How to Donate to Dr. Bear®’s Toy Closet
Every day, a deck of cards, a doll or a stuffed animal puts a smile on the face of a child who hasn’t smiled in quite some time. Dr. Bear®’s Closet has donated toys, games, books and other items that help boost the spirits of patients of all ages. A well-stocked Dr. Bear®'s Closet ensures that every patient has a gift for holidays, birthdays and most importantly, a little something to serve as a reward for their courage in fighting an illness.
The closet provides items to thousands of patients who are treated in Children’s inpatient units, the Emergency Department and Regional Outpatient Centers, and the Health Centers. Toys also help stock playrooms in the hospital.
Playing is essential when a child is undergoing difficult treatment or procedures due to illness. Providing a new game or toy and watching a smile light up a child’s face is a special moment for families, staff and volunteers.
A list of donation guidelines for Dr. Bear®’s Closet is listed below. Children’s Volunteer Services Department accepts all donations, including monetary contributions, gift cards and certificates from area stores. Checks should be made payable to "Children’s National Medical Center/Dr. Bear®’s Closet."
Guidelines for Donating
Children’s Department of Consumer Support and Volunteer Services accepts a wide range of donations throughout the year to stock Dr. Bear®’s Closet. Please see our wish list for donation suggestions.
Please be advised that we cannot accept recalled toys or games. The U.S. Consumer Support and Safety Commission has a full list of recalled items.
Please make sure your donations:
- Are NEW (toys, stuffed animals, blankets, or clothes) to meet the hospital’s infection control requirements.
- Meet consumer product safety codes a toy’s package will say if it meets the codes.
- Include only non-toxic materials (toys or craft kits with glue or markers) the package will say if it is.
We CANNOT accept:
- Spark-producing toys due to fire regulations.
- Latex (or rubber) balloons and materials because of latex allergy precautions and other safety factors.
- Toys made of glass or brittle plastic .
- Items with violent, frightening or adult-rated themes.
- Toys that can break or have sharp edges toys should be sturdy.
Although the “dollar stores” have bargains, sometimes the quality is absent. We would rather have one quality toy that meets safety standards rather than five inexpensive ones that don’t.
Please send all donations to:
Volunteer Services, Room 1180
Children’s National Medical Center
111 Michigan Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20010-2970
- Please make checks payable to "Children's National Medical Center / Dr. Bear®’s Closet"
- Remember to include your name and address when mailing donations so we can send an acknowledgment of your donation.
For more information, contact the Department of Consumer Support and Volunteer Services at 202-476-2062.