5 Christmas Assistance Programs: List for 2020

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A Christmas Assistance Programs List, 2020. These 5 programs offer help and free Christmas gifts for low income families! All these charities focus on providing Christmas support for struggling families and individuals. 

If you are someone that isn’t struggling and wants to help others during the holiday season, this post will guide you in the right direction with various programs. Start the giving traditions with your family and children; more than likely there is enough “getting”!

I feel a personal need to discuss a topic that was born out of an experience that hit me deeply. Right before Thanksgiving of 2018, we woke up to major water damage in our brand new home. Our family of 6 packed what was left of our belongings, moved the undamaged furniture we had left into storage, and found ourselves out of our home until mid February.

We had an apartment to stay in, and my parents live in town to take us in as well. That being said, Christmas was not the same.

candy cane cake

It was painfully obvious that my mind had been consumed with getting my children all the stuff, buying all the things, checking off all the boxes! But this year in 2020 especially, there are so many people right around us that are struggling just to put food on the table.

After temporarily losing our home I swore I would do better.  Christmas can be a time of stress and disappointment for low-income families. I am starting by offering a list of Christmas help for low income families in 2020.

Free Christmas Gifts For Low Income Families, and Christmas Assistance Programs List in 2020

If you are looking for Christmas help like free toys for Christmas for your children, or even free money for Christmas, you do have options. That being said, the sooner you start the process the easier it is to get the help you need by Christmas. I cannot stress this enough.

Many of these programs get filled or the application process ends the closer you get to the holidays. Nevertheless, they are all worth looking into with a quick phone call regardless of the time.

Christmas Assistance Programs List for 2020

1. Toys For Tots: This is a national program that gives free toys for Christmas. Your first step is to find the closest Toys for Tots near you. Start by going to their website here, and enter your state and local county.

Click on “apply for toys”, and you will see a list of organizations with email addresses. After you send an email, you make requests for your children.

2 children in front of a christmas tree with christmas assistance programs list 2019

Want to provide Christmas help to a family who can’t buy Christmas presents for their children? Every single child deserves to feel the warmth and magic of the Holidays.

At the same time, every parent should get to enjoy that good feeling on Christmas morning.  Donate a new toy here through your local Toys for Tots.

2. Make A Wish Foundation: Make A Wish is a national program that grants wishes for children with a critical illness who are between the ages of 2½ and 18. These can be anywhere from simple needs, to elaborate and fun wishes.

You must apply first by going here, and entering your state. A list will come up. From there, click on the closest Make A Wish to you. Then click on “Referral Inquiry Form” to apply. If you have a disabled child or a child having a particularly tough time in their life, you might be eligible to get priority.

Want to provide Christmas help to sick children? Want to make a disabled child’s eyes light up? Donate to the Make a Wish Foundation and transform a child’s life!

3. Angel Tree: This is a charity that provides free toys, necessities, and christmas help for children. Applying requires a little legwork, but it is very rewarding. Make no mistake, this is definitely a charity that’s worth contacting!

In most cases your family will need to apply for help before December 2020. This is a great option not just for children and also for senior citizens! 

In general, the application process for families takes place September – November 2020. Your  local Salvation Army center decides the exact income guidelines you will have to qualify for. Generally, you will have low to moderate income to be allowed in the program.

Also important to note, sometimes you can’t also be receiving aid from other holiday or Christmas programs. Keep this in mind if you are enrolling into more than one service. While this may be true, it is still a good idea to apply, in case you find you don’t qualify for other services!

First, find your local Salvation Army here by putting in your zip code. Then click on the Salvation Army location on the map. You may need to call or email to start the process. They will ask for clothing sizes and if your children have any special needs.

Your children may be eligible for free toys for Christmas, books, and clothing. This could also include necessities like coats, hats, backpacks, etc.

The salvation army writes down the items needed onto angels cut out of paper. Because each angel will have an application number, you can have 1 angel per child. You will write down your child’s first name (to protect privacy), age and gender.  

So if you have 4 children in your family who need items, you might have 4 paper angels! The Salvation Army attaches the angels to trees and place them in popular areas over the holidays. Any good Samaritan can take a angel and purchase the items listed.

Want to provide Christmas help for an Angel child? Sometimes struggeling senior citizens are overlooked- this is a great place for them to get items they need also. To support an Angel in your town, contact your local Salvation Army by entering your zip code in the “Find a Location” section

5. The Lion’s Club offers all kinds of assistants for free toys for Christmas. Sometimes it will be an angel tree, or it could be sponsoring an entire family. Because they have various programs that they run during the holiday season, you will find out first what programs will be a good fit for you.

However, each location is dfiferent, so contact your local branch. There are no specific steps as each local branch could differ. Make the call and find out!

Free Money at Christmas / Financial Help

Perhaps rather than free toys for Christmas, you are struggling to pay your bills and looking for financial assistance programs. This could be utility bills, or help with rent or your mortgage.

1. The Salvation Army has a program called REACH. This is a utility assistance program that will pay your utilities for you one time. If you need your energy bill paid, go here and follow the instructions. 

Want to help a family that needs assistance keeping the lights or the heat on? Make a donation: go here to read about the REACH program, and you can donate monetarily here.

2. Again, the Salvation Army does more than operate REACH. They made a big difference for families already by paying off rent or overdue mortgage payments. Did you know they also can help with paying your rent or mortgage?

You have options of finding help!

There are a few ways of going about this. Start accessing emergency assistance at your Salvation Army community center by finding your local center here, and getting in touch with them. Or, perhaps even easier, call their hotline at 773.205.3520. 

If you are looking for ways to give, you can donate money, goods or clothing, or become a fundraiser.

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