Celebrating the Season: Free Christmas Gifts for Low Income Families
If you’re a parent, guardian, or caretaker to one of the millions of under-resourced families in America, you already know that Christmas is not always the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays can be a very stressful time filled with expectations and pressure to provide the perfect holiday, a situation that can be especially difficult with kids involved.
The reality, however, is that there are countless different circumstances a person can go through that can make it hard to provide holiday gifts.
The good news is that there are resources available that can help make Christmas wishes come true for the kids in your life. Read on to learn about free Christmas gifts for low income families and some of the programs and organizations that may be available to assist you. We’ll also close with a hot tip on how you can get an 8″ tablet for just $10.01.
Just remember that sometimes the most important gifts you can give are the ones that don’t come in a box.
Some Basics About Christmas Assistance Programs
There are lots of programs and options out there for families during the holidays, but it helps to remember that qualification criteria will vary and not every family will win support from every program.
That’s why it pays off to do some digging, especially in your local community. Start early and you can have some idea about which programs you and your family may qualify for before going through the work of filling out applications.
For example, many free holiday gift programs only serve kids in limited age groups. Others might exhaust their resources before you find them. If you get rejected from one or more programs, remember it’s not personal; just move on and keep looking.
It will also help if you start applying to programs as early in the season as you can. Most assistance is on a first-come, first-serve basis, and every program only has limited funding.
If you can, consider keeping notes on your phone or tablet or even on a piece of paper so you can track what programs you apply for and what you hear back.
Holiday Assistance Programs
This list is by no means complete, but it will get you started in your search for free Christmas gifts for low income families.
Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots is one of the biggest and best-known toy drives in the United States, and with good reason. This national program is sponsored by the US Marines and has been giving away toys for many years.
Toys for Tots partners with companies that make toys, stores that sell them, and the general public in their efforts to provide an appropriate toy for every child. Designated toy drop locations across the country accept unwrapped toys for distribution to kids in the fall and winter months, and some participating stores may also enable customers to purchase toys for immediate donation.
Applying for Toys for Tots is pretty simple, and the application is on the organization’s website.
Click the button labeled “Request Toys” at the top of the screen to get started.
USPS Operation Santa
Since 1912, the United States Postal Service has done the important job of managing the thousands of letters sent to Santa Claus every year.
The elves at Operation Santa have kept busy over the years by connecting groups or individuals who want to contribute gifts with real kids, real families, and their real letters to Santa. Those groups or individuals can choose one or more letters to support, and each supporter can then buy, pack, and ship gifts to their letter writer, making a little Christmas magic for everyone.
These days it all happens through the program website, which allows Santa’s helpers to read through the letters and claim one or more to fulfill.
Salvation Army Angel Tree Program
The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program gives qualifying kids and seniors the opportunity to request gifts according to their specific wants and needs. Each request may then be matched with or sponsored by a participating individual or organization, who will provide some or all of those gifts.
The program isn’t available in every area, and the application may get pretty involved, so you may want to check the website first and see what information you will need before getting started.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation specializes in granting the wishes of critically ill children older than 2 1/2 and younger than 18.
If you’re a medical professional, parent, guardian, or relative to a child facing critical illness, you can refer the child to the Make-a-Wish foundation and ask for help.
Imagination Library and Book Drives
Every kid benefits from reading, and the sooner they start, the better. Books make amazing Christmas presents for kids of all ages, and you can feel good about giving a gift that helps a child grow.
One great way to access books both for Christmas and all year long is through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Dolly’s mission is to ensure that as many kids under age 5 as possible have access to books regardless of their family’s income level. The program has given away over 163 million books and serves many (though not all) areas of the country, as well as some international locations.
If you qualify and the Imagination Library program is available in your area, you can register to receive books mailed directly to your home. Books are selected based on your child’s age to ensure that they will have something that interests and challenges them.
Other great places to check for holiday book drives include your local library or bookstore if you have one. Also, don’t forget to check in with your child’s teacher for any resources that might be available through school.
Who knows? You might even discover the inspiration to start or join a local literacy program yourself.
Church and Community Programs in Your Area
In addition to larger national programs, many neighborhood churches and community programs also offer more local toy drives for under-resourced people.
To look for assistance near you, start by researching churches and community programs in your area. Try searching “community support services near me” to get started. You can browse websites and social media for mentions of a local toy drive.
Church and community programs may offer families who don’t qualify for major programs other support for holiday gifts and celebrations. If you don’t meet eligibility requirements for other types of programs, you may have some luck with more direct impact community programs.
Get Free Christmas Gifts for Low Income Families Today
Now that you have some solid leads and good ideas about how to get started on your search for free Christmas gifts, it’s time for us to give you that hot tip on a tablet we promised.
But before we do, we want you to know that Lifeline is a federal benefit program that makes it possible for low-income consumers to receive access to free or heavily discounted communication services.
Get a Brand New 8″ Tablet for $10.01!
Now for a limited time, get an 8” tablet for just $10.01 when you qualify and sign up for Lifeline service and the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. Once you’re approved for the program, we’ll send you a separate email to unlock your one-time discount on a brand new tablet. Apply here to get started, and remember:
“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have the right to be here.” — Max Ehrmann, Desiderata
Wishing you and yours some joy this holiday season and every day.