Families who can give back to their local community this Christmas season can choose from several organizations to support during the upcoming holidays. These Denver area toy drives are a great way to ensure that every child wakes up to something to unwrap on Christmas morning. After all, Santa could use a little help sometimes! Many local organizations host annual toy drives and accept volunteer participation in organizing their events and collections.
Where? 3601 West Belleview Avenue
Arapahoe Santa Claus Shop has been providing holiday toys and gifts for children in Colorado for many years. Age groups include infants and children through 10 years old. These children are at risk of not receiving a toy on Christmas and dedicated volunteers work hard each season to ensure this doesn’t happen. The shop serves families around Sheridan, Englewood, and Littleton — with gifts being accepted from all over. Regardless of whether you’re able to volunteer your time or make a monetary or physical donation of a toy, everything is appreciated and can make a difference in a family’s life. The shop helps over 1,000 each year with the help and outreach of the surrounding community.
PRO Tip: Families who need a little extra help this season can sign up at the online form on the website. The shop will be hosted at a church, providing parents and guardians with the opportunity to select items such as dolls, books, arts and crafts, bikes, and a variety of games.
Where? 2460 East Quincy Avenue
Cherry Hills Village has been hosting a toy drive each year for over a decade. Toys are provided to underprivileged children in Denver. The drive is backed by a team of volunteers who are passionate about giving children the most magical holiday possible. No child deserves to wake up to an empty Christmas tree in the morning, which is why this toy drive was created. If you’re a parent who needs a helping hand this holiday season, contact the organizers or head to one of the shopping days to pick up a few early deliveries from Mr. Claus himself.
PRO Tip: The Cherry Hills Village Toy Drive requests new and unwrapped toys, aged infant to sixteen. In previous years, donations have been dropped off at the local police department or a local bank. Those who want to make a monetary donation are more than welcome too, as well.
Where? 4655 Humboldt Street
2023 marks the 16th annual Kenzi’s Causes Holiday Toy Drive, which assists over 3,500 children from infants to 18-year-olds. The goal is to provide each child with a larger toy, a smaller toy, and a wooden toy car or stuffed animal for the little ones. This year, the giveaway is being held on December 2nd, 2023 between 8:45 AM and 4 PM at the National Western Complex. Attendees don’t have to be residents of Colorado to attend this event, though they may only attend one of the shops per year, per family. A survey will be given out on the day of the drive and parents or guardians must complete the survey to enter the toy shop. Drive partners include Alpine Bank, Community College of Aurora, Marigny Investments, and North Western Electrical.
PRO Tip: Registration is required to attend the drive and guarantee toys for your kiddos. This registration form generally opens on the website at the end of November. Parents should also have their child’s birth certificate and a photo ID. No exceptions to these rules will be made.
Where? Various Locations
Hope & Home is a nondenominational charity that helps to support foster families across the Front Range, including abused and neglected children who have been removed from their birth homes and are sometimes spending the holidays in an unfamiliar environment. Each Christmas season, Hope & Home organizes a toy drive for children in the foster care system. Whether you can donate money, toys, or simply your time — everything is appreciated. Shoppers can participate in the virtual toy drive by navigating to the link for their chosen region, such as Colorado Springs, Denver, San Luis Valley, or the Western Slope, and browsing the Amazon wish list and making a purchase. The gifts are shipped directly to the Hope & Home office that you’ve selected and the staff ensures that the presents are placed into their Christmas shop and are handed out Christmas morning.
PRO Tip: The Denver area Amazon shopping list can be found here and features a range of exciting games, toys, and even jerseys and cold weather gear. There are many gifts that can be purchased under $10, allowing many families to donate what they have without breaking their own holiday budget.
Where? 6475 Benton Street Building A
Hope House is an Arvada organization that provides programs for parenting teen moms, including education on how to become self-sufficient. The annual Christmas shop provides these young moms with the opportunity to “buy” their child something special this holiday season by using points that they’ve earned throughout the year. The pledge cart used by Hope House works a little differently than traditional toy drives. Givers are asked to pledge that they’ll purchase the items they’ve checked off on the website and drop them off at a later date. Drop-off dates run between early November and the first week of December, from 8 AM to 4 PM on weekdays. Gifts are requested to stay unwrapped.
PRO Tip: Upon selecting the gifts you’re pledging to buy in the gift cart, fill out your contact info and head to the store of your choice or online retailer to purchase the items. If you select Amazon, the gifts can be shipped directly to Hope House’s address.
