More than 400 Moreton Bay Region children will spend Christmas in foster care, residential care or hospital, away from family, the Morayfield Child Safety Centre says.
A spokesperson says being in care often means the children miss out on gifts.
“We work with around 400 local children and young people.
“Often, the only gift they receive at Christmas is one that is given by kind donors through Morayfield Shopping Centre’s Christmas Toy Drive.
“Sometimes, it’s the first gift they are ever given.”
The spokesperson says one boy was given a plastic cricket bat and ball last year and still plays with them all the time.
“You can see it was a very meaningful gift to him.
“If you remember a toy from your childhood that was your favourite, a bike, a ball, a game - this is the gift and memory these toys bring to children who are going through a challenging time.”
The spokesperson says when children change placements, they often take gifted toys with them, which helps create a sense of stability and security
The Morayfield Shopping Centre Christmas Toy Drive runs until December 12.
To get involved, buy a toy and drop it off unwrapped at the decorated shop near the food court.
All toys will be delivered to the Child Safety Centre in Morayfield, which will then distribute them.