Christmas Help for Families in Need

Many families go through hard times during the Christmas and holiday season. Fortunately, there are charities and organizations that can help. Churches and religious groups, nonprofit organizations, local businesses, food pantries, and government agencies collect food and clothing for the poor, help pay utility bills, provide Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and give Christmas presents to children.

Each organization and agency has specific requirements, dates and locations for events. Grants, money and resources are limited and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Depending on where you live, events such as toy drives and winter coat distributions often happen months before Christmas. Apply for the programs in your area as soon as possible to increase your chances of receiving gifts and financial aid this year.

Organizations that Offer Help to Families During the Holidays

  1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides assistance through programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

    If you are already registered for government sponsored welfare programs, ask your caseworker to add your name to their approved list of Christmas charity recipients.

  2. Toys for Tots is a program sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps that gives toys and other gifts to children. Gifts are usually distributed on December 23 and 24.
  3. The Salvation Army offers programs such as Thanksgiving meal delivery, Adopt-A-Family, Dress-A-Child, and Christmas food distribution.
  4. The United Way has local Christmas bureaus in cities and towns across the United States that help low-income families with meals and gifts.
  5. Project Angel Tree, in conjunction with Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship Ministry and local churches, gives new gifts to children whose parents are in jail.
  6. Make-A-Wish typically grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Contact this organization if your child has a special Christmas wish.

Never feel embarrassed about getting help. Most of us have experienced hard times, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. Needing support gives other people a chance to be a blessing to you, and that’s the greatest gift of all.

Kim Linton is the IT manager and webmaster of Ministrymaker Ministries. Her articles and technology guides have been published on a variety of websites including Yahoo News, Woman's Day and Intel.