Where to Donate Toys and Books in NYC

Spreading Joy Through Giving

By Anu Kapur, Publisher, Lower Manhattan Macaroni KID & Upper West Side Macaroni KID April 28, 2024

    Are you looking to donate toys and books in New York City? Finding the right place to make your donation can make a meaningful difference to children and families in need. Whether you have gently used items or new ones to share, there are plenty of opportunities to make a positive impact in the community through your donations.


    New York City is home to several charitable organizations that gladly accept toy donations to help support children in need. Whether you're looking to declutter your home or foster a spirit of giving in your family, these local organizations provide the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

New York Cares

New York Cares is a well-established organization that runs an annual coat drive and holiday toy drive to support families in need. Their Holiday Gift Drive collects and distributes donated toys to children across the city, brightening the holiday season for countless families. Visit New York Cares for more information on donating toys and participating in their volunteer programs.

Second Chance Toys

Second Chance Toys is dedicated to keeping plastic toys out of landfills by donating them to children in need. This environmental initiative not only benefits underserved kids but also promotes sustainability. If you're interested in supporting their cause, visit Second Chance Toys to learn more about their donation process and drop-off locations.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army operates numerous community centers and churches throughout New York City, providing support to individuals and families in need. Their thrift stores accept toy donations, with the proceeds funding various social programs and charitable endeavors. To find a local drop-off location or schedule a pick-up, visit The Salvation Army donation page for more details.

Room to Grow

Room to Grow is committed to supporting babies born into poverty by providing essential items, including toys, clothing, and books. By donating new or gently used toys, you can contribute to the healthy development of children from low-income families. 


    In a bustling metropolis like New York City, there are numerous opportunities to donate books for a good cause. Whether you have books for kids or adults, there are several organizations that will gladly accept your donations and put them to good use.

Pick Up Please

Pick Up Please is a donation program by the Vietnam Veterans of America that offers free donation pick-up services across the United States. They accept a wide range of donations, including clothing, household items, and toys, to support veterans and their families. Donating through Pick Up Please is a convenient way to contribute to a meaningful cause.

Reading Reflections

When it comes to children's books, one standout organization in NYC is Reading Reflections. Founded by two young brothers, Reading Reflections collects children's books for distribution to kids in need, both locally and globally. They welcome a wide range of children's books suitable for all ages, as well as math and science textbooks, puzzles, and games.

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is another excellent option for book donations in NYC. This bookstore not only sells gently used books but also uses the proceeds to support individuals affected by homelessness and HIV/AIDS. They accept a variety of book genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and children's books.

The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is always in need of book donations to support its various literacy programs and community initiatives. Donating your books to the library not only gives them a second life but also contributes to the enrichment of the local community. Not all local libraries accept books so check before you carry your books to the library.

Project Cicero

Project Cicero is a volunteer-led book drive that aims to create and provide classroom libraries for under-resourced New York City public schools. They accept new and gently used books for grades Pre-K through 12, and donating to this organization directly impacts the education and literacy of New York City students.

By donating your books to these impactful organizations, you can make a meaningful difference in the lives of others while decluttering your bookshelf. Your generosity can help foster a love of reading and learning in communities across New York City.


    In order to ensure a smooth and meaningful donation experience, it is essential to take certain steps that can enhance the overall process. This includes cleaning and preparing the items to be donated, understanding tax deductions, and scheduling pick-ups or drop-offs.

    Before donating toys and books, it's crucial to ensure that they are in good condition. Cleaning and organizing the items shows respect for the recipients and makes the donation process more meaningful. Consider wiping down toys, making sure all the pieces are intact, and ensuring books are free from excessive wear and tear. This simple step can make a significant difference in the impact of the donation.

    Understanding the tax implications of your donation can maximize its benefits. By familiarizing yourself with the IRS guidelines on charitable contributions, you can ensure that you take full advantage of any available tax deductions. Keep detailed records of the items donated and their value to facilitate the tax deduction process.

    Decide whether you want to schedule a pick-up or drop off your donations. Some organizations offer pick-up services, making it convenient for donors to contribute. Research local donation centers or charities that accept toy and book donations and inquire about their pick-up or drop-off procedures. Consider the logistics and choose the option that aligns with your schedule and preferences.

    By following these donation tips, you can contribute to a more seamless and fulfilling donation experience while supporting meaningful causes in your community.


What to do with items that aren't accepted    

    When donating toys or books, it can be disheartening to find that not all items are accepted by donation centers. In such cases, consider seeking alternative organizations that may accept the items. Libraries, schools, nursing homes, or community centers often welcome such donations. Additionally, online platforms like Freecycle or Buy Nothing groups can connect you with individuals in need of specific items.

Donating large quantities of toys or books

    Donating large quantities of toys or books can be overwhelming. Consider reaching out to local shelters, hospitals, or foster care agencies, as they often have a greater need for a larger volume of items. Planning a donation drive in collaboration with local businesses, schools, or community groups can also help garner support and successfully donate a large quantity of items to those in need.

Finding year-round donation centers

    While holiday seasons often see an influx of donations, it's crucial to find year-round donation centers to ensure continuous support. Organizations such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and Housing Works accept donations throughout the year. Additionally, researching local charities and non-profits in your area can provide insight into year-round donation opportunities, allowing you to contribute to the community consistently.


New York City hosts a variety of seasonal drives and events aimed at collecting toys and books for children in need. During the holiday season, numerous organizations, such as Toys for Tots, hold toy drives to ensure that every child experiences the joy of receiving a gift. In addition, local community centers and non-profit organizations often organize book donation events to encourage literacy and a love for reading among underprivileged youth. Attending these events not only provides an opportunity to donate but also contributes to the festive spirit of giving back to the community.

    After the holiday season, consider donating gently used toys and books in NYC to organizations such as Hour Children's Thrift Shops, Goodwill, NYC Mammas Give Back, and Room to Grow. Your donations can help support worthy causes such as aiding incarcerated women and their children, providing job training for community members in need, and supporting babies born to families living in poverty. By donating to these organizations, you can make a positive impact all year round and help those in need within the local community.