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Frequently Asked Questions

Who receives the gifts?

The items donated to The Home's gift drive are given to children and families who are currently being served by one of The Home's more than 20 programs. Visit the Programs section of our website to learn more about the types of services we provide.

Are there any opportunities to volunteer in the Toy Room or at the programs?

We are all set with volunteers in the Toy Room during the month of December. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate individual requests to volunteer in our programs or allow volunteers to take children home with them for the holidays. All of our volunteers who interact directly with the children must first attend an orientation session and go through a thorough screening process.

Should I wrap the present(s) I buy?

No. Any wrapped gifts we receive we have to unwrap in order to be sure what each child is receiving and that it is age or size or developmentally appropriate. However, gifts of wrapping paper are always appreciated!

What kinds of items are needed most? Which age group?

The Home welcomes gifts of all kinds for school age children, however our greatest need is gifts for adolescent boys. We cannot accept any video games rated MA/AO or any toy weapons. We also ask that donors avoid items such as stuffed animals and non-ethnic dolls since we have an abundance of these kinds of gifts. See General Gift Ideas for more suggestions.

What if I am not able to deliver a gift?

Please consider purchasing a gift card for stores such as Target and Walmart, where older kids and families can get a wide variety of goods. Gift cards can be mailed to us at 10 Guest Street, Boston, MA 02135 to the attention of Development.

Can I meet the kids or deliver my gift(s) directly to them?

Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate this type of request in order to protect the confidentiality of the children in our care. Many of them have suffered from abuse and neglect and the holidays can be a very difficult time of year, especially for those kids living in our residential programs. The Wish List site allows you to personalize the experience a bit more and you can also bring your family with you to our Toy Room to drop off the gift(s).

Will I get a personal thank you for my gift?

Due to privacy concerns of the children and families in our care, we are not able to send individual acknowledgements. Please know that each and every gift goes to a deserving child/family and is much appreciated. If you complete a Donation Tax Receipt Form and mail it to 10 Guest Street, Boston, MA 02135, you will receive a general thank you from The Home.

What is the difference between the General Wish List and the Children's Wish Lists?

The Wish Lists are specific wishes for an individual child or teen, as well as lists of essentials for families. The General Gift Ideas page has a list of general ideas for what our kids, families and programs need and want. One of the main reasons for this general list is that several of our community-based programs have such a large clientele that it's impossible for them to create individualized lists for each child in their care; instead, they choose gifts from the items that are not designated for specific kids.

Do the kids write their own wish lists?

Depending on the child's situation, some lists have been put together through teams of counselors, social workers and/or parents, taking into consideration the interests and needs of the child. If appropriate, the child may also create their own list.

Why do Wish List items need to be delivered by December 15?

Wish list items need to be delivered by December 15 to ensure that staff from our programs have ample time to pick up the items from the Toy Room and deliver them to the specific kids and families they serve in time for the holidays.

Still have questions?

Send us an email at giftdrive@thehome.org. Due to the very busy holiday season at The Home, it may take a couple of days to respond. We will make every effort to get back to you as quickly as possible.