My husband recently lost his job. I am working 60 sometimes 80 hours a week to try to support our family. I barely see my children any more. I truly can't afford Christmas for kids this year. Can anyone tell me where I can get help with the holiday for my children. I've tried social services and because I am working they pay me no attention. Yes I may be working, but just my salary alone is truly not enough to take care of all four of us and all the bills that two salaries would normally pay. Can someone give me some kind of input?
By Kisha from Washington, DC
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A good majority of the charities have income guidelines. You might just have to downsize the number and cost of presents this year. No kid needs to have more than one or two gifts and they also don't need expensive ones. If they are old enough to understand explain the situation to them. Also a lot of the charities have age limits of 18 years as a guideline.
Contact your local food bank and they will be happy to help.I was in the same boat as you last year. My son was visiting from college and I had no food or gifts. I went to the food bank and they helped me and my family we had a nice dinner and my little ones had something in their stocking. It is very humbling but it was my favorite Christmas I had never felt so thankful.
To learn much, you must do the footwork or phone calling and see where contributors are sponsoring needy families this Christmas. Talk with dept. stores and churches in your area. Maybe you will find one who can put your family on their Christmas List and/or direct you to an organization who can contribute to your need. Your children's school may take up canned and non perishable food donations from the kids and you can call the school to have your name on their list if this project is done as it is in our town each year.
Get your name out there for businesses and charities to see.
Tone down your expectations and make Christmas about sharing and experiences rather than things. Go to local events like tree-lightings and Santa visits, bake cookies (husband can do this since you are working all hours), crafts, Christmas movies and hot cocoa. Make homemade "gift certificates for things like skipping a chore day, extra 1/2 hr later to bed, extra story at bedtime, etc. Even toys from thrift stores (clothing as well) are just as much fun as new-good condition used toys are still new to a child.
There's no reason your husband couldn't volunteer a few hours a week at a local charity like Catholic Charities or Salvation Army helping others in exchange for Christmas help for your family during the hours he's not job searching and no one searches so many hours a week that they can't help take up the slack of the hours you're working by volunteering.
I also agree with lindal about toning down your expectations and am adding that Christmas is not about material gift giving but rather appreciation for the ultimate gift God gave us.
First, *HUG* Hang in there!
Try angelfoodministries.com , to help you save money on food year round, might be too late for Christmas ordering (or maybe not), but they operate year round. They have chapters all over the place, including in our area. I have been in some tight situations myself, and you are right, as long as you have a job you will get no supplemental assistance-it is a catch-22. But, saving some money on food might help a little bit. Good luck! Always remember, kids understand a lot, including why Christmas is a little short this year, as long as we sit them down and explain it to them. And, gifts and conspicuous consumption aren't the real reason for the season anyway. I hope that helps a little.
I volunteer for a charity which has branches in every state. It's called
Love, INC. Call one near you and they can help or connect you with some group who can. http://www.loveinc.org/our-work/locations/
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