Editor's Note: Do NOT post here if you need help
ThriftyFun does not give direct help to those in need. We have no budget to even make a little dent in all of the requests we get for help. If you need help this year, search on google for the area where you live (City, State, Country) and Christmas Help, or Help for Christmas. It's been a tough year for many so if you have the means to do so, we encourage donating to food banks and charities or adopting a family in your area.
Here are some other resources or ideas suggested by the ThriftyFun community:
I used to work in a county library and we had patrons that wanted to help out local people and buy books for children, when we found out about a family in need, we would match them up! Ask your local librarian if she knows of any programs, those librarians are pretty darn smart and they know a lot about your community. Even your children's school may have a program that would help you (my school gives new coats to children), only if you ask.
Many grocery stores have collections for can goods and dry staples, call around in your area and talk to the store managers. You will have to do your own research and make your own phone calls to find help, but, it is out there. I have even used yahoo and google and typed in "holiday charities (name your state)" and "Christmas charities" and have found places that not only ask for donations but offer help as well. I know you have the internet if you can post here, so use that same tool and search for charities that are right in your own area.
Go to the library and check out Christmas books and read to your children every night, when is the last time you read "The Night Before Christmas"? Another wonderful book is the "Polar Express". Check out the free music tapes and CD's and play the songs and sing with your children. Some libraries rent videos for very low money or free, check out Christmas movies and make the night special by popping some cheap popcorn!
Start buying small amounts of baking supplies and by Christmas you will have enough to bake cookies with your children. Bake some extra cookies for the kids to give away to someone special, I know you are hard-pressed for money, but sometimes giving to others (even when it hurts) will give you such a warm feeling and teach your children about what really matters during the holiday. Dress up the children nice and warm and go take walks around your neighborhood to see all the Christmas lights, maybe even try to sing some Christmas carols at the houses of your friends and neighbors.
Have the children make oodles of paper snowflakes and then hang them all over the windows. Do things that will be memorable for your family, remember Memorable, not Material!
Have you asked your friends and families for help, do they even know your situation? I told my sister-in-law we were hungry and she went into her cupboards and packed up two grocery bags of food for me. If I hadn't told her, she wouldn't have known. When I thanked her, she just said that someday I will be in a position to "pass it on" and help someone else out. It does make family feel good when they can help you out, so don't feel bad about asking them; God will bless them twice over!
My heart goes out to people that need help, because I have been there and know how it feels. Keep your spirits up, and ask around your town, help is there for you!
If you can get to a craft store, buy some clear ball ornaments, or go to Wal-mart. Then go in the craft section and buy some little bottles of different colored paints. Pour a couple of drops of paints (different colors) in ornaments and then hold finger over the opening of the ornament and swirl around. The paints mix and they are very different. The children will love to do this and they will each have own ornament or give as a gift. My children and my grandchildren have all done this.
The main thing to remember about Christmas, is that it is about giving, not about receiving. Christmas has been way too commercialized. Our family has never had very much money, but our children have always understood that there wouldn't be a lot for Christmas. They always received THREE gifts, just like Jesus. This helped us be able to tell the Christmas story, AND, after all, we are no better than Jesus, right? BUT, I always started looking for Christmas gifts in July, watching clearance racks, etc. You can find wonderful things on sale, if you keep your eyes open, and you resist the temptation to give it to your child when you get home with it. You CAN furnish your own children's Christmas, AND be able to give to others with careful planning. I grew up in a poor family, and a rule that we had was that our gifts had to be homemade. Even today, if we can, our mother would rather have a hand made gift than a bought one. Some things you can give to others: gifts in a jar; cookies; small bags of goodies for nursing home patients (containing comb, pair of socks, sample of body spray, etc). You'll find that your kids have so much fun collecting and giving these gifts, while learning the true meaning of Christmas. Start collecting things the day after Christmas for next year, though, when things go on sale. You can pick up wrapping paper for like .50 a roll at Wal-Mart, gifts really, really cheap. Put them up until next year, it costs a little extra this year, but you will survive if you buy a "few". I know, because, I did. Put your wrapping paper in a trash bag and hang around a hanger in the closet. Good luck! (P.S. My husband is disabled, so I do understand where you are coming from, and we still manage to have Christmas with careful planning--I am the only wage earner, and I have a seizure disorder--I know about hardship, and I know it can be done with determination).
By your not alone
Can I just make a suggestion for those posting for Christmas help. It would be very helpful if in your message you stated the town and state you are in. That would make it much easier for someone to determine if they could help a certain family or not. Thanks.
