December 13, 2022
Every kid deserves to open a new teddy bear or bucket of slime during the holiday season, but poverty prevents many from experiencing that seasonal magic.
Holiday toy drives can help close that gap, and this year, there are plenty ready to receive donations throughout Philadelphia. However, some will close their collection windows this week in order to distribute toys in time for Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa.
Check out the locations below for more info on drop-off times and guidelines to make sure your donation reaches an eager kid. If you can't make it to one of these sites in time, don't worry — a few of them have gone virtual.
From now through Wednesday, Dec. 21, the historic prison will accept toys and books for kids up to 12 years old. All donations will support children with incarcerated parents, and all donors will receive a "buy one, get one free" daytime tour admission. Eastern State Penitentiary asks that all toys come in their original packaging, so leave the gift wrap at home.
Open daily in the museum's rotunda, the toy drive at the Museum of the American Revolution supports homeless families or those at risk of homelessness. All donations will go to HomeFront, a Jersey-based organization that offers transitional apartments, emergency aid and children's programs to families experiencing housing insecurity. The drive will run through Saturday, Dec. 31.
Philly Parks & Rec is soliciting toys for all ages, as well as gloves, hats, scarfs and warm socks in all youth and adult sizes. Drop-off times are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1 South Penn Square, 1515 Arch St. or 1401 JFK Blvd. Any donated items will be distributed to local families at the McPherson Square Holiday Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 17.
On Saturday, Dec. 17, the ICJ will host a toy drive holiday party at 1207 Chestnut St. on the second floor. Parents are welcome to bring their kids for light refreshments, music and holiday festivities between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. As for donations, the ICJ will accept new toys for all ages.
For over 30 years, the United States Marine Corps has been running this nationwide program, which strives to get needy kids new toys for the holidays by collecting at various locations throughout the community. Philadelphia alone has 70 drop sites listed on the Toys for Tots website. Contact the location nearest you for more info, or donate pre-selected toys to Philadelphia's virtual drive now through Friday, Dec. 16.
While the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is not currently accepting physical donations, you can donate a toy to pediatric patients through this virtual toy drive, running now through Jan. 31. Items include puzzles, dolls and LEGO sets. You also can organize a virtual toy drive yourself by registering your fundraising page with CHOP.
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