Christmas is one of the joyful holidays. Also, it’s an event of gifts. We can’t think of celebrating Christmas without presents or gifts.
Due to inflation, many people can’t afford to purchase Christmas gifts for their loved ones. If you’re one among them, we’re here.
There are many places available that give free Christmas gifts and toys to low-income families. If you’re struggling financially, you’re eligible to get free Christmas gifts.
So, let’s see which are the best places to get free Christmas gifts and toys.
The Best Places To Get Free Christmas Gifts and Toys
There are many assistance programs available that give free Christmas gifts to needy families. However, every assistance program has its qualification criteria. For that reason, not every family will get support from every program.
For example, many assistance programs will only serve kids in limited age groups. If your kids don’t qualify, your application will be rejected.
In that case, you need to study every assistance program to see which program you and your family will qualify for.
1. Marine Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots is an assistance program that has been around since 1947. It’s a non-profit organization that delivers unwrapped toys to less fortunate children. Until now, Toys for Tots has distributed over 627 million toys.
Toys for Tots collects unwrapped toys and delivers them to less fortunate children. Apart from toys, they also provide books and other gifts.
Toys for Tots doesn’t work on a national level. You’ll have to contact your local Marine Toys for Tots campaign for information on how to apply for assistance. To find your local Toys for Tots campaign, click here. Moreover, you can locate your local campaign using the interactive map.
Most Toys for Tots program sites can assist children aged up to 12, but in many local communities, due to overwhelming support, the age limit may be extended.
Application Deadline: Each state has its Toys for Tots campaign deadlines.
2. Salvation Army Angel Tree
The Salvation Army is a non-profit organization that helps low-income families. This charitable organization has many assistance programs. One of its assistance programs is called “Angel Tree.” This assistance program works to provide Christmas gifts to those in need.
The Salvation Army thinks every child deserves to experience the joy of Christmas morning. The Salvation Army Angel Tree program provides Christmas gifts to hundreds of thousands of children around the country each year.
The Salvation Army collects necessary information to determine qualification for participation in the program and details on each angel. They may collect information like:
- Photo ID
- Proof of residence
- Birth certificate
- Official custody or guardianship papers
- Clothing and shoe sizes
The Salvation Army operates an Angel Tree program in many cities around the US and Canada. It may or may not operate in your area. You can visit the Angel Tree website to see whether there is a location in your area. Also, you can contact The Salvation Army in your area to find out how to apply.
You’ll have to provide information about your child’s wishes. After that, the organizers will display your child’s wish list to donors who will purchase items.
Application Deadline: Between September and November.
3. Dream Foundation
Dream Foundation is a non-profit organization that serves terminally ill adults and their families by providing end-of-life dreams that offer inspiration, comfort, and closure.
Dream Foundation’s Dream Toy Program reaches hundreds of children each year who are losing a loved one. Their volunteers fill boxes with hand-selected toys that are delivered to Dream recipients across the country to give to the children in their lives. They partnered with toy makers Hasbro and Ty, Inc., to deliver thousands of toys each year.
You’re qualified to become a Dream Foundation recipient if:
- You live in the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
- You’re 18 and older, diagnosed with a life-limiting illness with a life expectancy of 12 months or less.
- You don’t have the resources to fulfill your dreams.
Application Deadline: There is no signup deadline. You can apply to become a Dream Foundation recipient throughout the year.
4. Prison Fellowship Angel Tree
Prison Fellowship is an organization that partners with churches to strengthen relationships between incarcerated parents and their children by giving gifts. One in 49 children in the United States has a mom or dad in prison.
The Prison Fellowship Angel Tree program provides Christmas gifts on behalf of incarcerated parents, sending kids to summer camp, hosting sports camps, and other activities. This program is available for kids who comes from incarcerated family.
Parents in prison can sign up their kids into the program. The organization will reach out to the kids and discuss the gifts. The gifts remind them they’re loved and valued.
Application Deadline: Starting from early October.
5. USPS Operation Santa
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has an “Operation Santa” program that began in 1912. The USPS still helps financially struggling families with Christmas gifts through this program.
