Does anyone know of any charities that offer help around Christmas time?
The Salvation Army or some churches in your area might be able to help you. (10/17/2005)
By guest post
Log onto Samaritans Purse, it's one of the charities with Billy Graham as its founder. Its really a wonderful group and they do Christmas shoeboxes! (10/17/2005)
Here's a link to Samaritans purse; samaritanspurse.uk.com. It's a really great organization. Our family plans to do a shoebox or two this year. (10/17/2005)
Modestneeds.org helps those who are making an effort to help themselves. "A hand up not a hand out" type of charity. (10/18/2005)
Check with your local VFW post, but you need to call them early to get on the list. They will usually help with food, toys, and clothing. Give them a call. If they don't do that they might be able to tell you who does. (10/19/2005)
These are some of the places I tell people I work with to look for help in your hometowns. I am a social worker. Here goes: first churches (even if you don't belong to the church many have programs to help), Toys for Tots, Salvation Army, and your local county or state Social Service Office. Also don't be afraid to tell your friends or the grandparents that you need help! We all assume that the people around us can read our minds. They can't. God bless! (11/24/2005)
Try the Lions clubs, Rotary clubs, etc. Just get busy and start calling. The sooner the better! (11/24/2005)
All summer long go to garage sales and start buying affordable items that you can clean up to make look like new and stash them in the closet. Take two dollars a week and go to the dollar store and buy small items for your family and stash them into the "gift" closet. Learn a craft like knitting or crocheting (the library has books or ask around for someone to teach you) and buy yarn on sale and make scarfs for your family. Go to freecycle.org and sign up to get free items for your family, you can even ask for items like a used Christmas tree. Learn to do more with your children at the holidays to make it special; string popcorn (very cheap), rent a library book with holiday songs and learn a few to go out caroling around the neighborhood, buy baking supplies when they are on sale and then bake cookies that your kids can decorate.
In the fall, at the "back to school" sales, buy construction paper then at Christmas make the old-fashioned paper chains to hang around the tree or around doorways, buy some felt (very cheap) and make stockings or ornaments. Use the internet as a tool to search out craft sites for patterns for ornaments and stockings. There are many websites that offer free printables that you can print off that your kids can color, or you could print off favorite recipes on cute cards, put them in a bundle and tie with a pretty ribbon and give those as your gifts to friends.
You have to realize that we are not the first generation that has ever known financial difficulties, your children will not be the only children that haven't had that wonderfully fake "Norman Rockwell" kind of Christmas. You have very little to work with.
You have to do the best you can with what you have; and what you have may not be money, but your own creative spirit.
You need to also get on the telephone and start calling around in your own city and look for help from the city offices (Mayor), Lions clubs, Kiwanis associations. Call stores that are collecting for "Toys for Tots" and ask how to sign up. Call local St. Vincent DePaul or Goodwill organizations and ask if they have a donation program for your family or a shopping day that low-income families can go in and "buy" things for a discounted price. Call your local churches, call your local schools, call your local banks; many have "giving tree" or "mitten tree" programs for the less fortunate. We don't have anything, but each other, and I think that is all that matters during the holiday season. (12/02/2006)
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