Making Toy Donations to the Child Life Department

Thank you for thinking of the patients and families at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh — 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.

Donation questions and arrangements can be directed to the Child Life Department by contacting Kathi Exler at 412-692-9691 or

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).
  • Due to infection control guidelines for all of our patients, we CANNOT accept used or "previously loved” items, riding toys, or food.
  • We CANNOT accept items that have been stored for an extended period of time, are no longer clean/fresh, or have a strong odor (perfume, cigarette, etc.)
  • We CANNOT accept HOMEMADE items like hats, blankets or cards.
  • Due to patient privacy, donors are not allowed to personally deliver gifts to patients.
  • 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:

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
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 Weekend Saturday, December 15, 2018 and Sunday, December 16, 2018. Please call 412-692-9691 or email to schedule your delivery time.

Delivering Holiday Donations

  • In order to sort, inventory, and prepare for the holiday, donations will be accepted through Sunday December 16, 2018.
  • NO donations accepted from Monday December 17, 2018 – January 1, 2019.
  • Please do not come in to drop off donations on the holiday!
  • For your convenience, you can schedule a drop-off by calling:
    Kathi Exler at 412 692-9691 or emailing
  • If you miss the holiday deadline, we will begin accepting donations after the holidays, starting Wednesday, January 2, 2019.


If you are planning a community event and will be donating raised funds with or without a toy donation, you should register your event with the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. You can also contact

Wish Lists

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

Donation Suggestions by 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