Our List of Bay Area Toy Drives; Santa Needs Those Donations ASAP

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Click here for the 2014 list!

UPDATE 12/17/12: the deadlines coming up this week and beyond are highlighted.

There are only 13 more shopping days until Christmas, but for most toy drives in the San Francisco Bay area, the deadline is looming over the Sandwich_Spot_Redwood_City_ChiPs_For_Kids_Toy_Drive_Donationsnext several days to ensure less fortunate children and teens receive gifts in time for the holiday.

If you’re already out shopping, consider picking up a new toy, or grabbing an extra gift card (much easier for teens), to donate to one of the many drives. Here’s our extensive list of local holiday toy drives, their drop-off locations, needs, and deadlines, organized by area.

For donating new or like-new books, check out our previous post on the Gift of Reading, which has drop-offs mostly in the South Bay, with one in Redwood City. Deadline is Sunday, Dec. 16.

Can’t drop off a toy or book? Click on the name of the organization to go to its website (if available); many are taking online donations, or provide addresses for sending checks.

Know of a toy drive we missed? Tell us in the comments.

All Over the Bay Area

CHiPs For Kids

What it is: annual toy drive for kids in need conducted by the California Highway Patrol.

Needs: new, unwrapped toys; also accepting canned goods.

Deadline: varies by location.

Drop-off Locations: any Golden Gate Division CHP office, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Friday, Dec. 14.

Additional Note: see under Peninsula listings for drop-off locations and special event on Dec. 15.

Sleep Train Foster Kids Secret Santa Toy Drive

What it is: collecting new toys and other gifts for foster children in the Bay Area.

Needs: new, unwrapped toys, books, and games.

Deadline: contact the store of  your choice; online donations are ongoing.

Drop-off Locations: see the website for a store locator.

Toys for Tots

What it is: one of the biggest, oldest toy drives in the country conducted by members of the United States Marine Corps.

Needs: new, unwrapped toys.

Deadline: varies by area, in the Dec. 15 to 17 range.

Drop-off Locations: See the website for information by area.

East Bay

Building Futures

What it is: provides shelter and support to women and children who are homeless and victims of family violence.

Needs: toys and other gifts from wish list on the website.

Deadline: Sunday, Dec. 16

Drop-off Location: the Building Futures office, 1395 Bancroft Avenue, San Leandro

Oakland Mayor’s Community Toy Drive 2012

What it is: bringing smiles to Oakland’s children in need.

Needs: new, unwrapped toys, or online donations. Currently the program especially needs gifts for 12-year-old girls.

Deadline: Sunday, Dec. 23. Any donations after the date will be stored for next year. Online donations are ongoing.

Drop-off Locations: see the website for a complete list.

Richmond/El Cerrito Fire and Police Holiday Toy Program

What it is: providing new toys for children in need in the western Contra Costa County area.

Needs: new, unwrapped toys, or online donations.

Deadline: contact the organization.

Drop-off Locations: any fire station in west county.

Marin

Santa Cop Toy Drive

What it is: annual toy drive for children in need, co-sponsored by the police and fire departments of San Rafael, the police and fire associations of San Rafael, and the International Footprinter Association, Chapter #15.

Needs: unwrapped, new toys and games.

Deadline: contact the organization.

Drop-off Locations: all over San Rafael; see the website for list.

Novato Human Needs Center

What it is: serving low-income families.

Needs: new, unwrapped toys and games for babies, children, and teens.

Deadline: Friday, Dec. 14

Drop-off Location: Novato Fair Shopping Center, 12 to 5 p.m. daily

Peninsula

ChiPs for Kids

See above for information about the program under “All Over the Bay Area”. Below are Peninsula drop-off locations.

California Highway Patrol, Redwood City Area Office, 355 Convention Way, Redwood City; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Dec. 14.

Toys R Us, 202 Walnut St., Redwood City, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Dec. 15; special event on Saturday the 15: kids can get their photos taken with CHP vehicles when you donate a toy.

DMV Redwood City Office, 300 Brewster Ave., Redwood City, during office hours through Friday, Dec. 14.

DMV San Mateo Office, 425 N. Amphlett Blvd., San Mateo, during office hours through Friday, Dec. 14.

Seaport Storage, 1703 E. Bayshore Rd., Redwood City; call for deadline, 650-364-3866. The business is offering a one-time $10.00 credit for new and existing customers for donating a new, unwrapped toy.

The Sandwich Spot, 2420 Broadway St., Redwood City; call ahead for deadline, 650-299-1300. The shop is offering a buy one combo, get a second combo at 50 percent off, when you donate a new, unwrapped toy.

Redwood City Toy Drive

What it is: collaboration of police and fire groups in Redwood City collecting toys and books for local children in need.

