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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How and Where to Donate Stuffed Animals

By Katie M

A reader wrote to us the other day and asked if we knew of places throughout the Triad that would accept used stuffed animals, and if not, would we blog about it. She was cleaning out old toys to make room for all the new ones that arrived during the holiday season. I think I wrote back saying, “Sure, no problem. We’ll pull together and get it uploaded on TSP.” Well, little did I know at the time that finding places that accept used stuffed animals is more difficult than finding Zhu Zhu pets!

The obvious places you’d choose for toy donations, like Goodwill, no longer accept used stuffed animals. And it has nothing to do with germs, but more to do with regulations regarding the fire retardancy of the materials inside. Who knew? Like many of us, the reader who wrote us has a million stuffed animals that have been hugged maybe once or twice, and then crammed into the “stuffed animal basket” never to be loved again.

So, I am calling on all of you, our readers, to see if you’ve ever been in this predicament before. If you know of any organizations in the Triad that accept used stuffed animals, please list your suggestions in the comments below, or email us here! If we get enough responses, we’ll post a follow up to this blog!

Here are some ideas I found with help from (I love that web site, by the way!). If you’ve had first-hand experiences with any of these places below, again – send us a comment or email us directly.

1. Sometimes local police departments, sheriff’s department or fire department will accept small stuffed animals to calm children involved in accidents, accompany children en route to a hospital, or soothe kids who are lost or involved in custody incidents.

2. Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (SAFE) collects new and gently used stuffed animals and toys to be redistributed to police, fire and rescue, ambulance services, children’s homes, hospitals, life flight, and other emergency organization. Brandi Byers is the North Carolina representative, however, I am not sure where in NC she is located. She can be emailed at

3. Project Night Night, is an organization that donates individual tote bags to homeless children ages 0-10, each filled with a security blanket, an age-appropriate book, and a stuffed animal. There are shelters across the country, with one here in Winston-Salem! You can contact Family Services, Inc, 1200 South Broad Street, W-S, at 724-3979.

4. Sometimes homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters or senior centers accept donations of stuffed animals.

5. Toys for Tots collect toys that were never used or are still in their original packaging for children of all ages (from newborns to teens). Their big drive is between October 28 and December 9 at all Toys R’ Us and Babies R’ us locations across the country. But here is a link to all their toy drop-off locations in the Triad.

Where else can you think of? And has anyone tried these places listed above?

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Summer said...

Again TSP you rock. I will be the first one to say that I hae toy guilt over the many stuffed toys that never "made the cut", and that my kids are more likely to use them as bean bags than as loveys, so I store them in a basket on the highest shelf of the closet, and every now and then I pilfer through and move some to the attic. I am so curious to see how these organizations work out.

MichelleW said...

I just learned that Exchange/SCAN will take gently used stuffed animals. The website is
The are located on Northwest Blvd in WS.

Cassandra said...

Does this mean that Goodwill does NOT accept stuffed animals? I have just been putting them in the boxes with clothes, appliances, etc. I hope they weren't being thrown away.

A.T. said...

We moved here from Wilson, and their police dept. requested stuffed animal donations. The officers would keep them in the squad cars in the event of helping a child during an accident or domestic situation. My daughters enjoyed cleaning out their collection and taking the stuffed animals to the Wilson Police Dept.

honey said...

I would definitely look here again for other toys that I can maybe donate. Keep sharing! plush stuffed toys

cellis said...

I am the Director of the Teddy Bear Brigade a program of Gleaning for the World a 501c.3 non-profit located in Central Virginia. We accept donations of new and gently used stuffed animals for distribution as humanitarian aid and disaster relief to children in developing countries. For more info visit our website at email me at Stuffed animals can be dropped of or shipped to our warehouse at:

Gleaning for the World
Att: Teddy Bear Brigade
7539 Stage Road / P.O. Box 645
Concord, VA 24538

Thanks, Chris Ellis

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