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Help for Families in Need: Where to Find Help for Your Family

13 November 2009 24 Comments

When in need for financial, Thanksgiving, or Christmas assistance, first try to get the help you need from your local agencies in your area.

Some charitable organizations who offer help are the Salvation Army, county or local Department of Human Services (google your state and department of human services), Catholic Charities, and the United Way. They can all be found on the Internet.

If you call 211, there are people there to help you find agencies and organizations in your area that offer assistance.

Other suggestions where you may find holiday help information:

Local foodbank – If they don’t help families directly, they may have a list of agencies in your area that use their services.

Local newspapers – Reporters in the Community Section may have written articles on the topic and know of charitable organizations you can contact.

Local churches – Call the office and ask the secretary if they have a community assistance program or could they refer you to another contact.

Local radio stations – They too, may have reported on local organizations that will be providing Christmas gifts and food for local families.

Local police and/or fire departments – Often times, the members have holiday toy drives for local children. Also, since there are many members who live and work in various communities, they may know where you can find Christmas help for your family.

Local schools – The school nurse, social worker, Student Assistance Coordinator, or guidance counselor may have information available to help you find the help you need this holiday season.

Fund drive - There is the chance that if people know about your hardship, they may raise funds to purchase gift cards or Christmas presents for your children.

The Salvation Army and other food pantries make available dry and canned foods along with some meat when available. They purchase the food from the local foodbank at a very reduced cost per pound. The purchases are paid for through donations they receive.

Call your local foodbank. They are in need of volunteers, as well as other agenices. Perhaps if you volunteer, you may be able to receive food for your family in exchange for your help. You’ll have to contact to find out.

I know of a foodbank in New Jersey that also has a “store” where agencies can select new clothing for their clients’ children so that they have 5 complete outfits. Find out from the agencies that can help you if they also can provide some clothing for your family.

Christmas trees – I’ve noticed that some Christmas Tree sales have leftover trees. You might be able to offer free work in exchange to receive a free Christmas tree for your family. They may have tree tops that they cut off for customers which can be made into small Christmas trees decorated with homemade ornaments.

FreeCycle.com – Check out FreeCycle.com. People in your area may have items they no longer need. If you can find a way to go get it, it’s yours for free.

Garage sales – Garage sales often be a source for nearly new toys and children’s clothing.

Clean up day – Many communities have “clean up” day where residents can put to the curb items that are not allowed in the trash or too good to throw out. They know someone will come by and take it away.
On those days – if it’s at the curb, it’s free.

Start a clothing exchange – everyone brings clothes they no longer need or fit – adult and children – then the members exchange with each other – and no money spent!

Start your own small holiday business: In the news was a family who sold homemade bread to raise money to pay the mortgage so they wouldn’t lose their home.

A neighbor of my son’s left a flyer on the doorstep of every townhouse where she lived offering gift wrapping service to raise money for Christmas gifts for her children since she had recently become unemployed.

Another neighbor offered a cleaning service with a special rate for those living in her neighborhood.

Daycare – Are you in a position to offer daycare at a reduced rate – something is better than nothing – to start your own daycare?

Advertising agent - I remember seeing a man in NYC who advertised to vendors that he would walk around with a sandwich sign advertising their business.

A new way to earn money is to drive around with an advertising wrap on your car. See if that is offered in your area. (I heard it on a NJ radio station.)

Dog walker – A student of mine walks dogs everyday for older neighbors who can’t exercise their dogs anymore.

Flea markets – Sell items at flea markets for the vendors who may not want to sit there all day or who may want to sell at more than one flea market.  If you have a talent making things, see if you can share part of the vendor’s space.

I’m not sure if any of these suggestions can help you in your situation, but do take time out to think about how you might be able to earn some Christmas gift money – put on your creative thinking hat – think outside the box. I wish you luck in your search for help this Christmas season.

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.

