Donations of Gifts and Time

On behalf of McMaster Children’s Hospital, we thank you for thinking of us and supporting the programming offered to our patients and families. Our first priority is patient safety and for that reason we need to be very specific about our guidelines. Please review the information below before making a donation.

Please review our wish list for items we need and are able to accept:

In order to ensure the safety of our patients, there are some infection control guidelines regarding donated items that must be followed. Donations can only be accepted if they are brand new items, with tags, from smoke-free homes, must not be gift wrapped and cannot have been stored for more than 2 months. We are unable to accept items that are not included on the wish list. Please make sure you sort through your items prior to drop off. This helps us to confirm that everything is clean and new before they arrive at the hospital.

For infection control reasons, all donations must be pre-approved by the Child Life department. We will not accept items that are dropped off without prior approval.

To learn about how to drop off your donation, please e-mail to discuss the items you are wishing to donate as well as current needs of the hospital.

Ways to donate

Drop Off:
Due to limited storage we are only able to accept donations starting on December 4th with the final day for toy drop offs being Thursday December 14th.

Do I need to book an appointment to drop off the items?

If your donation can fit in a wheelchair and does not contain gift cards, then you are welcome to drop off your items at the information desk located inside the main entrance of the hospital. They are open Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 8am-8pm and Tuesdays & Thursday from 8am-4pm

If your donation is larger than what could fit in a wheelchair or you are in need of assistance, please email in advance to book a time for drop off.  An email will confirm the arrangements including time and location. Staff will meet donors with carts at the arranged time.

Online:  If you would prefer, you can make a monetary donation and we will purchase items we need.

The Child Life Team in collaboration with McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation has created a fundraising page to raise over $80,000 to purchase critical toys and bedside activities that support the developmental and educational needs of patients, many of whom aren’t able to leave their rooms.  Toy Drive Reimagined allows our team to purchase the much needed items for our patients not just during the holidays but all year round.

You may want to consider this as an option if you:

  • Would like the benefit of a charitable tax receipt
  • Are donating from a large group, team or business
  • Are unable to make the drop off dates listed but are wanting to donate this holiday season
  • Are unsure of what to purchase but want to make a donation

You can ship your donation to our delivery address:
Attn: Child Life – 3D16
McMaster Children’s Hospital
1200 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON
L8N 3Z5

Volunteering: In accordance with our hospital policies on privacy, confidentiality and infection control, we cannot allow guests to volunteer on a one-time basis for events, holidays or to lead programming sessions such as crafts, board games or story-time. If you are interested in volunteering with our patients on a consistent, long-term basis, please visit the Volunteer Resources webpage to apply to become a volunteer online.