basement? There are a host of Long Island organizations that accept gently used toys and books. Photo by Thien August
This article was originally posted in 2014 and was updated in December 2017.