Updated for 2020
Before the kids get too involved with their holiday wish lists, help them remember that this is the season of giving, and that there are children in Los Angeles who may not receive many gifts without our donations. In fact, the Holiday Toy Drive was invented here in Los Angeles in 1947 by Toys for Tots.
Here are suggestions for ways to help make this holiday season a little brighter for children in LA. A new toy is a simple thing to donate and can bring so much joy to a child on Christmas morning. Consider these Holiday Toy Drives in Los Angeles.
Holiday Toy Drives in SoCal
Each year since 1947, the “Marine Toys for Tots Program has been delivering a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters.” This special program provides holiday gifts to less fortunate children throughout our country. Families can participate by donating money and/or gifts (new, unwrapped toys). The website has information regarding communities being served and where you can find drop-off locations.
Operation Homefront strives to make the holidays more joyful for the children of our military families by distributing toys and gift cards during the holiday season. Check the website to find out how to donate (funds and/or gifts) and learn how you can collect toys and gift cards in your community (at your business, for example).
Each year, southern California firefighters and ABC 7 have joined forces to make the holiday season a happier one for less fortunate children in our communities. “Over the past two and a half decades, the Spark of Love Toy Drive has successfully collected more than nine million toys!” This year because of COVID-19, donating will look different. Families can participate by donating funds and/or donate a toy through the Spark of Love gift registry available online.
5830 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016
This organization works year-round to provide low-income children (infants to age 12) with basic items that all children should grow up having, and generally accepts donations year-round. This year, because of COVID-19, Baby2Baby is unable to accept gently used donations. However, families can still help by donating funds as well as donating less-fun, but still essential, items like diapers, wipes, and hygiene items (soap, shampoo). Check the website for details.
Holidays from the Heart
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
4650 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027
The Holidays from the Heart program aims to make the holidays a little happier for chronically ill children and their families. There are a number of ways to help, including sponsoring a family, making a monetary donation, and donating gift cards. Check the website for more details on how to help including ways to donate toys.
Holiday Best Gift Ever Drive
Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL)
1401 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA
Each year, Santa Monica PAL strives to make the holidays a special time for all children in the community. Families can make a donation of funds or a new toy for youth ages 6-17. Donations may be dropped off at the PAL Youth Center.
Aviva’s Annual Holiday Drive
Aviva Family and Children’s Services
7120 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
“Aviva’s Adopt-A-Family and Adopt-A-Child Holiday Programs are designed to assist vulnerable children and their families who do not have resources to celebrate the holidays.” Sponsor families have the opportunity to provide families in need with food, clothing, and gifts during the holiday season. Families may choose to adopt a child or adopt a family, and you will then receive a personalized wish list. Other ways to help include sorting/organizing gifts, hosting a toy drive, and making a financial donation. Details are available online.
“Each holiday season, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office provides much needed cheer to hundreds of crime victims and their families through the Holiday Giving Drive.” The Holiday Giving Drive provides holiday meals and gifts. Families can help by making a tax-deductible donation to this program. Details are available online.
735 E. Lexington Dr., Glendale, CA 91206
“Each year donors at YWCA Glendale make holiday wishes come true for families affected by domestic violence.” You can help by adopting a family in need. Families provide a list of their most needed items, and donors are matched with family profiles and their wish lists. Check the website for details on how your family can get involved.
A Place Called Home’s Family-to-Family Program
A Place Called Home
2830 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90011
A Place Called Home provides “programs in arts, education and wellness for the young people in South Central Los Angeles to help them improve their economic conditions and develop healthy, fulfilling and purposeful lives.” Because of the coronavirus pandemic, APCH has had to alter their annual family-to-family program (formerly called Adopt-a-Family). However, the need is even greater this year, and help is very much needed. This year, families are being asked to limit their donation to monetary funds and gift cards.
Your child’s school and/or class
Bring home the idea and the spirit of giving, by helping to arrange a toy drive at your child’s school. (If you’d prefer to start smaller, organize one for your child’s classroom). Work out the details with your child’s teacher (monetary limit for donations, when donations need to be brought in, perhaps a class incentive for 100% participation), and then donate those toys to an organization of your choice. While this year it may be a bit more difficult to coordinate collecting gifts since everyone is learning from home, don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher. He/she may have a direct connection with an organization needing donated toys and funds.
Did we miss any toy drives in your area? Please let us know in the comments.
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