As a parent, I think it’s safe to say that stuffed animals are a real problem…
At the store, they look so cute and are usually inexpensive, making them easy to buy. But once played with (if played with at all), they get dirty fast and look dingey.
Plus, they accumulate so quickly that if you’re not careful, you end up with a huge pile of stuffed animals that you don’t know what to do with.
If your house is feeling overrun with kid’s stuff, here’s where to donate used stuffed animals.
(But toss those dirty ones. Only donate very gently-used stuffed animals.)
Top Places to Donate Used Stuffed Animals
Stuffed Animals for Emergencies
Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (SAFE) is a non-profit that collects stuffed animals, blankets, and toys to give to children going through traumatic, emotional, or emergency situations.
There are three ways to donate stuffed animals to SAFE:
- Donate to a SAFE chapter
- Send your donations to an “urgent need” location
- Host a stuffed animal drive
You can donate both used and new stuffed toys to this charity. It’s essential, though, that if you’re donating used stuffed animals, you ensure that they are gently used and have no stains, rips, or tears.
Big Brother Big Sister
The Big Brother Big Sister program accepts donations of small toys, including gently used stuffed animals. However, the pickup locations are only in select states.
Big Brother Big Sister works differently than many other charities. Instead of distributing the donations they receive, they resell them and then put the money back into their program.
Goodwill accepts donations of clean, gently-used, and like-new stuffed animals.
You can search for the nearest Goodwill donation drop-off by doing a quick search here.
So, if you have a Salvation Army nearby and a bunch of like-new stuffed animals, you can drop them off there.
Alternatively, you could go through your house, find many different items to donate and then schedule a SA truck pick-up.
How to Find Local Charities that Will Accept Stuffed Animal Donations?
If you’re wondering where to donate stuffed animals in your area, you can look up local donation centers on the DonationTown website.
All you need to do is enter your zip code, and DonationTown will pull up a list of the closest charities and organizations that accept donated items. You can even schedule a donation pickup.
Can Used Stuffed Animals Be Recycled?
Yes, if you have used stuffed animals in rough condition that can’t be donated, you can recycle them. However, you’ll need to pay a fee.
TerraCycle runs a recycling program that is capable of recycling most toys, including stuffed animals.
Here’s how it works:
- Purchase a “zero waste box” off of TerraCycle ($120-$260, depending on size)
- Pack your box with toys and mail it in
- TerraCycle will recycle everything in your box
Related Questions About Donating Used Stuffed Animals
Can you donate used stuffed animals to Ronald McDonald House?
No, you cannot donate used stuffed animals to Ronald McDonald House. This charity only accepts donations of brand new toys and stuffed animals.
Can you donate used stuffed animals to Toys for Tots?
No, you cannot donate used stuffed animals to Toys for Tots. While many websites are saying you can, that’s not true. Toys for Tots only accepts brand new toys and stuffed animals.
Per their website, since 1980, they’ve only distributed new toys to children.
Do animal shelters accept stuffed animal donations?
Yes, many shelters do accept stuffed animal donations. A quick Google search can help you identify any local shelters that accept these types of contributions.
If you’re decluttering your house and wondering where to donate used stuffed animals, you have three options. You can trash, donate, or recycle.
I highly recommend that you donate any stuffed animals that are in like-new condition. Then, you can decide what to do with the rest.