By Tina in NC
Try going to Central Avenue United Methodist Church. They do Christmas help every year. I go to this church.
By chineaAutauga county has a Christmas team that coordinates giving like this. Each of the churches in town commits to providing for X number of families: food, toys etc. Check with the Autauga interfaith community center for details, or any church.
By violaTry your local American Legion, VFW and the like. Good Luck
My heart goes out to you all.
Sign up at http://www.singlerose.com and they have an Angel Program where you can sign up for help from everywhere! It's a wonderful program and I used it last year and received some wonderful gifts for my daughter! I'm a single mother trying to put myself through college and raise her completely by myself so I know how hard things can get, especially at Christmas!! Now, the only reason I'm not asking for help again this year is because we were so blessed last year, I don't have the heart to ask again. God got me through it once, he'll help me again somehow!
But please go to the site and give it a try! God Bless you and your family!
I know this website I'm going to tell you about can't help everyone, but they do try. They help with almost all sorts of things. Try http://www.modestneeds.org I know this website is for real because a member of the site adopted my request a few weeks ago for heat for the winter and sent us 150 gallons of oil :) It would have cost us $401.00. But thanks to the generosity of the donor, it didn't cost us a penny :)
Hope this helps someone, God bless and have a happy holiday.
By Tammy - NC
Also go to http://www.freecycle.org. People give away many good items from Christmas trees and decorations to furniture and toys.
Try your local city hall. They can give you numbers for what's available in your community. Also there is Marine's Toys for Tots, Salvation Army. Also try asking local churches. There are so many willing to give your family a beautiful Christmas. Tis the season to give...
By Jennifer, CA
I just found a site for toys for tots go there and try going here:
By Mother in need as well
Try your local fire department, some areas do that but also look up Marine Toys for tots Foundation, they do a lot to help. The Salvation Army may help also. Hope this helps.
I only know of a few sites to try: http://www.stvincentdepaul.net or 602-266-4673; http://www.angelfoodministries.org or 1-877-FOOD-MINISTRY; http://www.toysfortots.org ; call your local sheriff's department, they often collect toys for tots; call any local churches; call your city offices and ask for a number to a local food bank. Our town has "giving trees" at the local banks, maybe give a couple of bank branches a telephone call. I would also ask your local school principal about any programs they could recommend. Good luck to you and your family.
To all of the people who posted needing help for Christmas. 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, Your local county or State Social Service Office. Also don't be afraid to tell your friends or the Grandparents that you need help!! Or even your friends, we all assume that the people around us can read our minds they can't. God Bless!
By SusanFor those of you who live in Central Florida, you can call 407-834-4022, Christian Help. I too am struggling this year. They accept applications Tuesdays & Fridays, 9:30-2pm, and they're located in Cassleberry. It doesn't matter if you don't reside there. All you need to take is your ID and SS#'s for your children up to age 16. God Bless
By ElizabethHere is a list of New Jersey Charity Organizations that may be able to help. They are listed by name, number and then county.
Here are the recent answer to this question.
By crystal (Guest Post)12/17/2008
I am going to school trying to get my nursing degree I need help with my 16 month old son for Christmas, he loves things with wheels
By delois bland (Guest Post)12/13/2008
this is a nice web site, it would be nice if every body could find a way to help each other without a greedy middleman getting in the way of the funds,if every one can send 5 dollars to a trustee of charitable funds and when some one or anyone ask for help there should be funds avalible to help
By Lauren Bullard (Guest Post)10/11/2007
Hi, I am 17 years old. I have a brother who is 9 years old. My mom is trying hard to make it, but she is disabled. She is trying to get disabilty, but it has not come yet. She can't work. we really need some help. I would like to just have a tree this year. My brother really needs things. I feel bad he might not get all his wishes. I need things like winter coats, shirts. So does my mom. Please help us.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Your best bet is to go to http://www.freecycle.org or http://www.craigslist.com
Here are questions related to Christmas Help.
How and when can I get help for Christmas gifts? If it is not to late, I could also use help with Thanksgiving?
Also call your closest Catholic Family Services. If they don't have anything available to help you this season just ask them for names and phone numbers of other charities in your area that can help you. Catholic Family Services is awesome! I became disabled two and a half years ago and they have helped me with a few things including a wonderful volunteer, Elizabeth, who comes to my apartment every other week to help me with the heavy cleaning I can no longer do.
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