Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

holiday toy drives

A Toys for Tots collection site inside a King County Fred Meyer location.

How to donate to holiday toy drives around Seattle, 2021

How and where to give this holiday season.

Let’s talk about holiday toy drives.

It’s been tough this year, and so many Seattle-area families are in need of so many things. Toys and gifts for kids is one area that can really tug at the heartstrings, but lots of good people are working hard to make sure that kids will get gifts. They need our help, though.

In most cases, this is not when you go through your closet and get rid of hand-me-downs (here are ideas for that).

Donating toys can be a fun holiday activity, and great lesson, for kids.

We know one family who would make a game out of it: Each person would be given a budget, and they’d spread out in a popular, large toy retailer and go to town, seeing who could come up with the “best” gift for the money (subjective, of course).

Here are some of the holiday toy drives we’ve heard about. If you know of more, please reach out!

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots is one of the biggies, run by Santa’s helpers in the U.S. Marines and with collection points spread far and wide. A gift of money is also a great (safe) way to go.

KIRO-7/Albert Lee/QFC

The KIRO 7 Cares Toy Drive helps Toys for Tots, Salvation Army and other nonprofits. This year’s most-needed list: items for babies, girls and boys aged 9-13, and items for pre-teens and teens (ideas: sporting equipment, skateboards, books, cosmetic and bath gift sets, board games and remote-control toys and video games). Drop off donations at any Albert Lee Appliance, or Chown Hardware location and some McDonald’s (get a free sandwich!). Another way: Buy a gift card at QFC and donate right at the register. More details and donation locations can be found here.

Les Schwab Q13 FOX Virtual Toy Drive

Drop off donations (new and unwrapped) at Les Schwab Tires shops. This program also partners with many retailers and organizations across the state, including Snapdoodle Toys, which accepts both online and in-person donations. In addition, there’s an Amazon wish list. Donations must be received by Thursday, Dec. 16. Go here for more information about the program, where the toys go and a portal for online donations.

Toy ‘N Joy Donation Drive

Bartell Drugs works with the Salvation Army and WARM 106.9 on this effort that raised more than $300,000 in 2020. Donate new, unwrapped gifts at any Bartell location (deadline Dec. 4!), and they will be delivered to local kids. In addition, cash donations can be given at the register. Bartell Drugs also has created a list of gift suggestions (including gift cards).

Federal Way Cares for kids

This nonprofit serves families in the Federal Way School District. It will distribute toys for kids ages 3-11 (drop off at South King Fire & Rescue locations or purchase via Amazon wish list) and gift cards for adolescents and teens. In addition, it has a cool program in which you can “sponsor Christmas morning” with a donation via Paypal or Venmo.

* If you know of more efforts we should list, email jhanson@seattleschild.com

More holiday generosity:

Adopt-a-family programs around the Seattle area

Simple ways you can help people dealing with homelessness

About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is the website editor for Seattle's Child. She is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 13-year-old girl.