Nana

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24 Comments »

  • Veronica said:

    I am a single mother of 6 but only 4 live wit me. I am unemployed because i have a sickness in my hands that wont let me work unless i get a surgery that i cant afford. I cant afford any gifts for my kids at all. Its a cold season and i cant even afford good coats. Please help me if you can and thanks you very much for your time. Good bless…

  • carmon murphey said:

    hey everyone..hope youre all doin ok. well tomorrow is thanksgiving. Right now i have alot of things on my mind. im sooo glad ive found this website because even tho i did get alot of information, i cant actually be a member of any of the sites because i have a low grade 1990s comp and my pop up blocker wont allow any popups–even if i try to remove them. i have to accept the fact that THIS christmas my children will not be getting any presents, and thats a hard thing to swallow. i did try tho, and so did my clinition. in virginia, there are just too many rules i guess for one to qualify for christmas services. knowing that christmas is almost here and realizing that it just isnt going to happen has really hit me hard. the churches in my town, the slavation army, the angel tree, toys for tots, and the united way turned me down due to different reasons. i some way i dont look forward to this christmas. i wish it would just get here and be gone already because i cant take the stress of it anymore…knowing the children will get nothing–ive been trying since early oct to get help and at this point, im going to give up because its too late now anyway, but i do want to thank all who have tried to help me. i hope that the rest of you get your christmas wishes and i want to wish you all a happy thanksgiving. —carmon murphey, vinton virginia

  • Carrie said:

    In Lexington Ky..

  • Carrie said:

    Hello All…I am a single mother with 4 kids…I work however…I still do not have enough money to get my kids anything for Christmas…I have 3 daughters and a son and I am at a loss for what I am gonna do to get them Christmas gifts…my kids have been through alot and the fathers will not do anything to help me get them gifts…I have a tree and I can also give them a good meal…the part that is hard for me is putting gifts under the tree…I think I have the greatest kids in the world…my oldest daughter watches the younger kids so that I can work to pay the bills…they kids clean and take care of the house…most nights they are making their own dinner and putting themselve to bed…I hate that I can not be here for them more but I have to work to pay the huge utility bills…If there is anyone out there that can help me give these kids a good Christmas I would be forever grateful…I have missed all the sign ups for Christmas assistance due to work…Please help us

  • annie stutsman said:

    I am in desperate need of help for my family! I’m on social security, but only get very little monthly to live on to help out with bills and including food. My husband has been sick for a while and not getting much work at job he has been with for a while now. I lost my son for a few years because of some bad people he got involved with and just lost my sister in law because of cancer. I have 5 stents in my heart, diabetes, and not being able to afford medical or see a doctor. I’m having a hard enough time lossing my son for a few years and all the bills keep getting to expensive! They took some of my social security money away and now I have hardly none to pay bills or even house payement! Please get a holdo f me if you can help soon!? I have called so many other places, but there is not much help out there right now. I’m a disabled mother with 4 kids and my husband is not working much at all! We had to write a bad check just to pay rent this month and probly will loose our car this month for missing 2 payments already. Please respond soon and let me know how you can help. I feel like i’m loosing everything in my life right now.
    Thanks so much and God Bless…. state: Kansas

    Anne Stutsman

  • Erin said:

    I am a mother of two girls ages 1 and 2. I am engaged and my fiance does lawncare but only gets hours when his boss needs him which is uaually only about 1 day a week. I have looking and searching for a job everywhere i can and have not gotten hired anywhere. I call and follow up everyday but get nothing. We live in an apartment that is more a health risk then a home but have no where else to go. We strugle with diapers, medicine, clothes, etc. I go everywhere i can for help but either get turned down or dont get what i need. We are strugling so badly, and if it was just me it wouldnt be so bad but its about my children right now and i want them to be safe and healthy and clothed and its just getting harder and harder. My parents are about to lose their house and barely are scrapping by. My fiances mother does not work and is always behind, and his father makes only enough to pay his bills and take care of his youngest children. I have tried so hard and am taking this as a last resort hoping to find help. I know that this situation is my fault but i just want my kids to get what they need. Right now it is all about them. Please help
    state: Minnesota

  • Heather DeVault said:

    my name is heather and i am a mother of five living on a fixed income of 674 a month and there is no way to buy christmas and pay bills at the same time. if there is a hero that could please help my family please let me know i am in the lexington nc area and really need help, i have a set of twins that are girls they are three and two boys ages five and six and my oldest daughter is eleven. if there is any help out there please let me know thanks and may god bless!
    state: North Carolina

  • Shawna said:

    my mom recently lost her job. and they denied her unemployment. she is a single mother raising 3 girls ,me(12) ,big-sister (14) and lil sister (8). if nobody helps us we will have no christmas so please help us..

