It’s that time of year where children around the world are expecting presents. For low-income families living in poverty, gifts are low on the list of priorities, but they don’t have to be.
Organizations throughout Milwaukee County have been running toy drives and gathering donations to help collect presents for those in need. If you are able to, consider donating to one of the locations listed below.
Did we miss an organization or place that donates presents to those in need? Post it in the comments below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where you can donate
1. United Way Holiday Giving Tree Program
For over 30 years, United Way has run the Holiday Giving Tree Program, which helps nonprofits collect gifts. Nonprofit organizations supply United Way with a list of gift recipients and their three wishes. Groups and workplaces can join the Holiday Giving Tree Program and be matched with various nonprofits. They then buy the gifts for the recipients on their list and contact the assigned nonprofit to discuss details such as drop- off. Individuals can donate $25, which will cover the cost of a gift for a community member. For more information, call Jayne Thoma at (414) 837-3180.
The Salvation Army is accepting donations for its Toy Shop Distribution Center, 5880 N. 60th St. The center is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, year-round. The toys must be new, but used toys can be donated for sale at the Salvation Army thrift stores. Toys are needed for boys and girls ages 8-15. For a list of suggested toys, click here.
3. Children’s Wisconsin
Children’s Wisconsin is accepting donations for its annual toy drive. Items must be new and kept in the original packaging. The items cannot contain latex or religious or violent themes. Click here, to view the wish list. For questions or concerns call (414) 266-2787.
4. Toys for Tots
Donations for Toys for Tots can be made at one of the Milwaukee County drop sites. The two main drop sites are the Salvation Army of Milwaukee Distribution Center, 5880 N. 60th St. and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Center, 2401 S. Lincoln Memorial Drive.
The Capuchin Community Services works with organizations such as the House of Peace to coordinate an annual toy drive. New toys can be dropped off at the House of Peace, 1702 W. Walnut St., from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Donations should be dropped off at the 17th Street door. Toys needed can be found on the Amazon and Target registries or toy list. Volunteers can email email@example.com.
Where you can get toys
To be on the toy recipient list, families and individuals must register at places such as the House of Peace, United Way or the Salvation Army. Registration for most toy drives takes place in early fall. Unfortunately, most registration is closed or predetermined for the aforementioned places. However, used toys and winter apparel may be available at places listed below.
1. Salvation Army
Registration for the Salvation Army’s toy drive has closed, but used toys are available at some of its stores.
Brown Deer: 8008 W. Brown Deer Road. Phone: (414) 716-0191
Cudahy: 5656 S. Packard Ave. Phone: (414) 747-4884
Franklin: 6341 S. 27th St. Phone: (414) 761-7733
West Allis: 7713 W. Greenfield Ave. Phone: (414) 453-1267
2. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
Milwaukee: 2320 W. Lincoln Ave. Phone: (414) 672-2040
Greenfield: 4476 S. 108th St. Phone: (414) 377-9077
Goodwill has toy sections at its store locations:
Milwaukee: 3900 N. Palmer St. Phone: (414) 967-0588
Milwaukee: 153 W. Oklahoma Ave. Phone: (414) 744-6014
West Milwaukee: 1716 Miller Park Way. Phone: (414) 645-9113
Brown Deer: 9305 N. Green Bay Road. Phone: (414) 716-0137
Wauwatosa: 12121 W. Feerick St. Phone: (414) 393-1487
If you require additional assistance over the holidays call or text 2-1-1. IMPACT 2-1-1 will be able to connect you with additional resources such as meal programs, winter clothing and more.
Bonus: Children aren’t the only ones in need this holiday season. Consider making a donation to the Guest House of Milwaukee, Capuchin Community Services, Mr. Bob’s “Under The Bridge”, Milwaukee Rescue Mission and more. Click here to read about organizations that need your help.
Did we miss a place to donate or to register for toys? Post it in the comments below or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.