Not everyone is eligible to get free Christmas gifts from this program. The Operation Santa program only helps families and children who are financially struggling. If you’re one among them, you’re eligible to get free Christmas gifts.
To get free Christmas gifts, you’ll have to write a letter to Santa’s special address. Your letter should briefly describe your financial struggles. Also, you’ll have to include what types of toys and clothes your kid wants.
123 Elf Road
North Pole, 88888
Once the USPS receives your letter, they publish it online. They redact personal information. Generous people adopt your letter and purchase items. After that, adopters ship your gifts to USPS and they deliver them to you.
Application Deadline: December 12.
6. Family Giving Tree
Family Giving Tree is a non-profit organization that has been around since 1990. It’s dedicated to serving children in need with wished-for holiday gifts and backpacks filled with school supplies.
It has a “Holiday Wish Drive” program that helps low-income families in the California Bay Area. Family Giving Tree works with over 300 social service agencies in the Bay Area. If you live in the area, you can contact a local social service to get free Christmas gifts from Family Giving Tree.
You must go through a Family Giving Tree partner organization to receive free Christmas gifts.
Application Deadline: Starting from August.
7. Operation Homefront’s Holiday Toy Drive
Operation Homefront is a non-profit organization that helps military families. This organization has many events to strengthen and support military families.
One of its events is called “Holiday Toy Drive.” This event helps bring holiday cheer to the veteran, wounded, and active-duty military families. It partners with Dollar Tree to give toys to kids from military families in need during the holiday.
To qualify for the Holiday Toy Drive event, you must prove that you or someone in the family works in the military. Also, your family is financially struggling to purchase Christmas gifts this year.
To register for their events, you’ll need to create an account. You won’t register for an event by creating an account. If you’re eligible for the event, it’ll appear on your dashboard. Then you register for the event.
8. Santa’s Little Helpers
Santa’s Little Helpers is an online community on Reddit. Its mission is to give free Christmas gifts to families in need.
Struggling families who are unable to provide Christmas gifts this year can visit Santa’s Little Helpers Reddit page to request free Christmas gifts.
Only approved members are eligible to make a request post. Any passing Reddit members can then pick a gift or two from the wish lists. There is no guarantee that your wish will be approved. If you’re struggling to purchase Christmas gifts this year, you can give this program a try.
9. Make-A-Wish Foundation
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps fulfill the wishes of kids with critical illnesses. They help kids between the ages of 2+1⁄2 and 18 years old.
Friends and family members can refer a child to get free Christmas gifts. However, children must meet the following criteria at the time of referral:
- Diagnosed with a critical illness (i.e., a progressive, degenerative, or malignant condition that is placing the child’s life in jeopardy)
- Older than 2½ years and younger than 18
- Has not received a wish from another wish-granting organization
Make-A-Wish accepts referrals from:
- Children being treated for a critical illness
- Medical Professionals such as providers (doctors, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants), nurses, social workers, or child-life specialist
- Parents or legal guardians
- Family members with detailed knowledge of the child’s current medical condition
Application Deadline: There’s no deadline for applying. They grant wishes year-round.
10. Boys and Girls Clubs of The Twin Cities
Boys and Girls Clubs of The Twin Cities has many locations throughout the United States. This organization and its community partners have been collecting donated gifts during the holiday season to distribute to the kids for over 25 years.
This organization has a program called “Kids Can Give” that allows club members to shop at the holiday store set up at their local Boys and Girls Club in December. They can bring gifts to their families on the occasion of Christmas.
11. Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities provides a variety of programs to help people in need. It has a program called “Adopt a Family” where needy families are matched with donors who provide them with Christmas gifts.
You can reach out to your local Catholic Charities office to find out about the programs. You can ask the volunteers how to get free Christmas gifts.
12. Lions Club
The Lions Club is a tax-exempt public charitable organization. Its chapters worldwide host various events to help families in need during the holidays.
This charitable organization has served 495 million people worldwide through more than 1.4 million activities in 2021-2022. The Lions Club works with local businesses to collect toys to distribute to needy families during the holidays.
You can contact your local Lions Club chapter to ask about getting free Christmas gifts.