  • Brittani said:

    Hi. I am A 23 year old mom of 3 in need of help for the holidays. I love my children so very much and it sadens me to not have a tree or anything to put under one. I have been taken off of work because of my bi-polar disorder otherwise i would work overtime. I just recieved custody of my children again and it has been a struggle but i wouldnt trade it for the world. I just want to get a little help to make them happy to be back home.

    My daughter, who is 3, loves the disney princesses and baby doll stuff for her baby alive, My son, who is 2, likes tools cars and blocks, My oldest son, who is 7, said all he wants is a nintendo ds with a couple of games. Me and my mom, who just got laid off, made sure the kids had winter clother but cant do the toys which is what kids really want. I am teaching the real meaning of christmas, but im sure that as children they want toys.

    I thank whoever reads this and heps as well as those who want to help and cant. May you all be blessed.

  • cindy said:

    I have recently lost my job and my husband is working as much as possible but we are still barely getting by. We have have no food in the house and I am really worried about Christmas. We have 3 kids to take of, a girl who is 9 and two boys who are 14 and 5. I am looking everyday for a job and have distributed about 50 resumes and nothing is coming up. I have had the flu for a week and now my husband has it and bless his heart he out working with it and he works outside. I feel like I’m letting my family down by not working but I am trying. Anything would help us. I am more concerned about our children and Christmas. Please help.

  • Shauneka Jackson said:

    I’m a 23 year old mother with two wonderful children. Reyne (Rain), who will be 2 in January, and Dairruius, who will be 1 in December are my night and day. Then I have one on the way. It’s hard for me to give my kids a christmas when I olny get $288 in walfare. And that right there is a blessing in it’s self, so I’m not complaning. It’s just hard for me to be able to get them what they need with $288 a month and no job. Since they’ve been in my life it’s been all about them and I want to keep it that way. Because thats why their here. So with that being said if anyone can help, my christmas wish is for my children to have the best christmas ever!!!!

    Thank You and God Bless
    Shauneka

  • Marian said:

    Hello my name is Marian. I am 23 years old and I have two sons, Mitchell who is 3 and Paul who is 1. I have no job at the time and is inly trough the step to getting help through walfare but at the time I have no income and my boyfriend has just lost his job. We also have to be out of our house by the end of the week. We are unable to get our childern anything for christmas. So any help would be great and a big help. We chould use dinner for the holiday, shoes, cloths, jackets, and some toys for the boy. Thanl you for our time and have a blessed holiday.

  • Debbie Bartlett said:

    Me and my husband ar so worried about Christmas for our 2 daughters. They are 13 and 7, they are really good girls and dont want much but unfortunally we can not get them anything. It takes evey penny we have to feed them and sometimes that is not enough. I lost my job n Aug and just started at their school I only get to work 3 hours a day and ts not enough. My husbands job cut them to 35 hours a week. It is really tough this year and just need alittle help.

  • deneise sadler said:

    amen! what ever happened to “ask and thou shall receive?” jesusnever turned nobody away when they were in need but now adays all his preachers and so called christians do i have begged and pleaded til im sick its sad when nobody can get hel at xmas time for their children

  • Julie said:

    just escaped a very abusive marriage with 3 teens 2 months ago.Need a little help making up to my kids what I took them through.I know they won`t forget things but a great gift might make them smile again.

  • Nicole said:

    I just wanted to let some of you know that there is a place called My Brother’s Keeper that can help you with a lot of things so give them a call and cradles to crayons

  • Crystal said:

    I’m a single mother of three and taking care of two small children who were taken from thier mother, I have been out of work due to an illness and still waiting on disability, if anyone out there has any information to help make these holidays bright for these children please email, I have never asked for a handout in my life but it’s not about me, I’m 34 years old, I live in Delaware where I’ve tried the resources listed above and no one seems to care, please contact me, God Bless,
    Crystal

  • Lawson said:

    Hi. I am a single mother. Been out of work or awhile. Need help to purchase christmas and birthday presents for my son. Any help or suggestions appreciated.

  • Lauren said:

    Who gets these? I am determined to continue doing my best or better and locate a job to help others through you, I’m sincerely honest, a really fun and good person, people enjoy me, I enjoy people, I have to make a difference at least for one person in this world, that is our job on this earth.

    To all Church’s – If any Church can help me, please will you let me know?
    Again, I’m not greedy and I do not need much. Food would gratefully be appreciated. I do give back and help out when I can and will. I would do this for anyone, any company. I’m really embarrassed, I’m not one to ask for help. I’d also like instructions on how to build a sofa or bench, or if there are any no one wants or wants in exchange for some work or a low price, please contact me.

