Where to donate stuffed animals? Talk amongst yourselves.

Simone says:

I'm finding myself overwhelmed with stuffed animals. I can't quite bring myself to toss them, but I don't know how to get rid of them. The local Goodwill won't take them. Any suggestions?

My first thought is the local homeless shelter. You also might look into donating them to Hurricane Katrina evacuees (both the Been There Clearinghouse or Momready help distribute gently-used items). There's your local craigslist or Freecycle. Other ideas?


  1. Steph says

    Local daycares, church nurseries, Pre-K or kindergarten classes. Sometimes the police or firefighters will keep some in their cars to give to children dealing with trauma. Hope this helps!

  2. Amy says

    Steph had great suggestions – I would also suggest the local children’s hospital or pediatrics ward (although they sometimes have rules against stuffed toys because they can get really germy and are harder to clean). What about the children’s section of the library? Ours has puppets.

    I’m pretty sure that my daughter’s stuffed animals are mating and reproducing at night when no one’s looking…

  3. Kim says

    I’m surprised goodwill won’t take them. I have lots of friends who scour goodwill-type places for used stuffed animals to use as dog toys.(Of course, they remove any eyes or other potentially hazardous things before giving them to a dog.) Maybe a shelter could use them?

    If they are un-used, the suggestions above are great.

  4. hismoose says

    Try your local fire department, police station, or emergency/ambulance crew. First responders sometimes carry a stuffed toy or two in their cars to calm small kids in scary circumstances.

    Also if you’ve got a pile of smaller toys consider looking into some of the organizations that collect donations for armed forces personnel overseas. I’ve read that beanie baby size toys are favored give-aways that are easy for soldiers to carry.

  5. Audrea says

    There is a web site you can go to that I have fell in love with completely. http://www.freecycle.org

    How it works is, when you want to find a new home for something — whether it’s a chair, a fax machine, piano, or an old door — you simply send an e-mail offering it to members of the local Freecycle group.

    Or, maybe you’re looking to acquire something yourself. Simply respond to a member’s offer, and you just might get it. After that, it’s up to the giver to decide who receives the gift and to set up a pickup time for passing on the treasure.

    Our main rule: Everything posted must be free, legal, and appropriate for all ages.

    Non-profit organizations also benefit from The Freecycle Network. Post the item or items you want to give away and specify that you wish the gift to go to a nonprofit cause. It’s entirely your choice! It’s a free cycle of giving.

    I’ve given things that I no longer need away and gotten some pretty neat things also.

  6. jennifer says

    Also consider donating to your local woman’s shelter. Remember, many of these women are escaping abusive homes not only fo rhtemselves, but for their children. Many times, they don’t have anything with them but the clothes on their back. Also consider shelters for donating professional work clothes for the women, and children’s clothing, from baby sizes on up.

  7. mamaloo says

    Teen maternity homes are a great place to donate all your old baby/maternity related stuff. Young mums are always in need of stuff for their little ones.

  8. Jill says

    Before you give away used stuffed animals, launder them all. I know that most of them say “surface washable only”, but they really do harbor lots of germs, and most (but not all) of them will come thru the laundry unscathed. Use a gentle cycle or put them in lingerie bag first.

    If your child wants to cuddle a stuffed animal at the library or other public place, discourage it. Schools generally refuse dress up wigs and stuffed anythings because of the concern about spreading diseases and other problems like lice from one child to the next.

  9. Simone says

    Wow, those are all great suggestions. Maybe I’ll be able to dig myself out of beanie baby hell after all.

  10. erin says

    I’ll second Jill’s suggestion. We’ve had good luck machine washing all of our stuffed animals (even some of mine from when I was little) in a front-loading washer on delicate or “hand wash.” We use a gentle detergent (7th generation in our case) and sometimes colorsafe bleach. We then pop them in the dryer on a low setting, checking frequently, taking the little guys out and letting the big guys keep going.

  11. Glenda Menendez says

    About a week ago, I order a Toys for kids in Iraq mailing kit. They did not gave me a reference number nor instruction or addresses to sent the toys. Please shed some light on this matter, because I have a mailing kit and no address or instruction on how to send the toys.

  12. Stacy says

    Are stuffed animal donations still being accepted? If so, where are they to be sent? Thank you. Stacy

  13. Edmay Mayers says

    Yes,please send your items for the Iraqi children to the address below and we will ensure they receive them. We will also provide pictures on the web for you to enjoy.
    Edmay P. Mayers
    APO, AE 09359

    Thank you and God Bless, Edmay

  14. Nancy Burgoin says

    Hi there,

    I was wondering whether you were still doing this wonderful worthy cause? I have boxes of beautiful, clean – not soiled in any way, stuffed toys. I would so love to do this but want to make sure that it is something that is still ongoing.

    thanks so much :O)

  15. Heather H. says

    My friends and I were just talking about this tonight! If someone is still accepting stuffed animals, we would gladly have some to package up and send!!!

  16. Terry says

    We have several boxes of great stuffies that we’d be willing to ship. Can you verify that this address:
    Edmay P. Mayers
    APO, AE 09359

    still works and will get them to Iraq?