Recalls Are A Headache For Toy Drive Organizers

Toy drive organizers are recruiting extra volunteers to help them “throw away” recalled toys, says USAToday.

“It’s caused me a lot of lost sleep,” says Karen Boyd, who buys toys for the Johnson County Christmas Bureau in the Kansas City metro area. Volunteers helped check whether 3,000 toys she bought on sale last spring and other donated items are on recall lists.

So far, a few dozen toys recalled because of lead content have been found. “We’re checking everything,” Boyd says. “If it’s a child’s only toy, I would hate for it to be unsafe.”

Here’s the really sad part, some Salvation Army locations have stopped accepting toy donations because it doesn’t have the staff to check them. Other charities are only accepting donations of toys made in the U.S.

Delkor Systems, which makes packaging machines in Circle Pines, Minn., is accepting toys made only in the USA and Canada in its Toys for Tots drive.

Owner Dale Andersen made the change when he met a man whose son was hospitalized after swallowing Aqua Dots, a craft set. A chemical on the toy beads turns toxic when ingested.

If you’ve got some spare time, why not volunteer? If you read this recall-riddled blog you probably have a better idea than most people what is safe and what isn’t.

Recalls keep toy-drive elves busy [USAToday]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Angus says:

    With all the toys that are made in China, why have a toy drive and then end up throwing a lot of them away?

    I think they have a good idea. It’s really a waste of resources to have to staff up volunteers to evaluate and dispose of recalled toys. Then end up with a potentially significant percentage less “charity” than you thought.

    It’s much more effective to NOT have the exposure in the first place, and enables the volunteers to be more productive with their time.

  2. Monkey4Sale says:

    Lead never hurt anyone. I melted the stuff in my parents kitchen as a kid. I have actual pencil lead stuck in my hand (not graphite), and I’m perfectly fine. If a kid is extra weak, or if your grandparents are playing with your toys, then it’s their own fault. You can’t get rid of every hazardous material out there. And pretending you can is proposterous. Just let kids get hurt so they can learn for when they are older; if that means going to the hospital for lead poisoning, so be it.

  3. Buran says:

    I predict that next week we’ll see a headline that toy drives are grumping that they aren’t getting enough toys because they threw them all away due to paranoia, not just the ones that were actually recalled. You literally can’t win.

  4. Buran says:

    @Monkey4Sale: Ouch, what happened?

  5. Monkey4Sale says:

    @Buran: I was bouncing my hand up and down on the tip of a pencil and bounced too hard.

  6. MechaBlue says:


    From Wikipedia: Lead may cause irreversible neurological damage as well as renal disease, cardiovascular effects, and reproductive toxicity.

    “We managed to bring down Jimmy’s lead levels, Mrs. Smith, but he’s still retarded.”

  7. r4__ says:

    @Monkey4Sale: yes, it’s graphite, unless you were writing things in ancient Rome.