I am looking for agencies that help needy families for Christmas.
By Melony from Kent, WA
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If you are low enough income to be getting help from the Department of Social Services contact them. In the town where I live all the agencies that help low income families at Christmas time have a clearing house where people can apply for that type of help. I don't know if it is the same in all states or not but in SD the clearing house is under the Help Line program. I think all states have something like that. Other wise contact the closest Salvation Army. Toys for Tots operates in most larger size towns during the holidays. If you can't access things like that, what I did when my kids were little was if they needed a new item of clothing that is what they got. New toys aren't a necessity. If your kids are teen agers they should be able to understand times are hard. Really all any kid needs is one gift and most of the time they will be satisfied. Also sometimes you can get nice toys, books, and clothes at thrift shops and they can be used as gifts. My late Mother spent several years browsing antique shops until she had a certain type cookie jar for each one of us three girls, sometimes she would just find the jar without the lid, but she scrounged until she had a complete cookie jar for each of us. They were used, but thoughtful and appreciated. My self if I still had kids I would rather give them one small gift, than go asking for help.
People have given excellent suggestions. I just thought I'd mention a food service that's available to anyone to save on groceries, it's called:
Angel Food Ministries (any income can use this service and it's very helpful to make food dollars stretch!)...here's their website to read the info, find a site near you, read their menu (they do accept food stamps among other kinds of payments). The food is very good and I love the meat packages! excellent quality!...http://www.angelfoodministries.com/ truly worthwhile organization!
This link might help. Good Luck!
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en& ... 51vITM3jIqGIiAO2goHGDgAAAKoEBU_QOTbB
I know the TF staff linked in a comment I made on this question last year. I'm posting again anyway!
If you or your spouse is a veteran, ask your local Veterans' Affairs office if they have a holiday program. One year when we needed help, they gave us a Kroger gift card along with the other help they provided.
Also, it's not too early to put Christmas requests on your local FreeCycle group. (I'm presuming you're a member. If not, it's free to join. Go to FreeCycle.org and click around to find your closest chapter.) I was blessed to help a FreeCycle mom with a couple of small items for the two teenage boys in her home last year. It felt great to be the giver for a change!
We have an organization called the Holiday Bureau. You can probably contact your church or job and family services and they can give you some affiliations to this.
Good luck and Happy Holidays.
Here are questions related to Christmas Help for Low Income Families.
Is there any assistance for Christmas help for families with teenagers?
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Does anybody know of any agencies that are helping with Christmas for low income families?
By MissMoe79 from Birmingham, AL
Usually the Salvation Army does a big Christmas drive and donates them. Otherwise find your local Toys for Tots and ask them where to go to get help. (10/06/2009)
Whatever you do, get on their lists now.This is going to be a big year for them. Them being any agency that can help.
Fire Bureau/Police Department I think it's called the Sunshine Division in Oregon, maybe nationwide. Anyway, call a non-emergency number.
Salvation Army, St Vincent De Paul, United Good Neighbors.
Catholic Charities. Yellow pages for charities and benevolent associations. They will also refer you elsewhere. Ask every place you call for another place to call for people you know.
Your local food banks will probably have references.
Go to your local malls starting this month and ask at an information kiosk if they are going to have a gift tree and get your name in.
Local television stations often have some sort of gift program. Keep an eye out and a paper and pencil ready to take down numbers or sources starting now. Tell the older family members to take down numbers. They may have help listed on their websites.
Call your local Adult and Family services and say you'd like to know where to find such help. You don't have to be getting aid, they just tend to know where everything is.
Large churches might be worth a call. Sometimes they do an adopt a family thing.
Food 4 Less stores also offer an entire dinner for about 4-5 for around 20-25 dollars during Christmas and I think Thanksgiving. Sometimes if you get a good deal you can get 2 turkeys at Thanksgiving and have one already for Xmas which saves you money for something else. (10/07/2009)
Start calling all the churches! (10/07/2009)
My grandmother is a Lion. Meaning she works for the Lions those who take care of (the blind). They do have a lot of good buys for Christmas trees, at like 5 dollars a piece or less, you can find a lot of great buys for 1-5 dollars during the summer time. They also have Christmas in July specials at our local branches so I'm sure they'll have something of that nature at yours. Try any organization like that. Also, I'm sure they'd love to help low income families or try to steer you in the right direction. Don't be afraid to just ask those organizations! (10/09/2009)
Oh Craig's lists is another, they have free things out all year round, might find a tree in one of those. (10/09/2009)
I'd start with your local Information and Referral hotline. My local area has the 211 service number, but I don't know if that's in all areas yet. They should know who's most likely to be able to help. Be sure to write down all pertinent info!
If you attend church, your own church family is more likely to help you than any other; you might branch out from that starting point.
Be aware as you check around that demand is particularly high this year. The earlier you get your name in, the better chance you have of getting help. Be as specific as possible in stating your situation. That will help the group in question know best how to help your family.
Don't be deceptive and say you're not getting help if you know you are.
However, if you accidentally wind up receiving help from more than one group, be thankful! Some of your "excess" can either help you through the next few lean months, or might help a friend or family member who was unable to get help for whatever reason.
Last but certainly not least, do *not* be ashamed of being in financial straits. As in the Great Depression, "it's tough all over". My elderly hubby and I (I'm visually impaired) have relied on benevolent assistance the last two or three years to have a decent holiday season. We didn't need the toys younger families would, so the groups who assisted us were able to concentrate on household items and food. It was nice to receive one small gift, though I'm still a kid at heart! (10/11/2009)