Communities participating in relief efforts draw closer during difficult times. You'll be surprised and humbled at the amount of donations you'll receive once you get the word out.
Create a committee (see 373 Plan an Organizational Meeting). Goods need to be sorted by age, size, gender or use, and you must be able to distribute them to the people in need.
Partner with police or firefighters whose well-known programs such as Toys for Tots (toysfortots.org) enjoy hefty media exposure and public awareness.
Round up volunteers to help collect, load, organize and deliver the goods.
Designate a single drop-off point or scatter several around the city. Make sure they are well marked and supervised.
Contact hospitals, Boys and Girls' Clubs, shelters, the Salvation Army and other local organizations to find out if they're interested in receiving donations, and for guidelines in doing so.
Determine what types of toys (gender- or-age-appropriate) and condition (gently used or brand new) are acceptable. Clarify whether toys should be wrapped before donating.
- Ask a car rental agency or moving company to donate a van or other large vehicle.
- Remember that people need food, clothing and toys yearround, not just during the holidays.
- See 12 Get Rid of What You Don't Want.
- The most difficult part of your drive will be storing the donated items.