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Pennsylvania Christmas Charities

Girl in a red coat giving to the Salvation Army.
Every year ThriftyFun gets numerous requests from people looking for help for their families for Christmas. Since we do not have the resources to offer direct help, we have set up this guide to help people find charities in each state. This is a guide about finding Christmas charities in Pennsylvania.
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Solutions

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December 2, 20110 found this helpful

Hunger-Free Pennsylvania, A Network of Food Banks and Charitable Organizations, may be able to help provide meal assistance for low-income families.

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Goodfellows Holiday Toy Fund provides toys for Christmas to area low-income children. The fund was established in 1947 and relies on the support and generosity of Post-Gazette readers.

Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh helps area families in need and may be a source of assistance during the holiday season.

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Questions

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.

By 0 found this helpful
November 16, 2011

I am looking for help in Hanover, Pennsylvania, for my 2 young boys, their 19 year old sister and my soon to be 1 year old grandson. My husband and I split, he is having trouble with having a good Christmas for the kids. I am trying my best to help him with everything so I thought I would try this. My boys, their sister, and the baby all live with him in Hanover PA. He finally got a stable job after bouncing back and forth via temp agencies and unemployment due to the economy.

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We always donated in the past to different places to help families so now I am hoping we can get help so the kids have a good holiday. Like I stated the kids live with him and I try my best, but I can't give them everything they need. Please help. Thank you so much!

By Jenn

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Answers

November 16, 20110 found this helpful

Number one, most places that do Christmas help have passed the deadline or are close to it. Also most of them don't provide gifts for kids past 12 years of age. Call 211, it is HELPLINE!, a national clearing house that keeps a list of different organizations that provide different types of help for people. There is also the Salvation Army. We all know for a year that Christmas comes every year and should plan ahead.

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I start my shopping in January and have been done for at least a month. If I didn't I wouldn't be able to give my adult kids and four adult grandkids anything. I live off $600 a month retirement social security. Even when I was married we only gave our kids one gift each. We weren't wealthy but we were comfortable. We knew that the kids would also be getting a gift from each set of grandparents and from aunts and uncles.

You must have ancestors and siblings that will be doing this too. The 19 year old is old enough to know the situation, and the baby won't really know whether or not he/she gets a present. If the other kids are older than five they should also have some understanding of the situation and if they are younger than five, they would be satisfied with a color book and crayons. My kids never had any of the toys advertised on TV and kids don't need expensive things to be happy. Speak to the pastor of your church, sometimes a pastor will have a special offering for family in the church that has fallen on hard times.

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November 17, 20110 found this helpful

I know that here in Texas that the police dept. has a program called Blue Santa. They will take the toys that were donated straight to your door and kids not only get gifts but also a visit from Santa. If they receive donations of the sort, they will also donate things like towels, robes, slippers and such to adults. Contact your local police dept. to see if they have a program like this. I pray they do and that you all can have a wonderful Christmas.

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December 17, 20160 found this helpful

Joan B.

You should spend less time telling someone how "they should have known Christmas was coming" and more time being empathetic and concerned. A simple. "I hope you find your way this season and my thoughts are with you" would help a lot more than telling someone how well you did it and how badly they are doing it. Please put your time and energy into being more positive to people.

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December 3, 20060 found this helpful

Charities that offer help during the holiday season in Pennsylvania. 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.

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November 29, 20060 found this helpful

I am not from Pa., but I'm sure the Salvation army would help out. Also, many churches would help. You just need to let them know of the need. Project " Angel Tree" has a ministry to children of a parent who is in prison. Also check out "Toys for Tots" in your area. Call your local tv station. They usually have that sort of information available to them. I think that about does it. GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS YOU Judy in Alabama

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 3, 20060 found this helpful

Maybe you could call the Pennsylvania Department of State 1-800-732-0999

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December 3, 20060 found this helpful

I got this off the site http://www.stvincentdepaul.net "if you need assistance with utility bills, a food box, or other financial assistance, please call the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Help Line at (602)261-6878."

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November 7, 20130 found this helpful

I live in Erie, Pennsylvania. I have two boys ages 3 and 5 and a daughter who is nine. I am trying to find help getting them stuff for Christmas. I lost my job about a year ago so now I stay home with my kids.

