Stuffed. That’s how most of us feel after the holidays. We’ve eaten too much, spent too much, and our homes are stuffed to the gills with toys. Now’s the time to clean up the Christmas carnage and cull some of our kids’ less-loved toys by donating them to one of Atlanta’s awesome organizations supporting children and families. Whether you fill up your donation boxes as part of a family activity or do it on your own in the stealth of preschool hours, you’ll be making a difference not only to your shelves, but to Atlanta families in need.
We’re all familiar with the Salvation Army’s thrift stores and disaster relief efforts, but you may have missed the memo about the Red Shield Services of the Salvation Army. Providing shelter for families with children 365 days a year, the Salvation Army does more than feed the homeless. They provide a home to hundreds of Atlanta children every year. Donate clothes, household items, and well-loved toys, and the best news? They’ll come to you!
Serving women and children in need, the Atlanta Mission operates a 264-bed residential facility called My Sister’s House, which provides shelter alongside referrals to job training programs and a childcare facility staffed with a behavioral specialist and social workers. Also serving the homeless is the Atlanta Day Shelter, a campus offering job readiness programs, medical care, computer training, and mental health counseling to an average of 140 women and children each day.
The Atlanta Children’s Shelter
Located in the North Avenue Presbyterian Church, this shelter provides free, quality daycare for homeless children, and resources for their families. Founded by the Junior League of Atlanta in 1986, the ACS has provided care for nearly 8,000 children from 5,000 families, and maintains its mission to help families overcome the root causes of homelessness. The bottom line? It’s a great home for those toys collecting dust on your shelves.
The Atlanta Children’s Shelter, 607 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30308, 404-892-3713
Georgia’s oldest nonprofit childcare provider, Sheltering Arms serves working families with affordable child care, education, and support services. Each of its 17 centers in Atlanta’s seven metro counties acts as a hub for community outreach for familial support services, and over 3,600 children ages six weeks to five years old are served annually.
Sheltering Arms, 385 Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW, Atlanta 30313, 404-523-2767
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Offering programs to support families in crisis, including education, training, meals, and temporary housing, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul funds these incredible outreach initiatives partially through the sales of their 10 thrift stores throughout Atlanta. The society’s mission is to help get families back on their feet, with its St. Michael’s House created specifically for homeless women and their children ages 12 and younger.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Drop-off locations at Holy Spirit (4465 Northside Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30327) and at Christ the King (2699 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30305)
The Junior League of Atlanta
Focused on improving the health, education and welfare of women and children in Atlanta, the Junior League partners with over 90 non-profit organizations throughout the community. Revenue from its Nearly New Shop provides needed funds to support initiatives such as after-school programs for at-risk girls, temporary housing for women and children fleeing domestic violence, and career counseling and childcare for the homeless.
The Junior League of Atlanta, Nearly New Shop, 1715 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30318, 404-355-3547
What do you do with your old toys? Sharing is caring, so tell us about it below!