Does anyone know where to find Christmas help for our grandkids. We don't have funds this year. We don't matter but the kids do. . .
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:
There are a lot of families in need of a little help, all year long, but especially at the holidays. They just want a little "something" to make their holiday special. I would like to suggest, though, before you ask out on the net that you ask in your own hometown or city. There are many programs available through the Lions, VFW, churches, St. Vincent De Paul, even banks and public libraries have "Giving Trees" that you can put your children's name, needs, and sizes on a paper and someone will buy your child a gift.
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 the kids are younger, how about reading a story that you enjoyed when you were young on audio or video. Older kids might enjoy a book you could make on your computer sharing from your past. Maybe you can find a book at the Library or on the net with prompt questions like "My best childhood memory is..." etc. These are legacy gifts that can be passed on to future generations.
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).
I am a single mother and I know how everyone must feel this time of year. Every year I get depressed knowing that Christmas is coming no money for gifts. But Christmas is not just about gifts, it is about family and getting together. My kids have gone without gifts for the past 5 years. They have me and my health and there's and food and a warm place to live, that's all we need. I hope everyone gets their wish. God Bless and Merry Christmas to you all and be safe.
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.
Check with local churches-- our church has a toy drive and applications are taken and toys are distributed based on need.
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.
I was a single mother of 4 and the Shriners and Masons were great to give out Christmas gifts to children and always had a Christmas party with Santa.
By violaTry your local American Legion, VFW and the like. Good Luck
I did some checking around the internet on some organizations, try http://www.operationsantasearch.org. They have listings from all over. I don't know anything about them personally but its worth checking out.
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.
Contact the closest Salvation Army for help. Also, do you have a crisis help line in your area, could call them and ask if they have a list. Check with your local library for list. Possible that local newspaper would have the info. Since you have or have access to a computer, look up Toys for Tots and see if they have a local distribution site. Good luck.
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.
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.
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
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How and when can I get help for Christmas gifts? If it is not to late, I could also use help with Thanksgiving?
The Marines have a Toys for Tots program at Xmas - & many churches also have giveaways you can inquire about (all the church offices). Turkeys are very cheap at Thanksgiving & there are often 2 for 1 deals - perhaps you can get someone to buy turkeys on that basis & give you one! There are also Thanksgiving dinner plans. I attended one in Hollywood at the Comedy Store once. Again, check around in your area for similar plans.
The Salvation Army is great for helping with food and gifts at Christmas. Where I live all of the charitable organizations have banded together and have one central place for people to apply call 211 (that is a nationwide number for the helpline, where they have a good list of organizations of all types that provide different types of help.
Also where I live there is always at least one church that puts on a big Thanksgiving and Christmas meal for people that don't have any place to go and from what I understand anybody is welcome. Some places if you get help from the Salvation Army they will deliver the box to you and other places you have to go and pick it up.
If you can't find any help, the adults in the family are old enough to know there won't be any gifts this year and the kids (no matter how little) can get by with one or two little things from either a discount store or even a dollar store. Sometimes at thrift stores you can find items in like new condition for very little.
Also when it comes to kids most organizations cut off the gifts at age 12. Another thing that really helps is to start your Christmas shopping in January. I shop for eight people and have been done for at least a month. I spend a maximum of $20.00 per person, however, if I find a $20.00 item on sale for $10-$15.00, it is counted as $20.00.
For example about six weeks ago I was in Kohls and found an adorable stone type ceramic salsa bowl and matching serving spoon, that I decided would be ideal for the only cousin that I exchange gifts with, because she does a lot of entertaining. It had been $20.00 but was on sale and then with a coupon that I got in the mail I got it for a little over $5.00.
One thing is before I go to a store for a specific item I call ahead to see if they have it. I had been on the Kohl's website one night and saw that salsa set and I called to see if they had it, being I use public transportation. For holiday food, I cook a turkey breast in the crock-pot (slow cooker) and that makes plenty of meat to serve seven and I have left overs for a couple meals.
There again, you can economize, if it is only your family, you can even buy a turkey roast quite cheaply. Also if it is just your family, you can get buy with just the turkey, potatoes(either white or sweet,or both if your family needs both), can of cranberry sauce, one vegetable and a dessert, oh yes, also a package of dinner rolls. When it is just two of us that is what I do.
When there is more of us, I do the two meats, mashed potatoes, gravy, two vegtables, one other family brings a relish tray, several varieties of pickles and a jello salad, the other person brings bakery pies, dinner rolls, canned cranberries, and stove top stuffing for me to prepare. There again you can start purchasing the food items now and have them on hand. I always have two or three turkey breasts in my freezer.
What ever you do, if you really need help, find the places that do it and apply now, in fact it might even be too late now. Also when you apply, you do have to list income, I don't know if you have to show proof or not.
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.