With the holiday season comes a time for giving – to your friends and loved ones as well as to those in need through holiday donation and toy drives.
This year, giving to people who are unable to make the holiday special with gifts for children or holiday meals is more critical than ever as so many families and individuals have been economically impacted by the ongoing pandemic. Some industries have been without business for months and large numbers of people are still out of work due to employer cutbacks.
For these reasons, if you don’t usually participate in holiday gift donation or toy drives, then this might be the perfect year to start if you have it in your budget to give.
There are several Atlanta holiday donation and toy drives spreading cheer this season, so if you are out doing holiday shopping or just running errands, it’s likely that there is a choice close to you. Here are some of the options you have for participating in a holiday gift, donation or toy drive in the coming days and weeks in Atlanta.
Feed the Crew! – Dec. 11
The music industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Many venues have closed over the year and while others have managed to stay open, guidelines have prevented most performances.
Feed the Crew! is a drive-through, contactless holiday food drive, benefiting Atlanta-area music industry workers hosted by Elektra Records, Roadrunner Records, Fueled by Ramen, Entercom Radio, Rival Entertainment and Center Stage. All donations will benefit Musically Fed, which is a 501(c)(3) organization focused on feeding Atlanta-area music workers.
Suggested donation items include pasta and pasta sauce, oatmeal, canned fish/meat, canned fruits/veggies, soup, rice, peanut butter, dry beans, nuts, cereals, quinoa, chips and bottled juice. And, if you can’t make it, you can donate US$10 which goes toward providing five meals.
Address: Center Stage in Midtown Atlanta, 1374 West Peachtree Street, Atlanta – 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Holiday Bear Toy Drive – now through Dec. 31
For the rest of this month, Six Flags Over Georgia will donate a plush toy to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta everytime you purchase a plush holiday bear. The plush toy will be donated to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as a gift for children in need this season through the Holiday Bear Toy Drive.
Bears are available in three styles – Holiday Bear with Ear Muffs, Holiday Bear with Scarf and Holiday Bear with Hat at US$14.99 per bear.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta provides specialized pediatric care to children under the age of 21.
Address: Coaster Candy, Looney Tunes Exposition, Mercantile and Coastal Gifts in Six Flags Over Georgia, 275 Riverside Pkwy, Austell
Good+ Toy Drive – now through Dec. 24
If you’re shopping in Buckhead during your holiday gift search, then bring a toy to Alice + Olivia, the New York-based contemporary clothing company for 15% off of your purchase as a part of the Alice + Olivia Good+Foundation Toy Drive.
These toys will go to children benefiting from the Good+Foundation, a leading national nonprofit working to dismantle multi-generational poverty. The non-profit has warehouses in New York City and Los Angeles and partners with around 75 innovative anti-poverty programs across the country.
Address: Alice + Olivia, Buckhead Village District, 268 Buckhead Ave NE, Atlanta
Hops for Tots – Toy Fundraiser – Dec. 12
With a goal of collecting toys for local homeless shelters and raising money for the Riley Luther College Fund, Second Self Beer Company is hosting its First Annual Hops for Tots Toy Fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 12. After losing her father in an accident, the Riley Luther College Fund has been established to raise money to help send this local child to college.
Attendees will be able to enjoy an exclusive new Second Self beer brewed especially for the event. There will also be socially distanced Christmas movie viewing available, an ugly Christmas sweater contest and a food truck outside for anyone who gets hungry. To top that, guests that bring a donation toy to the taproom will be rewarded with a free beer for their support!
Address: Second Self Beer Company, 1317 Logan Circle Northwest, Atlanta, 1 – 9 p.m.
Misfit Wrapping Co. & Creating Connected Communities Gift Drive – now through Dec. 20
Misfit Wrapping Co. is an assembly line with a 50-foot conveyor belt of Misfit gift wrappers who decorate and wrap holiday gifts at Ponce City Market.
This year they’re teaming up with Creating Connected Communities (CCC) – a non profit bringing life-enhancing programs to children in need by empowering teens to become community leads and volunteers.
They will be gathering and wrapping gifts for donation as a part of the nonprofit’s annual holiday program Amy’s Holiday Party. Shoppers can purchase items for donation at Ponce City Market and donate them to be gift wrapped by Misfit Wrapping Co. and then delivered by CCC to 40 different charities benefiting homeless, foster and refugee children.
Address: Misfit Wrapping Co., 2nd Floor Central Food Hall, Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, Sat/Sun from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Lift Up Atlanta Christmas Toy and Food Drive – now through Dec. 19
Lift Up Atlanta’s mission is to provide new toys and clothing to at least 1000 children this year. WIth an annual project, donations of new toys, food and clothing are being accepted until Dec. 19 by the organization.
This year, this toy and food drive may be more important than ever to families in need. The organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to helping homeless and low income families in the metro Atlanta area.
Items suggested are new toys and clothing for children ages 0-12, clothing and gift cards for children 13-17 and food baskets with US$20 gift cards for ham/turkey and food items such as stuffing/dressing, macaroni and cheese, roasting pan/bags, canned fruit and vegetables, mashed potatoes, soda/juice, cake mix/frosting or pie filling.
There is also an opportunity to adopt a child or family in need and buy from their Christmas wish list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Furthermore, you can call 678-245-4622 for large donation pick ups. They also have opportunities to collect, sort and distribute Christmas toys and food baskets if you would like to volunteer.
Addresses: Fulton County Oak Hill Center, 2805 Metropolitan Pkwy SW, Atlanta, Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; MADabolic, 661 Auburn Ave NE #260, Atlanta, Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. and Sat from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
‘Tis the Season Art Show and Toy Drive – Dec. 20
Come to Atlantucky Brewing for the Bright Ring Foundation’s final event of the year “Tis the Season” – a pop-up art show showcasing local visual artists and benefiting families in need this holiday season.
Bright Ring assists artists and craftsmen with education and tools needed to enhance their earning potential. Proceeds from this show will be donated to the Atlanta Children’s Shelter to distribute to families for Christmas. If you bring a new toy to the event, entry is free or alternatively, you can attend for a US$5 donation.
There will be an ugly sweater contest with a US$100 cash prize as well as an art raffle to raise money for the Atlanta Children’s Shelter. Atlanta artists like FRKO, Tom Davi, and CFluxing will be featured with tickets at US$3. More than 20 local artists are participating, and the event will also feature vendors, food and drink, live performances and caroling.
If you can make time in your holiday schedule and room in your budget, participating in one of these holiday gift and donation drives through the Atlanta area this season can make a big difference for those in need. Let’s end on a positive note with showing generosity to families that are struggling and consider attending or donating to one of these holiday gift drives to celebrate the season of giving.
Address: Atlantucky Brewing, 493 Nelson St SW, Atlanta, 5-10 p.m.
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