Toy & Gift Donations

Generous gifts fuel our hospital every day — we’re lucky to have such great supporters whose contributions help speed the healing of children at our main hospital as well as our outpatient centers.

While we love receiving toys, there are other areas of need where your contribution will make a difference. We really appreciate gift certificate donations that we can use to purchase enabling devices and toys. For a full list of the items we’d like the most, please see more information about our donation wish list below. 

We use gift donations for different purposes year round. For example, children often have the chance to pick a prize after a particularly hard day or on a special occasion, such as finishing a round of treatment. Also, Skylight TV, our closed-circuit, interactive television station,  hosts several in-house television game shows each week. Everybody’s a winner on Skylight TV, so children receive small prizes daily.

Donation Process

If you are interested in donating an item to our patients, please consider the following: 

  • Our Wish List​ below indicates the items we need most.
  • If you choose to donate a toy, please leave it unwrapped so it is easy for us to  identify quickly and share with our patients.
  • To arrange and/or schedule a donation delivery and for any questions, please e-mail donations@luriechildrens.org. We do schedule all donations in advance; they are efficiently received and processed through our receiving dock.

If you would like to mail your gift, please address the package to:

Justyna A. Griffin
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
225 E. Chicago Avenue, Box 31
Chicago, IL 60611-2605

Donation Wish List

Small gifts and prizes are always needed – keeping gifts portable helps us share them with more children in more areas of the hospital. We also list suggestions by age for infants, toddler/preschool, school age and teens.

Many of our children with special needs and disabilities require specialized, adaptive toys, and we gladly accept gift cards from Enabling Devices: Toys for Special Children. Your gift card will then be used by a child life specialist  to purchase an adaptive toy to use during therapy with patients with disabilities.

Safety Guidelines

Keeping kids safe is central to our mission. Before you give, please check with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Also, please remember that we can only accept recently purchased, unwrapped gifts.

Stuffed Animals & Soft-surface Toys

For the safety of our patients, Lurie Children's follows strict donation guidelines, especially when it comes to stuffed animals and other soft-surface items. We ask that donated stuffed animals be brand new and recently purchased. Please note that we cannot accept soft toys that have been in someone's possession (collection, storage, display, etc.), even if they've never been played with.

Please place purchased stuffed animals in plastic bags immediately after they're purchased. We also request that you don't remove the stuffed animals from those bags and that they're delivered to the hospital in those original plastic bags. Keeping the stuffed animal in the same, unopened bag helps keep the toys clean and prevents transmission of harmful household allergens, such as pet dander, tobacco smoke, dust mites, etc.

Community & Public Collection Boxes

To protect our patients from unknown allergens, especially those who are immunosuppressed, we ask our donors to avoid collecting toys and gifts for our patients through donation boxes place in public spaces, such as stores, churches, building hallways, etc.

Wish List According to Our Current Needs

Did you know that the majority of our patients are under the age of three?

Infants (0–18 Months)

  • Rattles (wrist, O'Ball balls and rattles)
  • Teething rings
  • WubbaNub Pacifier Toy
  • Taggie Blankets and Toys
  • Music boxes, musical radios
  • Peaceful Aquariums
  • Cloud B-sound Machine Animals
  • Books – cardboard of vinyl – English/Spanish
  • Shape sorters, Stacking Rings, Cubes, Cups
  • Baby blocks

Toddler/Preschool (18 months–4 years)

  • One piece infant/toddler cause-effect toys (play music/make sound/light up/move with child's action)
  • Play medical kits
  • Peaceful Aquariums
  • Books – English/Spanish, pop-up books, recordable books
  • See'n'Say
  • Musical floor mats
  • Small “Little People” sets
  • Thomas wooden railway trains (trains only, please)
  • Play food and kitchen toys
  • Large plastic animals (farm, wild, dinosaurs)
  • Puzzles of 10 pieces or fewer
  • Blocks - Duplos, Megablocks
  • Linking toys

School Age (5–12 years)

  • Books – English/Spanish/Braille
  • Lego kits for boys and girls
  • Lego "grab bags"
  • Beads and jewelry making kits
  • Board games (Connect 4, Checkers, Trouble, Battle Ship, Dominoes)
  • Coloring books 
  • Crayola crayons, markers and colored pencils (Crayola Twistables preferred – no need to sharpen)
  • Play-Doh (small 1-2oz containers), modeling clay (air-drying)
  • Puzzles, 25–100 pieces

 Adolescents (13 years & up)

  • Gift cards: iTunes, Apple store, Amazon.com, Target, Best Buy
  • Earbud headphones
  • iPods, iPads
  • Books – English/Spanish/Braille 
  • Magazines (teen, fashion, sports)
  • Hand-held game units
  • Playing cards, Uno cards
  • Lego kits – Bionicles
  • Model kits/science project kits – challenging
  • Nerf basketball hoops
  • Sketch books, journals and artist quality art materials
  • Stress squeeze balls (Latex free!)
  • Make-up starter kits
  • Nail polish
  • Toiletries (nail care, brushes, combs, pins)

Suggested Small Gifts & Prizes

  • Small Lego kits for all ages, Bionicles, Lego Minifigures
  • Gift cards to iTunes, Apple store, Amazon.com (small nominations)
  • Nail polish
  • Matchbox cars/Hot Wheels
  • Small figurines for boys - Spiderman, Superman, Disney characters
  • Small figurines for girls – Shopkins, My Little Pony, Disney characters
  • Card game decks - Uno, others
  • Handheld games - 20Q, Yahtzee, others
  • Small art or craft kits for all ages
  • Small Etch-a-Sketch or DoodlePro

Arts & Crafts Supplies

  • Crayola crayons, markers and colored pencils (Crayola Twistables preferred – no need to sharpen)
  • Chunky/Jumbo Crayola crayons for toddlers
  • Coloring books (for all ages, teens and parents)
  • Play-Doh (1-2oz containers)
  • Artist Quality Art Materials
  • Beads
  • Paints – watercolor and tempera
  • Paint brushes
  • Glue – all purpose, tacky glue, glue sticks (small bottles)
  • Glitter glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Sequins, other embellishments 
  • Model Magic and modeling clay (air-drying)
  • Safety scissors

School Services

  • Apple gift cards for app purchases
  • Multiplication flash cards
  • Sturdy two-pocket folders
  • Dry-erase crayons
  • Pencil cases (no boxes, please)
  • Erasers
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Highlighters
  • "Fancy" pencils
  • Early skills workbooks (pre-k through grade 2)

Other Ways You Can Help

The Emergency Fund

The Emergency Fund provides assistance to families experiencing extreme financial hardship due to their child's illness. It helps with clothing, utilities, transportation costs and other essentials. Funds are carefully allocated after a full evaluation of the family's needs on a case-by-case basis. To support the Emergency Fund, give online now and note that your gift is for the Emergency Fund, or mail your contribution to:

Social Work Manager/Emergency Fund
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
225 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611-2605

Partners with Parents

A child's illness can devastate a family's finances. Gift certificates to local stores can help struggling parents provide a holiday celebration for their families. Donated gift certificates are distributed to selected families by hospital staff. To support Partners with Parents, give online now and note that your gift is for Partners with Parents, or send gift certificates for moderately priced, easily accessible toy, clothing and food stores to:

Susan Ruohonen/Partners with Parents
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
225 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611-2605