Christmas is coming! For many kids, that means excitement is building and under the tree is sure to be filled with presents from their wish lists.
But for other children, the glimmer of hope that their wish lists will be waiting for them will soon fade away. There will be no toys… no gifts. Many low-income families are unable to buy non-necessities. They have enough to worry about just keeping food on the table, and a roof over their heads.
As a service to our readers, we’ve polled our fabulously resourceful members in our Free Stuff Facebook Group for insights on where to find assistance for the Holidays. These resources may be able to help families during the holiday season with gifts of toys, clothes, food, having bills paid, and more.
We also share how to donate to these worthy causes.
The Holidays are about giving. And seeing smiles on children’s faces is a wonderful gift in itself.
Christmas Charities that Help Low-Income Families
2 Hands – a platform for people with a need to connect with those who wish to lend a hand
Angel Tree – “Children with a parent in prison grow up wondering if their mom or dad still loves them. Through Angel Tree, you can be the one to show them they do!” EVERY CHILD HAS A STORY For 2.7 million children in the U.S., that story may be filled with the abandonment, loneliness, and shame that come from having a mom or dad in prison. For many, it may also include following their parents down the same destructive road to incarceration. Angel Tree®, a program of Prison Fellowship, reaches out to the children of prisoners and their families with the love of Christ. This unique program gives you an opportunity to share God’s love by helping to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the families of prisoners.
Assistance League – “Assistance League volunteers transforming the lives of children through community programs.”
Catholic Charities – “There are more than 160 Catholic Charities agencies across the country. Each one provides a unique array of social services based on the needs of its community. “
Christmas For Kids – Christmas for Kids is a magical annual event where local kids in extreme need are hand-selected by their school counselors. The child then joins a volunteer shopper and they check off a Christmas list mostly comprised of basic clothing needs for the kid and their immediate siblings.
Christmas Spirit Foundation – provides hundreds of Christmas trees each year to troops stationed overseas who won’t be home for Christmas and also delivers trees to military bases for members of the military and their families to receive a free Christmas tree. Monetary donations help give these Christmas trees to those who make so many sacrifices for our freedom.
Coats For Kids – “Every child in America deserves to have a new winter coat, not a used one.”
Food Bank – check with your local food bank for lists of local entities that have toy drives, such as schools, libraries, Fire departments, Police, etc.
Lion’s Club – “For nearly 100 years, Lions Clubs have worked to improve their communities through projects and programs. Each club is unique in how it serves. A Lions club in or near your community may sponsor a program that provides assistance for the purchase of eyeglasses, hearing aids, health-related services, scholarships or educational needs.”
Local Churches – may provide assistance for low-income or underprivileged children and their families
Make a Wish Foundation – Helps to fulfill the dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses. They help children all year round, but they’re worth noting here if you have a sick child, age 2-18, with a special Christmas wish.
Mom’s Little Angels – Thanks to Ashley for sharing this in our Free Stuff Facebook Group! Our mission is to help less fortunate families and children obtain items through out the year. We have two major programs: Back to School Drive, and our Christmas Program. Currently, our Christmas Program is accepting applications for children to be sponsored. They are also currently looking for Sponsors! website
My Two Front Teeth – Founded in 1999 and named after the carol, “All I Want for Christmas,” MyTwoFrontTeeth.org is is a nonprofit provider of online services which bring personalization, efficiency and simplicity to the charitable gift-giving efforts of community organizations throughout the country. We enable dozens of charities, daycares, and preschools to accept toy sponsorships online, thereby helping to brighten the holidays for thousands of underprivileged children by providing free toys.
National Urban League – The National Urban League works to provide economic empowerment, educational opportunities and the guarantee of civil rights for the underserved in America.
Operation Christmas Child – Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.
Operation Homefront, Holiday Meals for Military – Distributes Christmas holiday meal kits to military families in various active duty bases located nationwide.
Salvation Army – We put new clothes and toys under the tree for 1 million children who usually have to go without Christmas gifts. In what’s known as Christmas Angel Tree, Anonymous donors adopt these little “angels” in an expanding Christmas tradition that makes the season brighter for both the gift giver and receiver. From hosting sit-down Christmas dinners to delivering meals to stocking food pantries, we give the gift of a full stomach to many. The Salvation Army makes sure low-income families, struggling seniors, and those without a home for the holidays have something to eat. Bill Pay Assistance The Salvation Army helps struggling households pay their utility bills, offsetting the added financial burdens that come with Christmas expenses and keeping the heat on during those cold winter nights. This allows low-income families to maintain self-dignity and stability while keeping up with their bills.
Samaritan’s Purse – Their mission is to follow the example of Christ by helping those in need and proclaiming the hope of the Gospel.
Sharing and Caring Hands – Sharing and Caring Hands houses the homeless, gives hope to children, and serves low-income families in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Sheetz Family Charities – “Working with the Salvation Army to identify needy families and collect their holiday wish lists, Sheetz for the Kidz made the season brighter for over 8,500 people!”
Toyland for Kids – Another successful year for Toyland for Kids! Thanks to the generosity of many donors and volunteers, over 1,300 families will have a very happy holiday season.
Toys For Tots – The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
Volunteers of America – Volunteers of America provides high quality, innovative services for disadvantaged and disconnected children and youth.
United Way – United Way supports 2-1-1, a free and confidential service that helps people across North America find the local resources they need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Dial 211 from any phone to contact them.
Know of any we missed? Please let us know!