General FAQ

What should I keep in mind when choosing toys and/or supplies to donate to Dell?

Although the kids at Dell Children’s receive gifts during the holidays and for their birthdays, many of the donated items are also used in our playrooms and patient rooms throughout the year. Toys with fabric cannot be cleaned or used by multiple children. Durable, manageable-sized toys are most appropriate. Please refer to our wish list for suggestions.

Can we donate gently used toys or stuffed animals?

Unfortunately, due to infection control and patient safety, we are only able to give out newly purchased items.

What is the age range for gifts?

We accept donations from infant to 18-year-olds. Our greatest needs tend to be teens (ages 12 to 18) and infants (birth to two years of age).

May I deliver my gift directly to a child?

We apologize, but because of concerns for patient confidentiality and infection control, our donors are not allowed to deliver gifts directly to children.

Will someone pick up my donation?

Due to staffing and transportation limitations, Dell Children’s staff are not able to pick up your donation. Donations and get well cards may be mailed to Dell Children’s Medical Center, Attn: Child Life, 4900 Mueller Blvd., Austin, TX 78723.

Can my group or I make handmade items?

A lot of kids at Dell Children’s have allergies to dust, animal hair, second hand smoke and pollens. Please make sure all handmade fabric items are as clean as possible to help limit allergic reactions.

Can we deliver baked goods or prepare a meal for a family?

Many of the children at Dell are on restricted diets or have food allergies so we are unable to accept food donations. Another local non-profit that accepts homemade baked goods is Ronald McDonald House.

May I donate sporting or other event tickets to children and families?

We welcome ticket donations. The Child Life Department will distribute the tickets to the families. Please note, due to patient confidentiality tickets should be sent to the Child Life for distribution. Children’s names cannot be given for ‘will call’ pick up.

Holiday Drive FAQ

How many gifts do I need to bring?

We accept donations of all sizes. We combine our donations so all children receive the same quantity.

Can my group make holiday cards?

You may create and send cards to children through our e-card program along with mailing them to the Child Life Department at DCMC. Please do not write “get well soon,” “feel better” or “hang in there,” or place religious messages on your design.

Can I dress up as a holiday character and visit the children?

We have wonderful volunteers who have passed all hospital screenings, background checks and volunteer training who graciously help us with our holiday needs.

Can my group or I come sing carols or do a performance?

Since we are located in Austin with a large and thriving music and arts community, our schedule tends to fill up very quickly. Please contact the Child Life Department to see if there is any availability.

Can my group or I host an event for the children during the holiday season?

Please contact the Child Life Department to see if there is any availability. The holidays are usually a busy time and events are booked months in advance.