Needs: new, unwrapped toys and books, monetary donations.

Deadline: barrels are already being picked up this week, although some locations may still have barrels out. Contact the organization. Best bet may be to drop off monetary donations the week of Dec. 17, at Peets Coffee, 2600 Broadway, Redwood City, or make an online donation.

Drop-off Locations: see note under “Deadline” above. A complete list is available on the website, but you might want to call ahead first.

Samaritan House

What it is: serving low-income families in the San Mateo area.

Needs: online donations, either money, or via Amazon Wish List. See website for info.

Deadline and Drop-off: contact the organization.

San Francisco

The Edgewood Center

What it is: helping children and families who have suffered abuse, neglect, and mental illness.

Needs: new, unwrapped gifts.

Deadline: Friday, Dec. 21

Drop-off Location: 1801 Vicente Street, San Francisco, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

San Francisco Fire Fighters Toy Program

What it is: providing toys to children in need, from infants through age 12. The organization is year-round, and sponsors many events during the holiday season.

Needs: new, unwrapped toys, or online donations.

Drop-off Location: Frisco Muscle Toy Drive, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 16, Pier 48.

SOMA Child Care, Inc.

What it is: provides quality child care, early childhood education, and support services to families living South of Market Street.

Needs: new and gently used toys and clothing.

Deadline: Saturday, Dec. 29

Drop-off Location: Westfield San Francisco Center, 865 Market St., collection boxes next to the Santa Set.

South Bay

AACI Asian Women’s Home Holiday Gift Drive

What it is: the Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) operate the Asian Women’s Home, offering care and shelter for women and children experiencing domestic violence and other serious issues.

Needs: $40 Target gift cards for adults; new toys, games, DVDs, and warm winter clothing for children; bouncers, strollers and car seats for infants and toddlers; warm outerwear, shoes, personal care items, sports equipment, entertainment gift cards, and throws and blankets for tweens and teens.

Deadline: Friday, Dec. 14

Drop-off Location: call the agency at 408-975-2730, ext. 223 to arrange drop off.

Alum Rock Counseling Center

What it is: serves high-risk youth in Santa Clara County; each year the group has a Santa’s Workshop with age- and gender-specific toys and bikes for approximately 200 children from infants to teens.

Needs: new, unwrapped toys and bikes; also accepting large rolls of wrapping paper, tape, ribbons and bows, baskets, tinned cookies, candy, non-perishable food, and bottled water.

Deadline: Friday, Dec. 14

Drop-off Location: see the website for contact information.

Bill Wilson Center

What it is: the center helps youth who are homeless, runaway, in foster care, have aged out of the foster care system, or having family problems.

Needs: gift cards (Target, grocery stores, etc.) so that the teens and young adults can pick out exactly the items they need and want.

Deadline and Drop-off: contact the center.

City of Saratoga Holiday Toy and Food Drive

What it is: every year the city collects new, unwrapped toys, and non-perishable food to distribute to needy families.

Deadline: Friday, Dec. 21

Drop-off Locations: toys may be dropped off at the City Manager’s office lobby in Saratoga City Hall, 13777 Fruitvale Ave., Saratoga. See website for food drop off points.

Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley

What it is: the agency is collecting new, unwrapped toys, gift cards and cash donations to help more than 3,000 families, adults, and seniors.

Deadline: Dec. 31

Drop-off Location: 14855 Oka Rd., Suite 202, Los Gatos, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, and 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Fridays. Or donate online.

Los Bomberos of Northern California Annual Holiday Toy Drive

What it is: Latino Firefighters Association collecting new, unwrapped toys for children in need.

Needs: new, unwrapped toys.

Deadline: Christmas Day

Drop-off Locations: San Jose City fire stations.

Sacred Heart Community Services

What it is: San Jose nonprofit that helps support local families in need.

Needs: new, unwrapped toys.

Deadline: Sacred Heart announced special toy drop off hours on Dec. 14, 15 and 16, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donations still needed for teens, ages 14-17. Contact the organization for deadline info.

Drop-off Location: 1381 S. First St., San Jose.

Sunnyvale Community Services

What it is: annual toy and gift drive to provide a happy holiday for hundreds of Sunnyvale families.

Needs: new toys and gifts for infants through teens, nonperishable food items, new household items.

Deadline: Friday, Dec. 14

Drop-off Location: 725 Kifer Rd., Sunnyvale.

West Valley Community Services

What it is: annual toy and gift drive to provide a happy holiday for hundreds of families in Cupertino, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, and West San Jose.

Deadline: Friday, Dec. 14

Drop-off Location: 10104 Vista Dr., Cupertino. The office is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; Tuesday and Thursday 8am – 8pm; the office is closed everyday from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm for lunch.