As a child my mom always taught me to give back to the community especially around Christmas time. She told me about how there were a lot of kids in our community that would not have a single present to open on Christmas. Because of this, we often got involved in local toy donations and supply drives.
Recently, there has been evidence found that families who claim to be “in need” or “just want gifts for their kids” have been returning the gifts people have donated to them for their kids and pocketing the money! People in the community are outraged and appalled by this terrible happening. Why would someone use their kids as an excuse to get free toys? Some of the families these toys are donated to are not even in need. Below I will give a few tips on how to decrease the chances of this happening.
1. Put DO NOT REFUND!
When you are going to donate to a family in need, make sure to write “DO NOT REFUND” on the barcode. Often times, the store will not allow the toy to be returned, or the people who received the toy will be too spooked to even take the toy into the store. Even if the family is able to return the toy, you did all you could to prevent it.
2. Research the organization.
If you are skeptical of the organization you have been donating to then do some research. Ask to speak to the person who runs the whole operation and ask them questions. By asking questions you can get a vibe to see if the organization is legitimate or if it appears to be a scam.
Below is a wonderful organization a lot of people use.
3. Create an affordable store.
If you are extremely skeptical about the organizations but you still want to help, try and create a miniature store. Churches sometimes do this and it is very effective. A miniature store has toys donated to the store, but instead of the toys being free they will just be extremely discounted. This will help alleviate the return factor because people will have to use the effort and small amount of money to acquire the toys.
I do know for certain that not every family that is donated to returns the toys. A lot of families do not abuse this wonderful donation system, but awareness needs to be brought to those who do abuse this system!