Parents taking donations of children’s toys to charity shops for Christmas have been turned away, they have revealed.

One parent contacted Donegal Now about the matter, while others have flagged the matter on social media.

Letterkenny's hard working charity shop volunteers and managers have explained the problem.

The operator of the Good and New cancer charity shop on Port Road revealed that they have been left with no choice but to refuse toy donations.

Other charity shops in the town, such as St Vincent de Paul (SVP) and the National Council for the Blind Ireland (NCBI), which each operates from Main Street in Letterkenny, have asked people not to donate broken toys.

The full story appear's in Thursday's edition of the Letterkenny Post newspaper, a sister publication of Donegal Now.

Good and New shop operator Eamon McDevitt told Donegal Now: “We’ve been coming down with toys because we were taking them all, but then we’d open them and there’d be bits missing and pieces broken, so we’ve had to stop.

“The committee took a decision not to take any more toys, so we have stopped taking them now.”

Eamon, whose shop helps to fund the vital Cancer Bus service that transports patients for treatment outside of Donegal, added that the broken toys were costing the operation money.

He explained: “We don’t want to be a dumping ground. We have significant bills to pay on skips. We’re spending money on that and it defeats the purpose of our charity.”

SVP manager Olga Hossack said: “We can take toys if they can be sold on or donated elsewhere by us – otherwise we’d just be doubling our waste bill, if we accepted all toys.

“We were getting in bags of toys but some would be broken at the bottom. We can’t accept broken or dirty toys because we then have to pay to dump them ourselves.”

She added: “This time of year people are clearing out for Santa coming. We don’t have much of a problem with broken toys because people who come to St Vincent de Paul are very good, although I am aware that this is an issue.”

NCBI manager Margaret Lyon said: “It is very hard to all toys. Toys like jigsaws are difficult because you can’t count all the pieces and some could be missing, but the quality of the toys that we have been getting are very good.

"We call these toys ‘pre-loved memories’.”

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