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How to Give Back During the Holidays

Three easy ways to donate

Published on: October 30, 2019

woman with a donation box with a teddy bear inside

Spread some joy with your kids by remembering and supporting those in our community who are in need. We’ve rounded up local opportunities for families — giving trees, toy drives, food drives and more — to make a difference for other families. 

Donate toys and gifts

  • Adopt a family through the YWCA Adopt-A-Family program. The YWCA invites families to contribute by purchasing gifts for children and providing a grocery gift card for their parents. Drop-off locations are available in Seattle, Lynnwood and Everett.
  • Throughout the holiday season, Wellspring Family Services in the Rainier Valley offers a number of ways to donate to kids in need. Among the options: Give an item from Wellspring’s Giving Together Amazon Wish List, its Ready to Learn Amazon Wish List, or invite family and friends to fill a Kids Helping Kids coin jar. 
  • Local Bartell Drugs stores in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties accept new, unwrapped toys for kids ages 14 and younger through its annual Toy ‘N’ Joy Drive. Drop toys off at any area store location through Dec. 15; toys are delivered to low-income kids the week before Christmas by the Salvation Army.
  • The Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank needs donations of toys to stock its Holiday Gift Barn, where families low on resources can shop for free for holiday gifts for their kids. (Shopping takes place Dec. 4–5 this year.)
  • Support Mary’s Place, an organization serving families experiencing homelessness. Mary’s Place offers holiday giving-tree tags — families, groups and organizations can order tags, buy needed items and deliver them to donation center locations in SoDo (9 S. Nevada St.) and the Greenwood neighborhood in Seattle (8704 Greenwood Ave. N.) by Dec. 13. Drop-off hours are Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • The Forgotten Children’s Fund is a local, all-volunteer organization serving families that are generally not aided by other outreach organizations. They accept monetary donations to buy toys, gifts, books and more for kids. 

Donate clothing and baby gear

  • YouthCare in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood accepts a variety of donations for homeless teens, including leggings, underwear, shoes and sweatshirts. The organization has an urgent need for hygiene items, including shampoo, conditioner and deodorant. You can also host a holiday giving tree or order directly from YouthCare’s Amazon Wish List. 
  • Host or donate to a Joy Drive for WestSide Baby in White Center and Leschi. The organization is always in need of diapers, wipes, car seats and more for families.
  • Donate clothing to foster kids through Treehouse in Rainier Valley. You can also host a drive specific to the holidays to collect gifts for teens, new clothes, toys, shoes and accessories.

Donate food and personal care items

  • Hopelink collects food and toys at its five food bank locations in Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Shoreline and Carnation. 
  • AAA of Washington’s annual Soap for Hope drive benefits selected local charities, shelters and food banks with toiletry items donated through its brick-and-mortar stores. Drop off your donations of travel- and full-size toiletry items at any AAA store location in Lynnwood, Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah, Tukwila, Tacoma, Olympia and elsewhere through Dec. 31.
  • Queen Anne Helpline on Queen Anne provides emergency food assistance and especially seeks pop-top cans of protein-rich foods, such as chili, beans and tuna, plus canned vegetables, peanut butter, pasta and sauce, and more. Queen Anne Helpline also accepts personal care items and clothing donations, and has an urgent need for gently used winter coats. Drop off items at the Queen Anne Helpline office (311 W. McGraw St., Seattle) 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Thursday, but call ahead (206-282-1540) to make sure someone is there.

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