Holiday Resources for Needy Families

In 2016 there were 40.6 million people in poverty, and 15 million of those people were children.

Most of these children have parents who work, but low wages and unstable employment leave their families struggling to make ends meet throughout the year, and especially during the holiday season. Thankfully, there are many government and non-profit agencies and programs across the United States that offer special assistance to low-income families desiring to celebrate this special time of year. If you are a parent who lacks the financial resources to celebrate properly with your children, or you know someone who is, please take a look at the resources below.

  • Toys for Tots: Run by the Marine Corps, Toys for Tots is a program that helps low income and poverty stricken families by providing children with free toys. You can email, for more information.
  • Salvation Army
    • They sometimes provide needy families with groceries and sometimes even Christmas dinner.
    • They also operate a program called Angel Tree, a donation program in which new, wrapped presents are provided to children from families living in poverty as well as those in a financial crisis.
    • Coats for Kids is another Salvation Army program that can provide free coats for children whose family can’t afford them.
  • SNAP, commonly referred to as Food Stamps, is a government program for low income families. The application for SNAP also includes an application for Medicaid, cell phone assistance, Temporary (Cash) Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and LIHEAP.
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a government program which helps low-income households with their home energy bills.
  • WIC is a program for women, infants and children with little to no income and thus are found to be at nutritional risk. It helps with groceries and infant formula. Working moms can even be provided with breast pumps at certain locations.
  • Volunteers of America’s “Adopt A Family” program is a holiday giving program designed to help low-income families, seniors and veterans celebrate the holiday season by connecting them with local businesses, organization and individuals who “adopt” them and personally deliver Christmas gifts.

By no means is this an exhaustive list of all the resources out there, locally or nationally, for needy children and families. If you need help, don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out to organizations in your community. Check local thrift stores and clothing closets as they sometimes offer free vouchers for families in need or at least offer clothes and toys at discount prices. Even if they don’t have the resources or the funds to help you, they can possibly connect you with an organization that does.

For more information on getting the help you need this holiday season (or throughout the year), please take a look at the resources below.

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