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I’ve been attempting to help families in need by providing contact information of national and local charities. I have received many responses to my posts, most of which are from mothers and grandmothers asking for my help, mostly to help provide a Christmas for their kids. I may have a way families in need can receive the Christmas help they are seeking.

Families in Need of Christmas Help

The women who have contacted me can’t provide for their children because they are disabled, raising their grandchildren, recently widowed, unemployed, living in a shelter, or a combination of these unfortunate events. Some of the moms and grandmoms tell me they don’t quite qualify for welfare because the are receiving unemployment yet are having a difficult time paying all of their bills, providing the necessities, and keeping a roof over their children’s heads.

One mother whose husband passed away this year wrote: “I recycle and clean yards with my sons to make ends meet even though its a struggle.”

I wish I could help all those who ask, but I am not in the financial position to do so. All I can do is offer information that may point families in need in the right direction…hopefully.  Yet, they tell me they have contacted local charities in the past at Christmas time but did not hear back from them. In a stressed economy that has affected every community across the United States, charities are also struggling to make ends meet throughout the year.

Charities Are In Need Of Help, Too

A national survey released by Guidestar last month shows more than a third of nonprofits had to lay off employees and 40 percent received less in donations.

Because those who would ordinarily donate are having to tighten their budgets…including the government, funding has decreased while the number of low income families in need of Christmas help and help throughout the year continues to grow. The families are put on waiting lists or are turned away. It is so sad.

Some nonprofit agencies are running out of money. Others are low on funds.  Food Banks are purchasing more food than in the past making it necessary to cut staffing. In turn, soup kitchens and pantries must purchase more food to feed those who come to their doors for help.  They are all nervous about how they will manage this holiday season.

Families In Need: Find Help by Helping the Charities

That is why, I believe, it is so important for families in need to reach out and help the charities that help them. Now is the best time to contact local charities as they prepare for the holidays.

I say to those who are respond to my posts in search of help, call your local charities and offer to volunteer to help them. Many charitable organizations operate on a shoestring budget and are flooded with clients at Christmas and during the winter months of January and February. As the saying goes, Good things come to those who help others … or Those who give receive.

There are many ways families in need can help the charities by offering to:

  • organize and sort items
  • pick up donations
  • assist with registrations
  • answer the help line
  • filing, copying, scanning
  • stuffing envelopes
  • distributing fliers
  • prepare, serve, or deliver meals
  • donation collections at malls
  • make repairs where needed
  • design posters attracting donations
  • help record donations or inventory
  • help organize a food or clothing drive
  • mend donated clothing
  • knit or crochet scarves, baby blankets, etc.
  • tutor or read books to children in shelters
  • help in anyway you can…just make an offer!

I’m sure you can think of other ways that families in need may help charities. Think about what talents, skills, or interests you have. There is a charity out there that probably needs your help…and in return, maybe you can receive some holiday help for your family.

To all of you who are seeking help for your family,

I have closed comments. Unfortunately, the few “donors” who responded with offers to help turned out to be deceitful. It breaks my heart to read all the requests for Christmas help and to find that so few are willing to donate. And it makes my blood boil knowing now that there are people who don’t mind adding to your heartbreak by playing a sick joke by offering help and then not responding. I am truly sorry I couldn’t help any of you.


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