Where? 1200 Federal Boulevard
Each year, Denver hosts the #BeAGiver gift drive. This year, the event runs between November 1st and December 9th, 2023. Gifts are collected for families who are currently served by the Denver Human Services departments. This includes children, older adults, and adults with disabilities who are in need. These individuals are often facing increased feelings of stress and isolation during the holiday season, which is where the team of dedicated volunteers and community givers come in to ensure that the Mile High City’s most vulnerable residents feel supported and connected during what should be a joyful season. Opt to sponsor a family or individual in need and go shopping just for them or choose to donate general holiday gifts. Monetary donations are always welcome and they’re tax-deductible. 100% of donations go towards buying gifts.
PRO Tip: If you’re unsure what gifts to buy, there are helpful recommendations on the Amazon wish list, as well as the 2023 Holiday Gift Guide. Donations can be sent to Denver Human Services or you can schedule a drop-off if you need to bring the item in person.
Where? 2165 Curtis Street
Each year, families from lower-income neighborhoods can register to receive presents at Christmastime. Volunteers have the opportunity to “adopt” a family and buy them gifts. Between December 14th and 16th, events are hosted at the Dream Center which allows volunteers to meet the families. Aside from the gift exchange, families can also enjoy cookie decorating, crafts, and of course — hot chocolate to warm up! The event begins at 4 PM on the 15th and 5 PM on the 16th. Of course, gifts and monetary donations are always welcome and can be used to brighten a child’s day and instill a sense of hope and joy this upcoming holiday season.
PRO Tip: The Dream Center hosts several events and outreaches throughout the year, all designed to help the surrounding community. If you’re interested in becoming a part of the volunteer force, sign up today and give back this holiday season and throughout the new year.
Where? Various Locations
The Denver Santa Claus Shop has been lending a helping hand during the holiday season for over nine decades. Over 13,000 children were helped in 2022 and over one million since 1931! Hundreds of volunteers are engaged each year, with opportunities to help out in the annual Toy Shop and other activities. Monetary donations are accepted year-round and go to buying new toys in preparation for Christmas. The nonprofit’s mission is “A Toy for Every Girl & Boy,” and this mission is only possible with the team of passionate volunteers that run the operation each year. There are multiple toy drop-off locations throughout November and December. Locations include Aurora, Golden, Downtown Denver, and other cities — generally at a Credit Union of Colorado branch or other community supporter location. New and gently used items are kindly requested, for ages 0-11 years old.
PRO Tip: Those who want to go an extra step to help out Denver Santa Claus Shop this year may consider holding a toy drive at their office, school, church, or neighborhood to help collect gifts for families in need. Read more about hosting a drive here.
Where? 2750 South Colorado Boulevard
Together with Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver and King Soopers, CBS Colorado helps to successfully provide Christmas joy for children and youth around the city. This year, the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver has opened five new clubs — providing support to additional children and creating a safe environment and a positive outlet for the youth. With the increased number of children being served, the organization is hoping to receive 28,000 toys this season. Givers are asked to drop off new and unwrapped toys at participating King Soopers locations throughout the campaign. There will be a special event held on December 14th, 2023 at select locations during designated hours. Encouraged donations include toys, games, arts and crafts kits, DVDs, video games, electronics, and sporting equipment.
PRO Tip: A list of the participating King Soopers locations can be found here. To make your gift-giving experience most convenient, plan your shopping excursion around drop-off locations so you can knock off two items on your to-do list. There will be toy bins located at the storefronts of over 100 area grocery stores.
Where? 711 Park Avenue West
Mile High United Way helps to tackle human services issues facing Metro Denver, Boulder, and Broomfield communities. All children deserve a strong start through education, academics, and economic opportunity. Mile High United Way provides an annual toy shop each year thanks to generous donations from community members and various Denver community partners. Parents can head to the toy store to select new gifts for their children. Kiddos will also have the chance to meet Santa and enjoy holiday-themed activities. United Way’s goal is to serve over 1,000 children in 2023. The children’s party is an event that many families look forward to at Christmastime, with the 2022 season helping over 1,300 kids.
PRO Tip: There are multiple ways to help, including running a toy drive, purchasing gifts, registering to volunteer, or making a monetary donation that goes to supplies and gifts for the big event. Volunteers may be asked to help sort toys and to set up and take down the event.
Where? 6463 South Racine Circle
On December 1, 2023, the South Metro Denver Realtor Association is joining together with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Denver to help deliver gifts and brighten the holidays. Join your local community for brunch, mimosas, and plenty of holiday joy to go around. The event requests that you bring an unwrapped toy or gift, such as gift cards to Target, Amazon, Starbucks, or Walmart, or gifts from categories such as shoes, new toys, makeup, books, sporting equipment, jewelry, and DVDs. The age range of the children runs from 6 to 18.
PRO Tip: There are several levels of sponsorship, from the sugar sponsors, spice sponsors, and everything nice sponsors who all receive SMDRA press releases and exclusive signage at the event.