Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
The Children's Christmas Party, founded in December 1999 by Travis & Margaret Storey, provides toys for Jacksonville children who otherwise might not receive Christmas toys during the holiday season.
John P. Hall Sr. Children Charities sponsors an annual Christmas party for underprivileged Clay County children ages newborn to 14. The children receive a bag of new toys based on age and gender. Free clothing is available to the entire family.
Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida runs a program called The Christmas Connection, which strives to fulfill the wishes and basic needs of needy families in the Northwest Florida area during the holiday season.
The Christmas Connection provides for the basic needs of low-income families in Northwest Florida each Christmas. They deliver toys children and food for holiday meals.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
Does anyone know where I can find Christmas help in Titusville Florida? I have 3 kids ages 2, 14, and 18yrs. Please someone help me I don't know what to do.
By Rita from Titusville, FL
More than likely all of the charities that provide that kind of help have used all of their resources. Give the Salvation Army a call, but where I live they have a 20% increase in people wanting assistance and are $300,00 behind in donations. You can also call 211, it is a nationwide organizations called HELPLINE, and they keep a list of most of the charities in a given area. I start my Christmas shopping no later than Februaryand have been done for at least two months. If more people would start early they wouldn't have to be asking for help. Your two older kids are old enough to understand your situation and the two year old shouldn't really notice the lack of gifts. Kids also don't need expensive, fad type gifts and they don't really need more than one gift, each. If you are on food stamps your social worker should be able to give you some ideas.
Try this page to find out about Toys for Tots in your area:
I am a single mom who is disabled and in need of Christmas help for my 3 children. I have searched and searched and am unable to find anything in my area. Is there any way I could be helped in finding local aid for Christmas? Thank you.
By Amanda R.
The charities that I know of that provide Christmas help are the ones that are known nation wide and I know they are in your area too. That being said most of them have cut off dates of mid-November for taking applications. This is so that they can do the budgeting for a certain number of kids. Most of the also have age cut off limits of 12-13 years.
If you have a social worker with the Department of Social Services talk to that person, they might know of some help. Also speak to your pastor. Sometimes they will take up a special, anonymous offering for a needy family in the congregation. Do your kids have grandparents, aunts, and uncles that will be sending them gifts? If they do, that could be counted as the Christmas gifts for this year.
Several years ago, I decided I had to do something that made Christmas less stressful, so I started buying one gift a month with a $20.00 limit per gift. If I saw something on sale that had a $20.00 value and it was something that I knew one of the people on my list wanted or needed, I got it. I would start in January and I have been done for about six months. By doing this I also avoid all the crowds and hassle of shopping this close to Christmas.
I work in the construction field and work has slowed so much that I can barely pay my bills. I won't be able to buy Christmas gifts for my children. Are there any organizations in Tallahassee that might be able to help my family?
Most of the charities have a deadline for taking applications and for the ones that I am familiar with that deadline was a week or two ago. Most of them also have a cut off age of 12 years. If you aren't getting many hours with your regular job, you could get a part time job in a fast food place or something. Most of those places will work with the employee on flexible hours.
Also I assume your kids have grandparents, aunts and uncles that will be sending them gifts. You could also hide some of their old things to refurbish. One year when one of my aunts was about 10 years old her favorite doll got lost and her parents and older siblings claimed they didn't know what happened to it. Christmas morning when she walked into the living room the doll was sitting on top of the piano with a complete new wardrobe that her mother had made in the day time while my aunt was at school. This is something my aunt just told me about a week ago so it is fresh in my memory.
There has been times over the years that I would have had to be asking for help if I didn't plan ahead. I start my shopping in January, and have been done for more than a month and everything is wrapped and under the tree. I buy one thing a month, when I see something. No kid needs more than one gift from their parents, and they don't need anything that they see on TV and they don't need anything with a designer label.
There was one year when my girls were little when we got home from candlelight services I took their new dresses off them and when the girls were in bed I wrapped them and put them under the tree, so that they would have an extra gift to open. We had Christmas with one set of grandparents the week before and were having it with the other set the following week. Speak to your pastor, sometimes a church will take up a special offering for a family that is having a hard time.
You could call the Salvation Army, they do help with things like this, but I think it might be past the deadline. Also most charities do have applicants fill out an application and want the gross income.
I need to find a place that will help me supply Christmas for my four kids. I don't even have a tree.
By Christina from Saint Cloud, FL
For a tree you could do what my late mother did one year, because she had seen the idea in a magazine and liked it. She painted an empty coffee container and filled it with sand, then she went out in the yard looking for a good sized, nicely shaped tree branch and found one laying in the yard. She spray painted it white and stuck it in the coffee can and put the regular decorations on it. She received lots of complements on it from different visitors. I feel adults put way too much on what is expected at Christmas.
Explain to your kids that there won't be much, that the main thing is that you are all together. Call 211, that is the number for the national HELPLINE! organization. They keep lists of different organizations that provide different kinds of help that people might need. The Salvation Army also does some help. Ask your pastor about it, sometimes churches take up a special offering to help people in the congregation. Also you can pick up inexpensive gifts at dollar stores and thrift stores. All any kid needs is one gift each from the parents.
There must be grandparents and aunts and uncles that will be sending packages. We all know for a year in advance that Christmas is coming. I start my shopping in January, and buy one gift a month and have been done for at least a month. This way I avoid the last minute crowds. I spend $20.00 for one gift for each of my adult kids and each of my four grandkids that range in age from 15-25. If I find a $20.00 item on sale for $10-15.00, it still counts as a $20.00 item. It takes a little planning ahead, and yes I do know what it is like to be hard up, and have to ask for help, but I consulted the phone book and called different organizations.
Most of the charities that provide Christmas help have started having a cut off age of 12 years for kids. Even yet, I live off $600 a month retirement social security and no pension or savings of any kind. If you have a social worker and my guess is that you do if you are hard up, ask that person for advice. Actually you can decorate your house without having a tree. Have the kids make paper chains, cut out snow flakes, etc.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Charities that offer help during the holiday season in Florida. Please post feedback about any charities you may know about.
Editor's Note: Do NOT post here if you need help. ThriftyFun does not have resources to give direct help to those in need.
For 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 and 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.
Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida--Tallahassee Regional Office
1380 Blountstown HIghway
P.O. Box 20165
Tallahassee, Florida 32316