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How to donate holiday gifts to families at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital

We’ve compiled a donation guide to help you understand what types of donations our hospital can and cannot accept during the 2019 holiday season.
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Every holiday season, M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital is honored to receive donations from many compassionate families and organizations that want to make a difference for our kids and families.

For a variety of reasons – including the complex health needs of the children under our care – we cannot accept some items. Other items are in high demand among the families who visit our hospital. To help potential donors understand our needs and standards, we’ve compiled this helpful 2019 donation guide. Thank you for your generosity and for choosing our hospital for your donation this year!

What kinds of donations do you accept?

Due to infection prevention concerns, we can only accept new, unwrapped toys, books, clothes, and crafts in their original packaging – preferably in plastic bags directly from the store. We cannot accept food items or items that have been in storage for several years. Additionally, we cannot accept items that may carry smoke or pet dander.

To ensure patient safety, we also cannot accept any gift-wrapped items. If we receive gift-wrapped donations, we will remove the wrapping before giving them to our patients and families. We do accept gift cards. Scroll down for a list of in-demand items.

We also accept monetary donations to the hospital. These gifts help advance pediatric medical research and support patient and family programming at the hospital. Click here to donate or learn more. Want to support our Child-Family Life Services program? There’s a way to do that, too!

Need more information about our donation criteria and process? Check out this helpful video from our Child-Family Life Services team.

So, I can’t donate toys my children no longer use?

Correct. Often people ask if they can donate their stuffed animals, beanie babies, holiday bears, board games or other collections. We deeply appreciate donors’ willingness to help, but ultimately we cannot accept these items. Occasionally, we will take some gently used DVDs and video games, but these must be approved before donation. Some gently used books can also be donated to the hospital’s Family Resource Center. We accept new movies that are rated PG-13 and under. Please, no R-rated movies.

Scroll down for specific gift suggestions.

OK, I’ve got new, acceptable items. How do I donate?

Throughout the holiday season (Nov. 29 through Dec. 24), we host “Donation Days” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Monday and Thursday. Our staff can greet you at the circle drive outside the Park Plaza Building (located across the street from our children’s hospital) and accept your donation during one of those days. If you have questions or would like to schedule a visit, please call us at 612-273-3124 or email us at childfamilylife@gmail.com to make arrangements.

We will not be accepting holiday donations from Dec. 25 through Dec. 31 due to patient care needs.

Due to infection prevention and patient privacy guidelines, individuals and groups are not allowed to pass out donations directly to patients and families.

Do I have to do anything else?

When you arrive at the Park Plaza Building with your donation, you will be asked to fill out a Gift In-Kind form and a questionnaire to ensure that the donation meets infection prevention standards. Click here to download and complete a copy of the form prior to your visit.

The questionnaire will ask the following:

  • Are the items you are donating new and unused?
  • Are there food items in your donation?
  • Are the items free of smoke and pet dander?

Where can I bring my donation if you can’t accept it?

If we can’t take it, we recommend donating to the following organizations:

Mary’s Place - Sharing and Caring Hands
575 N. 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Phone: 612-338-4640

Salvation Army
Various locations around the metro area

What items do you need the most?

Our pediatric patients love age-appropriate toys and games. We always need

  • Infant rattles
  • Toy cars
  • Books (including board books for infants and toddlers all the way up to advanced reading material for  teenagers)
  • Play-Doh
  • Underwear for children of all ages
  • Gift cards
  • Water bottles
  • Minnesota team athletic gear (hats, sweatshirts, jerseys, etc.)
  • Puzzle books (word finds, Sudoku puzzles, crosswords, etc.)
  • Toddler activity tables
  • Craft kits
  • Clothing for infants and teens
  • Tie blankets
  • Legos

Looking for even more gift inspiration? Our Child-Family Life Services program has donation ‘wish lists’ at Amazon.com and Target. Click the links below to find our registries.

I’d like to volunteer at your hospital. What opportunities do you have, and how can I sign up?

Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer! Volunteers fill many vital roles within our hospital. Click here to for more information about our volunteer opportunities.



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