    Share, give unselfishly and know you will and do make a difference not for one but for many. I’ve never ever did this before, I am praying this is allowed, I have no website. I’d love to see people and help them also, I can sew and give at hospitals or pediatrics w/stockings filled w/something with help from others if you allow me to.

    May you Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

  • Lauren said:

    Hi and I Thank you all for doing all you have done and do each and every year for so many, God Bless You.

    I’m writing because my Doctor told me to try to get help and/or assistance with these holidays. I looked up on the computer how to get help for the holidays, I’m going to try for the first time and only time, it’s embarassing.

    I have a brain tumor, and a pontine lesion on the pons of my brain they found in January of 2007, it’s in a place in her brain where no doctor or surgeon will touch or biopsy I have been told by a couple of neurologist’s and specialist’s it is just growing in my pons, and another one/tumor around the same spot also was found the last time I had an MRI.

    I’ve been on Social Security disability for a while, I receive 592.00 each month to pay bills and live on, I do not get food stamps, I don’t know how to go about getting them or if I can get them. I’m exhausted, for some reason I can not get a job, I have applied for some and none called me, I would like to work at a company or some place part time.

    I’m in dire need of help, I do not have any means to have my chidren/daughter and grand daughter travel home for the holidays let alone, I have no way to get food each month, I went to someone in our town and mentioned it, that person told me to go to another town at a church. I don’t know how to do any of this, I feel I should be a member of the church, give some money or in some way do something to get myself some food not just for this holiday season but for the next year.

    In anyway possible, can you please assist me with some directions of how I go about getting food, I don’t need a lot or a ton, also is there anyway someone can help me try to get help with working out a payment plan or something with the airline so I can see my daughter, she has helped me so much in the past following a vehicle accident and I have T.B.I., I was so lost, she is very good at helping me and understanding me, I can read again and remember somethings which I can try to do myself, but I in no way can get through paper work needed for DHS/Assistance.

    I’m in need of a miracle. If you can, please help me, I’m not old or a senior citizen, I am usually doing my best to help others and giving to other donations, I end up thinking of me last. (I’ve been unable to donate anything this year, I keep faith and know I will one day be back to giving again.) I have to keep faith and think positive or each day would be horrible for me.

    People should donate as I have, even if it’s change or a dollar or two or 4, it feels good and it’s really, really helping people.
    I live with a disabled veteran, he is in a position similar to mine, he has no tumor in his brain or cancer but he’s also giving and it’s a great feeling to give and to know you do help and have helped someone and that your dollar or dollar’s do make a difference.

    Thank you for your time, patience and your assistance in all matters.

    God Bless You Forever,

    Lauren

  • alesia said:

    im trying to fing a way to give my daughter a nice christmas i have no income and ive been trying to get some help but everywhere i turn i cant find nothing that will help im already on goverment stamps and medicaid if anyone noes anywhere that will help please let me know thanks

  • kristin soares said:

    Im a single mother of 4 wonderful kids that need help with christmas . My children have been threw more than any kid should ever have to go threw . we lost almost everything to a fire 2 years ago also recently left domestic violence If someone could please help

    Thank you

  • Karla Hogan said:

    I am trying to help get assistance for my niece’s 5 year old daughter. My niece is disabled and she has been waiting three years for her Social Security Disability to be approved and is still waiting. Last year, her daughter barely received 3 gifts for Christmas. The only income they have is $249.00 per month that her five year old receives from her father for support. She is in desperate need for clothing. She is larger than alot of 5 year olds. She wears a size 14-16 in tops or pants. Her favorite pants are sweat pants or other pants that have elastic at the bottom of the legs. Even though she is large, she is about the average height of a five year old and the elastic around the bottoms of the legs make them wearable with no one trying to put a hem in her pants. She loves art, all popular Disney characters, Barbie dolls and baby dolls. I am sure her mother would appreciate any help with food. The two of them live in a small trailer in a trailer park and it is a struggle for her to just keep electrical service connected.

    P.S. If someone can help them, please let it be our secret that Aunt Karla made the request. Everyone deserves to hold onto a small piece of pride.

  • rose finley said:

    our family needs help for christmas my mom lost her job and we cant afford it this year . i am 13 girl my brother boy 10 and my mom 31 anything will be greatful