Give Gifts and Activities

Blank Children's Hospital
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Thank you for your generosity and supporting Blank Children's Hospital! It can be difficult for children and families to spend time in the hospital, but special toys and activities can help ease the stress. Your donation of new toys, crafts and other items for children of all ages makes their hospital stay more fun. You can take a look at our online wish list by clicking visiting our Amazon Registry. Items from this list can be shipped directly to Blank Children's from Amazon.

Blank Children's Donations

Donation Information

Donation Guidelines

You can help us support the health and safety of our patients by reviewing and following the guidelines below.

We are not able to accept the following:

  • Used toys or books
  • Stuffed Animals (new or used)
  • Food or candy
  • Any Latex products
  • Violent themed toys

Please keep in mind when making your donation:

  • To respect the privacy of our patients, donors are unable to deliver gifts directly to patients.
  • We request that a Donor Form be completed with each donation. This can be done in advance through our online form or by printing a hard copy form to fill out and bring with your donation.
  • Please do not include business cards/informational inserts in with each donated item. We have dedicated spaces to place a flyer or brochure should families want to learn more.
  • We are unable to accept items that contain information identifying past/present patients. This includes, but is not limited to, the patient's name, date of birth, photo(s), and story or care experience. Thank you for your sensitivity to our current patients and families.

For more details, view our Frequently Asked Questions about Giving.

We appreciate your generosity! By following these guidelines, you can help make a difference for children and teens at Blank Children's!

Used Toys or Books

All donated items must be new. Used toys and items can be donated to The Not New Shop, which benefits Iowa Lutheran Hospital.

Donation Drop Offs

Appointments are required for in person donation drop offs. For questions regarding our wish lists and current needs or to schedule you donation drop off, please contact the Child Life department at or leave a detailed voicemail by calling (515) 241-6152. Masks must be worn during the time of drop off.

Want us to do the shopping?

The needs of the hospital are continually changing. If you want to help and are flexible in the way you give, let our expert staff handle the shopping! Your monetary donations allow Child Life to purchase toys, crafts, books and games that meet the patients' needs based on age and hospital appropriateness. You can make a gift online now.

What's on our wish lists?

Items are needed for kids of all ages – from infants through teens. We have compiled wish lists below to provide guidance on toys and gifts needed throughout the hospital and clinics. These items are used by Child Life, Pediatric Therapy, the SHINE program and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Mailing Your Donation
Donations can always be mailed to Blank Children's Hospital at the address below. Be sure to include a copy of your Donor Form!

Blank Children's Hospital
Attn: Child Life
1200 Pleasant Street
Des Moines, IA 50309

Wish Lists: Shopping Made Simple

Child Life

Certified Child Life specialists combine play with education to explain medical procedures and provide therapeutic opportunities to explore the hospital environment. This helps to reduce a child's stress and make their hospital experience easier on both kids and families. The Child Life Wish Lists support patients in the hospital, our emergency department and our clinics.

Child Life Amazon Wish List

SHINE Program

The SHINE program (Sharing, Healing, Inspiring, Nurturing, Enduring) provides perinatal and pediatric palliative care services in Des Moines and the surrounding area. Palliative care is a special kind of health care. It can be provided at any stage of a serious illness and alongside curative treatment plans. Donations through the SHINE Program Wish List help us offer care to patients and families in the hospital and at their homes.

SHINE Program Amazon Wish List

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

The Variety Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is dedicated to providing high-quality, family-centered care for premature and critically-ill newborns. We offer private rooms, use the latest technology and have been pioneering care for newborns since the unit opened in 1972. Your donations help us care for our most vulnerable patients and their families with the love and respect they deserve.

NICU Amazon Wish List

STAR Center

At the STAR Center, we believe that every child deserves a happy and healthy childhood. We promise to provide services which help them get back on path to having one. The STAR Center is a unique community center designed to be child and adolescent friendly and trauma sensitive. Our staff are experts in child development and have a thorough understanding of how traumatic stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences may impact the health and well-being of children. With these principles in mind, our clinics work to increase a child's resiliency and improve their health and well-being.

STAR Center Amazon Wish List

Pediatric Therapy

Our dynamic team at Blank Pediatric Therapy is committed to providing the vital services of occupational, physical and speech therapy to the children of Iowa. The development of children's abilities to move, talk and care for themselves is best done through play. For motivation during therapy sessions, we use a variety of toys, equipment and materials to help kids get stronger and learn new skills. If you're interested in making a difference for Iowa's children, visit our Amazon Wish List below. Our list is filled with items that help to strengthen and educate the children and families in our care. One hundred percent of all contributions benefit Blank Pediatric Therapy and the children we serve.

Pediatric Therapy Amazon Wish List

Gift in Kind Form

Thank you for your generous gift to Blank Children's Hospital. Please complete the form below to the best of your ability. Information listed will be utilized for tax purposes.

FAQs About In Kind Gifts

What kind of donation makes the greatest impact
Financial contributions to Blank Children's make the greatest and most immediate impact on our patients and families. Charitable gifts help start new programs, purchase life-saving equipment and provide comfort when it is needed most.
What donations is Blank Children's unable to accept?

Out of concern for safety, infection control and allergies, we are unable to accept the following donations:

  • Used/previously played with toys, games or stuffed animals
  • Toys that depict violence, i.e. guns, swords
  • Private collections of toys, games or stuffed animals that have never been played with but have been stored away
  • Latex toys, games and balloons
  • Used medical equipment
  • Breast milk and unused formula
  • Donated hair for wigs
  • Cards for patients
  • Homemade treats (cookies, cupcakes, bars, etc.)
  • Any snack or food items or candy, due to food restrictions of patients
Where and when can I donate items?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to accept in-person donations at this time. Please mail your donations to the address below. Be sure to include a completed Gift In Kind Form with your donation.

Blank Children's Hospital Administration
1200 Pleasant Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
Can I donate stuffed animals?
Because of our infectious control policies and immunity and allergies of many of our patients, we are unable to accept donations of new or used stuffed animals.
My Kids have some toys they've outgrown. Can Blank Children's Hospital use them?
My Kids have some toys they've outgrown. Can Blank Children's Hospital use them?
When I bring my donation of new toys to Blank Children's, can I wrap them?
To ensure we hand out developmentally appropriate toys, we ask that they not be wrapped. We accept new unwrapped toys.
Can I come with my kids or group to deliver directly to a patient or patients?
Due to privacy and infection control policies, we aren't able to bring community members or groups onto the hospital floors to give gifts directly to patients, host events with patients or play/read with patients.
My class group would like to make cards for the Blank Children's patients. Do you accept those?
Unfortunately, Blank Children's is no longer accepting cards for patients.
My class or group would like to make blankets. What types and sizes work best?
Blank Children's Hospital accepts and regularly distributes blankets from quilts to tie blankets. Fleece blankets are preferred as they are non-allergenic. Fun colors and patterns are always loved by our patients. We also encourage groups to make blankets that are 5' x 5' for general pediatrics and 3' x 3' for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.