13. United Way
United Way is another organization that helps local communities during the holidays. It works for low-income families that are unable to fulfill their needs.
The United Way helps low-income families either by helping directly or by connecting families with local organizations. You can contact the United Way organization by dialing 211.
The United Way is available worldwide. It means no matter where you are you can get assistance from the United Way.
14. Volunteers of America
Volunteers of America (VOA) is a non-profit organization that provides affordable housing and other assistance services primarily to low-income people throughout the United States.
This non-profit organization helps low-income families, veterans, and single moms during holidays, including Christmas. They may offer free toys for children, meals, and Christmas gifts.
HelpingAmericansFindHelp.org works like a search engine for finding local charitable organizations. You can use this platform to find local charitable organizations that provide Christmas assistance.
This organization lists Christmas assistance programs from different states like:
Here are a few Christmas assistance programs in different states:
- The Gifts of Love Holiday Program – Arizona
- Helping Holidays CSS Alaska – Alaska
- Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) Christmas Basket Program – Alaska
- Santa to the Sea, Toy Give-Away – California
- One Voice, Holiday Food Program – California
- Christmas Unlimited – Colorado
- Holiday Gift Assistance Adopt A Family Delaware – Delaware
- Christmas Christian HELP – Florida
16. Local Charitable Organizations
There are many local charitable organizations, churches, and faith-based groups available that specialize in meeting the needs of the less fortunate during the holidays.
These organizations can provide free toys, hot meals, Turkeys, and presents for children during Christmas. However, the availability of resources will vary based on city and county and also what has been donated. Moreover, in addition to helping around Christmas time, many of these non-profits also offer assistance at Thanksgiving or Easter.
- Fort Smith area, including Sebastian, Crawford, Franklin, and Logan County
- Northwest Arkansas, including Benton, Washington, Carroll, and Madison County
- Pulaski County and Little Rock
- Alameda County
- Butte County
- Contra Costa
- Fresno County
- Kern County
- Los Angeles
- Madera County
- Orange County California
- Placer and El Dorado County
- Riverside California
- Sacramento County
- San Bernardino
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Joaquin County
- San Mateo County
- Santa Barbara County
- Santa Clara
- Solano County
- Sonoma County
- Stanislaus County
- Tulare County
- Ventura County
Delaware (Entire State)
District of Columbia:
- Brevard County
- Broward County
- Collier County
- Duval County
- Escambia and Santa Rosa County
- Hillsborough County and Tampa area.
- Lee County
- Leon County and Tallahassee area
- Marion County
- Miami-Dade County
- Orange County Florida region.
- Palm Beach County including Martin and St. Lucie.
- Pasco County
- Pinellas County
- Sarasota and Manatee
- Polk County
- Volusia County as well as Flagler.
- Augusta, Richmond County, and Columbia area Christmas programs
- Atlanta and Fulton County, including northern GA.
- Bibb and Houston County as well as central Georgia.
- Chatham County and Coastal Georgia area.
- Lowndes County and Valdosta
- Muscogee County
Hawaii: All cities and counties.
- Boise area and surrounding counties.
- Counties across the central part of the state, including Indianapolis.
- Northwestern Indiana, including Allen, Lake County, and nearby regions.
- Bowling Green, Warren County, and nearby areas
- Jefferson County
- Lexington-Fayette area, including all of central Kentucky
Maine: The entire state.
- Essex County
- Middlesex and Suffolk County Massachusetts
- Plymouth County
- Springfield and Hampden County
- Worcester County
- Genesee County
- Kalamazoo County
- Kent and Ottawa County
- Michigan – southern and central region
- Wayne and Oakland County Michigan
- Entire State: Apart from the above, Michigan VOA Adopt a Family is available.
- Minneapolis region, including Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, and Dakota
Montana: Statewide holiday assistance programs.
- Omaha, including Douglas and Sarpy County.