By Nicole

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Answers

November 7, 20130 found this helpful

You have to have some income to allow you to stay home with the kids. They are in school part of the time, you could be flipping burgers. That being said, Every place that I have lived talks about the places that help with things like this on the news. There is the Salvation Army and all areas have that. There is also Toys for Tots. I'm sure there are others. Being you have to have some income, you could have been buying one thing a month and putting it away. Also your kids must have grandparents, aunts, and uncles, etc. that give the gifts. Another thing kids only need one gift each. WalMart has quite nice t-shirts for less than $10.00. They also have inexpensive CDs and DVDs. They also don't need designer clothes or electronic gadgets.

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December 20, 20160 found this helpful

Not everyone does have family who help or give gifts to children for the holidays. That is great that you were able to live that way and that your children were happy but not everyone has the same life as you. I have never seen an aunt or uncle in my family give gifts to kids that are not theirs. And what about children who have no grandparents. Not everyone walks the same life. A lot of people are out in the world struggling. I dont know how you live on 600 a month and are still able to buy a gift once a month. What about bills, rent, food, and everything else? Do I think kids are to spoiled on Christmas? Yes I absolutely do, but for some kids that's the only time of year they get anything. My son is 8 and still believes in Santa so I don't understand what you mean by after 5 they get it. There is never any reason to make anyone feel unworthy or useless when they are asking for advice. I pray you never know some people's reality.

As for Christmas presents. I would call your local churches, toys for tots an salvation army to see if they have anything left. I pray that someone can help you. If you just keep calling I'm sure someone will come through. As long as you have the ddocumentation needed you will be okay!

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November 18, 20130 found this helpful

My family and I recently moved to Pittsburgh. I am on unemployment and I am the head of my household as my husband and 14 year old daughter both have a disability. I am looking for help to get them a few Christmas gifts as our financial situation does not allow for any extras. Please let me know if there is anywhere in the Pittsburgh area that could assist me.
Thanks!

By Stacie S. from Pittsburgh, PA

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November 19, 20130 found this helpful

My husband and I were in a similar situation a few years back when we both were laid off at the same time. We did eventually find jobs but I remember being scared to spend any money on anything other than the real basics.

A friend of mine turned me onto Swagbucks at that time. It is one of those online survey websites, but it's not one where you have to provide real personal info. To this day I still do as many surveys as I can because you start getting gift cards as little as $5 for 500 points.

Swagbucks is one of the biggest survey rewards platforms and if you and hubby start now (you both can have an account) you should be able to get some decent gift cards. I generally save my points for bigger gift card amounts but this being so close to Christmas and them taking up to 7 days to deposit the gift cards in your account, you may want to just get as many small ones as you can.

I gravitate towards Amazon and Best Buy but they also have Walmart, Paypal and many other sponsors. The only drawback I've noticed is that it seems you have to use the gift cards online, but that's why I stick with Amazon because of the free shipping.

So far this year, I've averaged about $30 - $50 a month and it's really helped with diapers and things like that. For Christmas, we won't be spending any of our own money and everyone will get something nice/decent. Good luck with everything and I hope this helps you.

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November 3, 20120 found this helpful

Where do I go or who do I call about assistance for Christmas help for my child? We just moved to Penn, Pennsylvania in September 2012 and we do not know many people and do not even have family close. As a matter of fact I left my two other children back in Utah. I have a son 18, and an independent daughter that is 25.

I moved here to be with my husband. He took a job out here in January to better himself and our family situation, as we were paying for two households while he was here and we were in Utah.

I can't afford to buy my daughter Christmas this year and I have always tried to do for others around this season as I know how hard it is around the holidays. My son was forced to move out on his own due to our relocation and he is struggling too, so please help me provide for my two children. I am in great hope that somehow someone will reach out to us this year! So if anyone has any contact information for me it would very much appreciated. Thank you.

By Shelly from Penn, PA

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November 3, 20120 found this helpful

Talk to someone in your church. They may know a place that will help. There is a place in our town that has donations for sale but anyone in need can have anything they have in stock.

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