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 412-692-5022 Press #1 or

Wish Lists

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

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 14, 2019 and Sunday, December 15, 2019. Please call 412-692-5022 Press #1 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 15, 2019.
  • We will be scheduling donations Monday – Friday - November through December 13, 2019
  • NO donations accepted from Monday December 16, 2019 – January 5, 2020.
  • Please do not come in to drop off donations on the holiday! They will not be accepted.
  • For your convenience, you can schedule a drop-off by calling:
    Kathi Exler at 412-692-5022 Press #1 or emailing
  • If you miss the holiday deadline, we will begin accepting donations after the holidays, starting Monday, January 6, 2020.

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.
  • PLEASE DO NOT put LABELS or TAGS on gifts. 
  • The UPMC Public Relations Department handles all media inquiries for UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
  • Any filming requests or invitations for media presence on campus to capture photos/video of your donation or visit, must be reviewed and approved by the UPMC Public Relations team. No outside media or photography/video crews are allowed on site without the approval from the PR team. Requests must be made at least a week in advance.
  • In some cases, we may need to deny requests due to scheduling conflicts or other media interviews/events the team may be handling.

Delivering Guidelines

Please contact Kathi Exler at 412-692-5022 Press #1 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


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