- Atlantic County
- Bergen County
- Burlington County
- Camden County
- Essex County New Jersey
- Gloucester County
- Hudson County
- Mercer County and Trenton
- Middlesex County
- Morris County
- Ocean County
- Albany County
- Erie County and Buffalo
- Jefferson and St. Lawrence County
- Long Island New York
- New York City
- Monroe County
- Onondaga County
- Orange, Dutchess, and Rockland County
- Or find charities that focus just on Dutchess County
- Westchester County
- Buncombe County
- Cumberland and Robeson County
- Durham County
- Forsyth County
- Guilford County
- Mecklenburg County
- Wake County
- Wilmington area, including Brunswick and New Hanover
- Cincinnati area, including northern KY and southern OH
- Cleveland and surrounding counties
- Dayton and Montgomery County
- Columbus and Franklin County area.
- Greene County
- Lucas County
- Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbia County
- Stark County
- Summit County
- Le Flore and Sequoyah County area
- Oklahoma City and surrounding counties, including Cleveland and others.
- Allegheny County and surrounding region.
- Dauphin County
- Erie County
- Lancaster County
- Lehigh and Northampton County
- Luzerne County and Wilkes-Barre
- Philadelphia area
- York County
Rhode Island: Agencies have Christmas help for all counties, including Providence.
South Carolina: The whole state.
- There are also holiday programs focused on the area around Charleston County, including Dorchester and Berkeley.
- Greenville County has dedicated free Christmas programs.
- Or locate Myrtle Beach and Horry County holiday programs.
South Dakota: The entire state
- Knox County
- Montgomery County and Clarksville
- Northeastern Tennessee, including Kingsport and Johnson City region.
- Shelby County
- Austin and Travis County as well as nearby regions
- Bell County
- Cameron County
- Collin County
- Denton County
- El Paso County
- Fort Bend County
- Galveston County
- The entire Harris County area.
- Find another charity focused on Houston.
- Hidalgo County
- Lubbock County
- San Antonio
- Tarrant County
- Burlington area, including Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle.
- Albemarle and Charlottesville area.
- Eastern Virginia and Hampton Roads area.
- Henrico County and Chesterfield
- Fairfax County
- Loudoun County
- Prince William County
- Spotsylvania and Stafford County as well as Fredericksburg
West Virginia (Resources for the state)
Side Hustles To Make Extra Money For Holidays
Nowadays, there are many side hustles to make extra money. It’ll help you to purchase Christmas gifts without relying on Christmas assistance programs.
You’ll need two things to make extra money, such as:
- A computer, laptop, or smartphone
- An internet connection
So, let’s look at some side hustles to make extra money for holidays.
Are you willing to share your valuable opinions on various products and services? Yes? You can take paid online surveys to make extra money.
There are many survey sites available that will allow you to take paid online surveys. In exchange for your opinions, you’ll get rewards. Most survey sites work on a point system. You’ll earn points for your opinions. Later on, you can redeem your points for gift cards and cash via PayPal.
Here are a few survey sites to take paid online surveys:
Do you love to play online games? Yes? You can make extra money by playing games online.
There are many sites available that’ll allow you to make money by playing games. You can withdraw your earnings via PayPal. Or you can get gift cards to your favorite retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target.
Here are a few game apps to make extra money:
Related Article: 27 Best Game Apps To Win Real Money From Home
A mystery shopper is a person who works like an undercover agent for companies. As a mystery shopper, you’re designated to provide information like:
- How clean the store was
- How they treat their customers in person or on the phone
- How stores sell products
- The quality of store products
Being a mystery shopper, you can earn up to $20 per hour. If you work for multiple companies, you’ll earn even more.
Here are a few companies that hire mystery shoppers:
Related Article: 20 Best Mystery Shopping Companies Offering Mystery Shopping Jobs
Did you know that you can make extra money by testing websites? There are several companies available that are looking for website testers.
Being a website tester, you’ll give honest feedback by testing out websites. In exchange, you’ll get paid by the companies. You can earn up to $50 per test.
Here are a few companies to work as a website tester:
Related Article: 22 Best Ways To Get Paid To Test Websites (Up To $50 Per Test)
Being a parent, you want to give Christmas gifts to your kids. Due to financial struggles, you’re unable to provide Christmas gifts.
Fortunately, many charitable organizations are working for low-income families. Their mission is to bloom a smile on families on Christmas Eve.
If you’re financially struggling, reach out to any of these places to get assistance on Christmas.