Before you pick up a toy to your favorite charity, you may want to consider donating something different this year.

Holiday toy drives are a big part of every Hudson Valley Christmas. Generous shoppers, filled with the holiday spirit, happily fill up their carts with toys they imagine going to young kids who otherwise wouldn't have anything to open on Christmas morning.

While the selfless gesture is much appreciated by many local charities, donating toys is something that may not always be an ideal way to help spread joy. When you picture buying toys for kids, most people picture a five or six-year-old. But those gifts, while very generous, don't really fly for eight-year-olds, pre-teens and teenagers who may also be without presents to open on Christmas.

Many charities have shelves that are overflowing with toddler and kid toys that they can't even give away, while gifts for slightly older children are still in desperate need. Sadly, those older kids are the ones who are all too aware of their family and financial situations and are at the most need of a dose of holiday cheer.

That's why the Children's Home of Poughkeepsie encourages those who want to donate a holiday gift, to make it a gift card instead. The Children's Home uses the gift cards generously donated by people of the Hudson Valley every year to purchase toys that all of the kids in their care. For younger kids, workers can purchase specific toys that are on those letters to Santa. Older kids, who would rather shop for their own specific styles and fashions, are thrilled just to receive the gift cards. And for those expensive electronic devices, multiple gift cards can be combined to create those wow-moments of surprise we all remember having on Christmas morning.

As an added bonus this year, The Boris & Robyn Show is rewarding someone who donates a gift card with a pair of tickets to see The Rolling Stones at MetLife Stadium in the spring. You can drop off your gift card for The Children's Home at any of the show's live broadcasts in December:

  • 12/7 - Dunkin Donuts on Route 9 in Hyde Park from 6am to 10am
  • 12/14 - Dunkin Donuts on Main Street in Pleasant Valley from 6am to 10am
  • 12/21 - Dunkin Donuts at 1491 Route 9 in Wappingers from 6am to 10a

For more information on The Children's Home you can visit their website and learn about the incredible work they do for kids right here in the Hudson Valley.