5 Places to Donate Gently Used Toys in Des Moines

5 Places to Donate Gently Used Toys in Des Moines

In the aftermath of all the Christmas frenzy, with boxes, wrapping paper, more boxes, and toys everywhere! This season of giving can leave us feeling both thankful and overwhelmed, by all of the “stuff” in our lives. (Does anyone really need 97 matchbox cars?). If you need to create a little breathing room on your child’s toy shelf, donate to one of these outstanding organizations who will give your old toys (and other items) a new life.

Beacon of Life

1717 Woodland Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50309 • (515) 244-4713 • http://www.beaconoflifedm.org/

Beacon of Life is the only shelter in Central Iowa providing transitional housing with supportive services in a structured environment exclusively to women. The organization is located in Sherman Hill and is a 34-bed, wheelchair accessible facility providing services to women in crisis 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What to Donate: Beacon of life accepts in-kind products or services and welcomes the opportunity to put your gifts to good use.  Items accepted include: Clothing, Accessories, Furniture, Home Décor, Books, Toys, and Appliances.  Donations can be dropped off at their resale store, Found Treasures located at 817 Grand Avenue; West Des Moines, Iowa 50265.  For large items, please call (515) 277-6826.

Goodwill of Central Iowa

Multiple Locations • http://www.dmgoodwill.org/

Goodwill provides job training and education to help individuals overcome barriers to employment. If you want to give a new life to a large variety of items, but don’t want to do a big sort or worry about condition too much, Goodwill is your answer. They accept almost everything (just no mattresses, large home appliances or hazardous items) and have locations all over the city!

What to Donate: Pretty much everything! Toys, clothes, furniture, books, art supplies, electronics and exercise equipment. If you’re not sure about an item, check their Accepted/Not Accepted Items page.

Hope Ministries

1310 6th Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50314 • (515) 244-5445 • http://www.hopeiowa.org/

Hope ministries works to meet the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of men, women and children who are homeless or in need of hope. The organization accepts in-kind donations.  Some donations make their way to one of their shelter and recovery facilities to be distributed free to shelter guests. Other donations are distributed free of charge to those who are in need through area social service agencies and churches who are a part of their King’s Closet program. And, others are placed on the shelves in their Encore Thrift stores.

What do Donate: Clothing, shoes, furniture, household goods and other slightly used items. They also accept donations of “wearable and repairable” items.  Donations can be dropped off at e have two Encore Thrift Store locations: 4640 Merle Hay Road, Urbandale, IA  50322, (515) 262-0876; and 500 E Army Post Road, Des Moines, IA  50315, (515) 777-7394. Hours of operation at both stores are Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Closed on Sundays.

The Not New Shop

705 East University Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50316 • (515) 266-7610 • https://www.unitypoint.org/desmoines/not-new-shop.aspx

The Iowa Lutheran Hospital Auxiliary Not New Shop is a charity thrift store.  Proceeds go to support projects and programs for the hospital. The Not New Shop is proud to be a part of the George Washington Carver Community School Campus.

What to Donate:  Quality used clothing for men, women and children. Dishes, toys, furniture, bedding and other miscellaneous items. Donations are accepted during business hours. Monday-Wednesday and Friday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm; Thursday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; Saturday: 10 am to 1:00 pm and Sunday: Closed.

St. Vincent de Paul

1426 Sixth Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50314 • (515) 282-8327 • http://svdpdsm.org/

With two thrift stores in the Des Moines area, St. Vincent de Paul also serves the community by running an education center that help with career readiness and adult/family literacy they also help individuals with emergency assistance and to access social services.

What to Donate: Donations of furniture, clothing, household and other miscellaneous items, as well as food/bread donations, can be made at 1426 Sixth Avenue, Des Moines during the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, or 109 SW 63rd Street, Des Moines between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. You can also call and they will pick up donations.



Did we miss your favorite non-profit or donation spot for toys? Tell us about it in the Comments below!


  1. We have a couple bags of stuffed animals/soft dolls/build a bear characters in very good condition. Also the wooden toy box they have been kept in. (have been stored in a non smoking house). Is there somewhere that would have use for stuffed animals specifically? I think the toy box would be accepted at Goodwill.

    1. Laura, I think the toy box would be accepted at any of the locations listed in the article. Stuffed animals are a bit more tricky. Double check each locations “Acceptable Donations” list. I know that Bidwell Riverside at 1203 Hartford Ave., Des Moines, IA 50315 accepts stuffed animals. They let kids pick one out (for free) when they are shopping with their parents at the food pantry. Hope this helps!

  2. I donate 18″ dolls with wardrobes to little girls who might not get the joy of
    having one to play with. Let me know if you have families who could use

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