It has come to my attention recently, through a reliable resource, that the Kansas City Toys for Tots Organization will only accept new store-bought toys in the original cardboard packaging. They will not accept hand-crafted toys such as wooden ones made by a local woodworkers guild.
Now that seems a shame, because those kind of toys were precisely the ones I sought for my son when he was younger (he's now 27) as they held up better than the cheap plastic toys, took more imagination to play with and didn't have to have costly batteries all the time in order to work. In fact, we still have many of his wooden toys in a basket under the coffee table for the some-day grandchildren to play with. All my friends' grand-children know where that basket is when they come over to my house. There is a wooden shoe lovingly made by a girlfriend's husband when my son was learning to tie his shoes and I later had it with me when I was teaching my Pre-K Sunday School class. My sister painted a bunch of wooden cars for his Christmas one year. The same girlfriend above and I painted wooden houses together for a village so his wooden cars would have something to drive to. We were making toys and memories. I have a wooden nativity set, Noah's ark figures and animals.
We searched historical museum gift shops for wooden toys and once bought a wooden climbing bear from Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. Wooden puzzles stand up better than cardboard ones and my toddler son loved building with his wooden blocks and knocking them over.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, as a crafter, if you are going to donate items to any organization, go to the top and find out precisely to the letter what their rules are. The woodworkers guild I mentioned above were heartsick when they found out Toys for Tots threw their wooden toys away after spending so much time, effort, and material to make them. After that, they did their homework and found another organization who was absolutely delighted to accept their hand-crafted toys.
Merry Christmas Everyone and a Happy New Year!