Making Toy Donations to the Child Life Department

Thank you for thinking of the patients and families at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC — your desire to donate is greatly appreciated. The Child Life Department uses play and expressive arts to help meet the developmental, psychosocial, emotional, and educational needs of our patients. These experiences and opportunities can help children to cope and adjust to illness and hospitalization.

You can help support our patients and families by donating NEW toys, games, and other play, art and diversionary supplies. Donation questions and arrangements can be directed to the Child Life Department by calling Kathi Exler 412-692-9691.

Donating Guidelines

In a hospital setting, safety and infection prevention are of utmost importance. To support the health and well-being of our patients, please keep the following guidelines in mind when donating:

  • All donated items must be NEW (store-bought and in original packaging) and SAFE (non-toxic)
  • We CANNOT accept used or "previously loved" items
  • We CANNOT accept items that have been stored or an extended period of time, are no longer clean/fresh, or have a strong odor (perfume, cigarette, etc.)
  • Homemade items must meet strict approval guidelines—please contact the Child Life Department at 412-692-9691 prior to making the items to ensure the donation supports the guidelines. We are no longer able to accept knitted or crocheted hats.
  • PLEASE DO NOT GIFT WRAP the donation.

Delivering Guidelines

Please contact Kathi Exler at 412-692-9691 ahead of time to set up a delivery date and time. Donations larger than one to two bags need to be scheduled for delivery during weekdays.

If you prefer to send your donation to the hospital, our mailing address is:

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Child Life Department – Office 1266
4401 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Holiday Donations

The holidays are one of the busiest times in the hospital and also the most popular time for donating. If you wish to make a donation during the holiday season, please contact Kathi Exler, Special Events and Donation Coordinator, as early as possible to make arrangements. It is best to donate early during the holiday season (November - second week of December) so that we can properly accept and process your donation.

We are also hosting a Community Donation Day on Saturday, December 16, 2017. Please call 412-692-9691 to schedule your delivery time.


If you are planning a fundraiser to raise money or collect toys for Child Life you should register your event with the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.

Wish Lists

Please view our wish list registry, to see the most requested needed items to help support our patients.

Donation Suggestions

Ages / Abilities

Infants and Toddlers (Items labeled for ages 0-2 years)

  • Gift cards – Babies R Us, Target, Walmart, etc.
  • Infant gyms – i.e. Little Tykes 5-in-1 Adjustable Gym®, Chicco Duo Gym®
  • Rattles, teethers, small hand toys
  • Activity, light-up, and/or musical toys

Pre-school Age Children (Items labeled for ages 3-5 years)

  • Gift cards – Toys R Us, Target, Walmart, etc.
  • Pretend play – i.e. kitchen, baby dolls (plastic), tools, etc.
  • Animals, dinosaurs, people figures, etc.
  • Popular characters – i.e. Thomas the Train®, Sesame Street®, Disney®, etc.
  • Little People®, V-Tech®, Fisher Price®, Baby Einstein®, Step 2®, Little Tikes®, etc.

School Age Children (Items labeled for ages 6-12 years)

  • Gift cards – Toys R Us, Target, Walmart, etc.
  • Legos ®
  • Cars and trucks (non-remote controlled) – i.e. Matchbox®
  • Barbie® dolls, including Ken® and various ethnicities
  • Action figures, super heroes (non-violent)
  • Art kits

Teens (Items labeled for ages 13 years and older)

  • Gift cards – i.e. Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, clothing stores, etc.
  • Kits – i.e. craft, model, building
  • Lego’s® Architecture
  • Clothing – pants (pajama, sweat, leggings), t-shirts, sweatshirts, fuzzy socks, etc.
  • Accessories – hair, nail polish, jewelry, etc.
  • Sports – i.e. Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, college, etc.

Arts and Crafts

  • Gift cards – Michael’s®, JoAnn Fabrics®, etc.
  • Craft kits - i.e. jewelry, foam, wooden, ceramic, suncatchers, etc.
  • Plain canvas tote bags, pillowcases, bandanas, etc.
  • Scrapbooking supplies–i.e. albums, paper, embellishments, etc.


  • iPods® MP3 players
  • Headphones – vinyl, earbuds, etc.


  • Portable DVD players
  • Newest games systems: Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo DS
  • Newest games: Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo. DS
  • iPads and protective cases
  • Tablets and protective cases