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Our weekly newsletter filled with news, updates, and inspiring stories of how God is working in the Bay Area.

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This year, we’d like to expand the number of toys and gift cards collected at our annual Toy Drive in order to meet the needs of more Bay Area children.

In addition to donating toys, you can help by collecting toys from friends, neighbors, classmates and coworkers before the event and bringing them to our Holiday Celebration Toy Drive on December 15 at any of our service locations.

If you’d like to set up a Toy Drive collection location at your school or workplace, here’s a toolkit to help you get started.

1. Supplies

  • Bin or Box – These can be purchased at places like Target, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Orchard Supply Hardware, etc. They come in various sizes and can be purchased for around $10 to $20.
  • Wrapping Paper – Decorate your bin or box by simply wrapping the bins in gift wrapping paper to make it festive, welcoming, and exciting for others to donate!
  • Signs – Use signs to label the box so others can identify it and be inspired to give. These can be printed out, or handmade.
  • Flyers – Print out the flyer below to post up around the office or pass out to your friends, coworkers, classmates, etc. This also can be used electronically to spread the word through email.

2. Communication

  • Email (or speak in person) – Email your appropriate office administration staff or, if you are a student, reach out to your favorite teacher, your leadership class, and/or your principal to get approval to set bins up in the school’s office or in your classroom. Make it fun and competitive, see which team our group can donate the most toys. Below is an example email you can use. Additionally, the attached flyer has all necessary details.
  • Announcements – Make announcements (reminders) to keep the information on the minds of your coworkers and classmates. Ask your workplace or school administration if you can, as stated above, post flyers around your office or school campus.

3. Heart

  • Be Informed – Do research to understand the need as well as the impact made by this Toy Drive. The article entitled “Give the Christmas Spirit to Children in Need at our Annual Toy Drive” on the BACC website is a great place to start to be informed. You can also send this article to your friends, neighbors and classmates.
  • Be Inspired – Understand how the Bible calls us to love those who are in need. Check out one of our Scripture Playlists to find inspiration about what can happen when one person decides to do good.
  • Be Innovative – Get creative. Brainstorm ideas with classmates and friends about how to spread the word and collect more toys.

4. Sample email

You can use the text below to email your friends or coworkers about the Toy Drive:

Hello ___________,

Hope you are having a happy holiday season! Every year the Bay Area Christian Church hosts a Toy Drive to give to children in need around the Bay Area. The toys collected are given to various organizations involved in the foster care and health care system in our local community. This year, the agencies receiving toys are:

  • Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club
  • Oak Center Cultural Center, Inc
  • Samaritan House
  • Parent Voices Oakland
  • United Advocates for Children & Families (UACF)
  • DeFremery Center
  • UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Child Life Services
  • Horizons Unlimited of SF, Inc.
  • A Better Way

In hearing about this Toy Drive I was excited to not only give, but communicate to anyone else who would be interested in donating toys as well. I would like to set out bins at (insert location here) where those who are interested can drop off toys over the next week.

The toys need to be collected by December 15th in order to have enough time to distribute them to the organizations, so please be sure to have your gift in the donation bin no later than December 15th. The gifts will be picked in the afternoon on Friday. I am thrilled to be able to have this opportunity to contribute to our local community!

Here are the guidelines for what to donate:

  • New, unwrapped toys
  • Older kids (ages 11-17 years) are often overlooked. Consider donating books, gift cards, electronic gaming accessories, sporting equipment etc for this age group.
  • NO stuffed animals
  • Gift cards and checks can be donated, but please do not leave these in the bin. Contact me if you would like to donate a gift card or a check. Checks can be made out to BACC, memo line “Toy Drive.” One hundred percent of these donations go directly to the partner agencies to purchase specific toys for kids. For gift cards, please write the value of the gift card on the outside.

You can find more information at Please feel free to contact me with any further questions, and thanks for supporting foster youth and children in need this holiday season!

5. Flyer

Post this example flyer at your school or workplace to remind people to donate!

6. Fun gift ideas

One of the best parts about donating is shopping for your toys. If you want to get ideas for a certain age range, or what a child may be interested in, check out our gift ideas below (gifts are suggested to be in the price range of $15-$25 so that all gifts are comparable):

Ages 5-10

  • Board games
  • Sports equipment
  • Disney items
  • Squishies
  • Legos
  • Pokemon cards
  • Remote control cars
  • Dinosaur-themed toys
  • Action figures
  • Lol/barbie dolls

Ages 11-13

  • Arts & craft kits
  • Magician kits
  • Dance/music games
  • Fidget spinners
  • Puzzles, rubik’s cube, etc.
  • Pop-band/inspirational posters
  • Glow-in-the-dark stars
  • Kinetic sand
  • Bug catcher
  • Color therapy activity books

Ages 14-19

  • Portable chargers
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Headphones
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Watches
  • Flash drives
  • Passion planners
  • Gift cards
  • Target
  • Amazon
  • Roblox/Fortnight
  • Ps4/xbox
  • Mall gift cards
  • Restaurant gift cards
  • Movie passes

We are unable to accept:

  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Candy/snacks
  • Make-Up
  • NERF Toys
  • Toys promoting any sort of violence.

Written by

Bay Area Christian Church

This was created by a member of the Bay Area Christian Church team.