Holiday toy drives are a tradition in communities across the country. But this year COVID-19 has created a perfect storm of challenging circumstances; school and workplace closures have caused a great increase in need, while social distancing and COVID-19 restrictions have made collection box drives and Angel Giving Trees extremely difficult. Fortunately, in 2020 virtual toy drives will step up to fill the gap and help bring joy and hope to less fortunate kids.

The pandemic has forced kids to deal with the cancellation of activities they love, isolation from friends, anxiety, stress and fear and lower income families have been hit hard with increased economic hardship. More than ever caring community members want to be sure kids in need have a truly happy holiday season 2020, complete with the opening of presents.

But the challenges are real. Most businesses are still either allowing or requiring employees to work from home making workplace collection box drives impossible. Schools and places of worship which help supply local children with holiday gifts are also unable to hold their annual events due to closures and restrictions. And the trend for online shopping was on the rise before COVID-19, but now the shift is even more pronounced with far less people shopping in retail stores which were typically sites for collection box drives.

YouGiveGoods, the e-commerce platform that enables corporations, groups and individuals to run virtual drives to raise brand-new items for nonprofits, has become a valuable tool for nonprofits and businesses dealing with the demand and restrictions brought on by COVID-19. With record high forecasted demand from large corporate toy drive sponsors and nonprofits including Toys for Tots, YouGiveGoods committed to bringing in six times as many toys as they had in 2019 to meet the explosive need.

“We could never have foreseen these circumstances when we started the business in 2011,” explains Lisa Tomasi, President of YouGiveGoods, “but now we find ourselves uniquely equipped to help people in need in the time of COVID-19. Corporations want to continue their holiday toy collection drives and they are finding that YouGiveGoods can closely replicate that experience in a way that works in our current environment. In 2020 virtual toy drives will be a substantial source of holiday toys for donation programs supplying gifts to less fortunate kids across the U.S.”

Toy drive season typically starts in early November but not this year, YouGiveGoods already has over 150 virtual toy drives either running or preparing to start on November 1. YouGiveGoods has some recommendations for those considering running a 2020 virtual toy drive:

1) Start ASAP No one knows what tomorrow will bring with COVID-19. One day a shipping or fulfillment company is fully staffed, the next, whole teams could be out for two weeks or more. Shipping will be an issue as the holidays approach so YouGiveGoods is recommending drives on their site start asap and end late November/early December to guarantee gifts arrive in time for holiday distribution events.

2) Connect with Nonprofit Needs. Online events enable organizers to direct donors to purchase the items the nonprofits need to serve their clients. Additionally, holiday drives can include coats/cold weather gear, food, diapers, and other critical need items for nonprofits which allows them to benefit from the holiday spirit of giving through December.

3) Shop Early. YouGiveGoods is fully stocked with toys but toy inventory is not unlimited. Getting virtual giving events up now and encouraging donors to shop early will allow YouGiveGoods to be able to react to any sudden surge in inventory needs.

“My team is working tirelessly to meet the growing demand for our service but no one is complaining; we consider ourselves lucky to witness the best in people during these most difficult times,” said Ms. Tomasi. “We are stocked and ready to ship out toys and gifts to organizations serving kids in need across the country!”

To receive more information about YouGiveGoods virtual toy drives contact