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Whether your Barbies are loose and everyday or boxed and collectible, a non-profit agency somewhere will appreciate your doll donation. Consider the condition and potential value of the dolls you have before simply dropping them in a charity donation box; dolls that are damaged or missing parts are of little use to anyone. Valuable dolls should be noted as such to potentially raise money for the receiving organization.
Inspect each doll carefully before packing it up as a donation -- dolls with significant teeth marks in them, or with clothes that musty and moldy, should not be donated in such poor condition. Mold and mildew may affect other nearby items collected by a charity, so discard such items while wearing a dust mask and gloves to avoid breathing in the spores. If the dolls are in good shape but dirty, wipe them off with a damp cloth as a consideration for others. If you know or suspect that your Barbie is valuable, research it online before dumping it into a random box of donations. If you also have clothes and accessories to go along with Barbie, package the belongings in a zippered plastic bag to prevent stray shoes or missing pieces.
Looking Out for Local Needs
If your goal is to ensure the Barbies go to children who may not have their own, consider local organizations as potential places to donate them. Emergency shelters for women and children may be ideal places to donate; often, those in such shelters left their homes with very few belongings. Call ahead to be sure they accept Barbies and arrange a specific drop-off day and time, as the hours or days for donating may be limited. Some local organizations, including faith-based or social services groups, collect new and slightly used toys for donation to local children in need, especially around the holidays. Ask local organizations that support the homeless and the underprivileged if they know of such drives -- there's a good chance at least one such drive happens near you annually. If you're unable to donate the dolls to a local organization, seek out an organization that collects toys and dolls for areas ravaged by poverty or natural disasters; the groups may vary based on current events.
Donating for Resale
Non-profits large and small sometimes run their own resale shops to raise funds for the less fortunate or those with special needs. Call or visit the charity shops in your area to ensure they accept toys; for instance, some may specialize in clothing or furniture. If the Barbies are still in original boxes but aren't of particularly high value, package them in a larger box to prevent damage.
Offering Valuable Barbies
If you envision your valuable Barbies raising significant funds for a favorite charity, contact the organization in advance to find out if they hold auctions or have a retail shop with a case for valuable goods. Offer the Barbies along with printouts of recent sale prices or information including the specifics about each doll, such as the year or type of Barbie, and why it is valuable. Hand the items off to a manager or charity representative designated to handle valuable goods to ensure they are dealt with appropriately; otherwise, a doll worth hundreds may be sold for pennies.
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Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, Kroger, SFGate and others.
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