Bay Area Holiday Toy Drives Need Some Elves (Like You)

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Adobe Photoshop PDFThis is a 2013 list. See the 2014 list.

You can be a Santa’s helper and make the holidays brighter for Bay Area children by donating to a local toy drive in the coming weeks. If you’re already out shopping, consider picking up a new toy, or grabbing an extra gift card (much easier for donations to teens), to donate to one of the many drives in need of donations.

Below is our extensive list of local holiday toy drives, their drop-off locations, needs, and deadlines, organized by region.

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

Know of a toy drive we missed? Tell us in the comments. We’ll update the list with new information as it comes in.

UPDATE:  See the latest deadline info, plus a link to more Bay Area holiday donations drives here. Scroll down for our complete list.

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: Dec. 14

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

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: Dec. 15

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, or monetary donations.

Deadline: Varies by area.

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: Dec. 16

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

Oakland Mayor’s Community Toy Drive 2013

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

Needs: New, unwrapped toys, or online donations. No toys of violent nature, please.

Deadline: Contact Mayor’s Office: 510-777-TOYS.

Drop-off Locations: see the website for a complete list. You can also donate online via Roonga.com, by Dec. 18.

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: Dec. 18

Drop-off Location: Novato Fair Shopping Center, 12 noon to 6 p.m., Dec. 1-18.

Peninsula

The Children’s Fund of San Mateo County

What it is: Making sure that children in the juvenile justice system, low income children and foster children receive a gift at the holidays.

Needs: New, unwrapped toys, board games, books, clothing, gift cards of $25, and sports equipment, such as basketballs or soccer balls.

Deadline: Dec. 24

Drop-off Locations: 550 Quarry Road, 2nd Floor, San Carlos; contact the organization for more info.

Community Services Agency of Mountain View and Los Altos

What it is: Community agency helping those in need.

Needs: New, unwrapped toys, pajamas, gifts for teens, healthy food donations.

Deadline: Contact the agency; 650-968-0836.

Drop-off Location: 204 Stierlin Rd., Mountain View, between 9 a.m. and noon, and 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., weekdays.

Ecumenical Hunger Program

What it is: Helping those in need in East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Menlo Park.

Needs: Grocery store gift cards, gifts for teens, turkeys, hams, chickens, monetary donations, volunteers.

Deadline: Dec. 22

Drop-off Location: 2411 Pulgas Ave., East Palo Alto, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays.

The Edgewood Center

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

Needs: New, unwrapped gifts, gift cards, monetary donations.

Deadline: Dec. 20

Drop-off Location: 957 Industrial Road, Suite B, San Mateo, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Redwood City Toy Drive

What it is: A 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: Contact the organization.

Drop-off Locations: 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, teens, and families who have suffered abuse, neglect, and mental illness.

Needs: New, unwrapped gifts, gift cards, monetary donations.

Deadline: Dec. 20

Drop-off Location: 1801 Vicente Street, San Francisco.

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, sponsoring many events during the holiday season.

Needs: New, unwrapped toys, or online donations.

Drop-off Locations: Any San Francisco Fire Station; see the website for a complete list.

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, new toys, arts and crafts supplies, winter clothing, and sporting equipment. Other gift cards and monetary donations also welcome.

Deadline: Dec. 12

Drop-off Location: Call the agency at 408-975-2730, ext. 226 to arrange drop off.

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.

Campbell Mom Squad Holiday Toy Drive to Benefit EMQ FamiliesFirst

What it is: Every year this group of Campbell moms sponsors a holiday toy drive to benefit EMQ FamiliesFirst, a nonprofit that helps children with mental health issues.

Needs: See the complete list here. They do not accept stuffed toys or books.

Deadline: Dec. 15

Drop-off Locations: Various sites around Campbell. See the list here.

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.

Needs: New, unwrapped toys, non-perishable food.

Deadline: Toy Drive ends Dec. 12; Food Drive ends Dec. 20.

Drop-off Locations: Both food and toys may be drpped off at the Joan Pisani Community Center, 19655 Allendale Ave., or the City Manager’s Office, 13777 Fruitvale Ave. Food may also be dropped off at the Saratoga Library, 13650 Saratoga Ave., and the Saratoga Prospect Center, 19848 Prospect Rd. The Saratoga Historical Museum, 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Rd., is also accepting toys.

Gardner Health Services NAVIDAD En La Comunidad Project

What it is: Each year the project hosts a one-day distribution event to pass out food baskets, toys, coats, and resources to San Jose families in need.

Needs: New, unwrapped toys, gently used coats, food staples.

Deadline: In time for the Dec. 14 event; contact organization for details.

Drop-off Location: Contact Rose at 408-938-2172.

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 1,100 families, adults, and seniors.

Needs: New, unwrapped toys, gift cards, cash donations.

Deadline: Ongoing.

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: Donations accepted starting the week after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day.

Drop-off Locations: San Jose City fire stations.

The Mercury News Gift of Reading

What it is: The San Jose Mercury News partners with RAFT (Resource Area For Teaching) to bring the magic of books to Bay Area children.

Needs: New or like-new children’s books; cash donations.

Deadline: Dec. 13

Drop-off Locations: Throughout the South Bay; see the website for a complete list.

The Portuguese Community Center

What it is: Helping those in need in the Portuguese-speaking community.

Needs: Toys, food, clothing, toiletries, toothbrushes.

Deadline: Contact the organization; 408-213-1034.

Drop-off Location: 1115 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose.

Sacred Heart Community Service

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

Needs: New, unwrapped toys, bicycles. (UPDATE: On Dec. 11 Sacred Heart announced it is more than 17,000 toys short of its goal)

Deadline: Dec. 20

Drop-off Location: 1381 S. First St., San Jose; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Fridays, and; 9 a.m.-noon, Saturdays. Special holiday hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, and Sunday, Dec. 15.

SJB Child Development Centers

What it is: Providing educational development services to children ages 0-12 in Santa Clara County.

Needs: Holiday gifts, new or gently used computers.

Deadline: Contact the organization.

Drop-off Location: 1400 Parkmoor Ave., Suite 220, San Jose; 408-414-2700.

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, gift cards.

Deadline: Dec. 13

Drop-off Location: 725 Kifer Rd., Sunnyvale. Drop off hours through Dec. 2 are 9 a.m.-4 p.m., weekdays. Open 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1. Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 3-13.

The Unity Care Group

What it is: Helping foster youth and families in need.

Needs: $25 gift cards to stores such as Target, Old Navy, Macy’s, etc., Christmas trees, holiday decorations, blankets, and monetary donations.

Deadline: Contact the organization.

Drop-off Location: Call 408-510-3480.

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.

Needs: See the complete list on this PDF. Or make a monetary donation on the website.

Deadline: The agency is accepting toys and gifts Dec. 3-10, for its Holiday Shopping Spree program.

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.