Holiday toy drives in Lakeland, FL

‘Tis the season of giving. Check out this list of local holiday toy drives you can donate to or apply for assistance from.

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Volunteers loading up donated toys | Photo via @parkerstreetministries

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With the season of giving fast approaching, we’re taking a look at Lakeland’s Christmas toy drives. Whether you’re looking to donate to local children or are interested in applying for holiday assistance, check out this list for more information.

Kate’s Story Foundation
Kate’s Story Foundation is collecting toys for hospitalized children at Lakeland Regional Health, Nemours Children’s Health Lakeland, and Nemours Children’s Health in Orlando. Drop off new, unopened, and unwrapped latex-free gifts to one of nine Lakeland locations through Fri., Dec. 16. Find a list of preferred gifts and drop-off locations here.

Parker Street Ministries

Parker Street Ministries is looking for ~2,800 gifts for its annual Christmas Store. Drop off gifts to 719 N. Massachusetts Ave. by Mon., Dec. 5. Pro tip: Check out the organization’s wish list, or send gifts from their Amazon wish list and skip the drop-off altogether.

Cops for Kids
Drop-off dates are TBA, but you can start shopping now for a gift appropriate for children aged 12 and under. Looking to make an early donation? Give the Community Services Unit a call at (863) 834-6912.

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Bags of donated toys in 2020 | Photo via @parkerstreetministries

U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is celebrating 75 years of toy donations this year. In 2021, the organization distributed 50,829 toys and supported 14,219 children. Participate by dropping off a new, unwrapped toy at one of 230+ Lakeland locations.

Heartland for Children’s Rudolph Round-Up
Heartland for Children is aiming to provide toys to 1,500 local children. Help meet this goal by donating a gift from their registry at the main campus (215 E. Magnolia St.) by Dec. 17. Additionally, you can become a Rudolph Champion by sponsoring a child and shopping his or her wish list, or making a monetary donation.

Regardless of where you donate, make sure all toys and gifts are new and unwrapped.

Apply for holiday assistance

Cops for Kids
When: Register in-person for holiday assistance today, Nov. 2, Thursday, Nov. 3, or Monday, Nov. 7. from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. or 6-8 p.m.
Where: Lakeland Police Department, 219 N. Massachusetts Ave.
Requirements: Bring a current Lakeland Electric bill to verify your Lakeland address, photo ID, and an original birth certificate for each child.

U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program
When: By Tuesday, Nov. 15
Where: Online
Requirements: Applicants must be current Polk County residents with children aged 0-12 who can provide proof that they are currently receiving Medicaid, food assistance (SNAP or WIC), or cash assistance (TANF).

Lighthouse Ministries
When: Drop off a completed application from Monday-Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Fri., Nov. 18.
Where: Lakeland Family Store & H.O.P.E Center, 3111 US Hwy. 98 S., Ste. 130
Requirements: Bring the completed application and proof of income (including outside assistance), proof of expenses (including but not limited to utility bills, medical bills, rent, insurance, and more), a photo ID for anyone aged 18+, and copies of Social Security cards for everyone on the application.

Is your local toy drive not on our list? Tell us about it so we can spread the holiday cheer.