Play helps kids heal and cope with being in the hospital. Donations of new and hand-made toys and items to our Child Life department help our patients all year round.
The Child Life team uses developmental, educational and therapeutic interventions and play to help patients cope with illness, injury, treatment and hospitalization, and strive to reduce fear and stress in patients as much as possible. Donations of toys and items help to support the team’s work to support our patients’ physical and emotional needs during their care at the hospital.
Donated items may be used as gifts for individual patients, or may be used in playrooms, support groups or therapy sessions. Because hospitalized children have special health needs, we must be extra careful with the types of gifts we accept.
If you are considering donating toys or other items to the hospital, we offer these reminders:
- Our patients range in age from birth through 21 years.
- While about 60 percent of our patients are 3 years old and under, we provide services to many teenagers as well.
- All toys and gifts must be newly purchased due to infection and safety concerns.
- We cannot accept toys or stuffed animals that have been exposed to smoke.
Guidelines for Donations
At this time we are accepting:
- New toys and games
- New books
- School supplies
- Newly purchased craft materials and craft kits
- Handmade items such as pillows, pillowcases, scrub-style pants, quilts and lovey blankets
For the safety of our patients, we cannot accept:
- Knitted and crocheted hats, booties, buntings and sweaters
- Used toys
- Handmade cards
- New stuffed toys more than 18 inches tall
- Stuffed toys from vending machines or carnivals
- Food and/or candy
- Latex balloons or anything containing latex
- Sports cards
- Toys with violent themes or that are insensitive to a culturally diverse population
Due to varied dietary restrictions our patients face, we are unable to accept gifts of food. Donated food items will be given to the Ronald McDonald House.
Our top needs for toys and gifts are:
- Colored pencils
- Coloring books for children and teens/young adults
- Bubbles with attached wands in 1 - 5 oz. sizes
- Sculpting/activity dough and slime kits
- Plastic building blocks
You can also view our full Child Life wish list to see all the toys and items that would help our patients of all ages.
Our top needs for handmade items are:
- Post-op positioning pillows (19 inches by 8 inches)
- Fleece blankets (minimum 48 inches by 48 inches, maximum 64 inches by 53 inches)
- Activity bags: A square bag with a handle that will fit a coloring book and crayons. Download a pattern.
- Faceless dolls in culturally different skin colors (tan, brown, etc.) Download a pattern.
- Tie-waist pajama bottoms in all sizes, especially teen/young adult. Download a pattern.
- Lovies: A blanket with a small animal head that is easy to grip.
- Standard pillowcases (18 inches by 10 inches)
When donating seasonal or holiday items, please note the recommended donation timelines to allow for processing by our staff:
- Winter holidays — suggested delivery by October
- Valentine’s Day — suggested delivery by mid-December
- Spring holidays — suggested delivery by January
- Fall/Halloween — suggested delivery by August
Other items for quilters:
- Toddler blankets (48 inches by 48 inches)
- Twin size blankets (66 inches by 90 inches)
- Taggies blankets (Download a pattern)
Other items for knitters and crochet crafters:
- Blankets made with soft yarn (48 inches by 48 inches)
- Crochet octopus (Download a pattern)
Safety requirements for handmade items:
When preparing your items for donation, please remember the following things:
- Avoid exposing any handmade or cloth items to strong odors such as smoke, moth balls, perfumes and/or colognes and pet hair. We will not be able to use items that have a strong odor.
- Please pre-wash the material of any sewn items.
- Remove all sewing pins/needles. You may want to acquire a magnetic wand to locate any pins.
- Use clean hands when sewing/knitting.
- Avoid working on your project when you are ill.
- Avoid pinning notes to the item.
- All accessories must be sewn as part of the original design (eyes, nose, flowers, decorative items, etc.). Plastic buttons that are sewn on are a choking hazard should they become detached.
- Please do not individually wrap or bag any items.
How to make a toy or item donation
Donations must be scheduled prior to drop-off. To schedule an appointment, please click on the link below. If you experience any issues while attempting to schedule an appointment for donation drop-off, please call the Child Life department at 727-767-4323.
Schedule a Donation Drop-off
You can also mail items to:
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Child Life Department
501 6th Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
If you have additional questions regarding toy donations, please complete the form below and a member of our team will contact you.
Do you plan to hold an event associated with your toy/item donation (like a toy drive or fundraiser)?
If you have questions about toy and item donations, please call the Child Life department at the number below.
Johns Hopkins All Children's Foundation