If you need money to help with Christmas gifts or presents, you have several options available, including programs from charities, churches and non-profits. Below are some of the resources that provide free Christmas gifts and toys for low income families with kids. There is also information on vouchers to pay for a portion of your shopping, ideas on free money to pay for holiday bills, gift cards from retailers, and more.
Unfortunately it is fairly common for many families to be short of money around the holidays and they struggle to buy Christmas gifts and presents. It is a stressful and expensive time for many, in particular with the weak economy. Besides the traditional financing resources available, such as using credit cards and loans, there are other avenues and organizations that can provide help. However it is always very important to sign up as early as possible for a free Christmas toy program as the demand for help from needy families is very high.
The organizations, charities and resources below will sometimes offer free Christmas gifts, toys and presents. Most of the assistance is targeted at children of low income as well as needy households. There may also be assistance given to single mothers so they can buy a gift for the child. However any families that are in need of help during Christmas should apply at one of these agencies.
Non-profit organizations operate in most states. Using donations from the community, as well as relying on volunteers, there may be free toys, gift certificates (which are really equivalent to money) and other items provided to struggling families. Other agencies such as Catholic Charities, St. Vincent De Paul, or the Salvation Army run special Christmas assistance programs. More information.
Local churches. Throughout this site you will find lists of churches and charities to call for money to pay for Christmas toys or gifts. Or they may administer donation programs for your community. Find assistance programs by state.
The Salvation Army operates programs such as Angel Tree. This is 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. Read more on this service.
Military Bases and Organizations. The free Christmas toy programs are for people of all backgrounds, whether they are in the military or not. One of the primary resources is Toys for Tots, and it is partly run by the Marine Corps in partnership with representatives from local communities. It is available in most communities, and Toys for Tots helps everyone from single moms seeking a free toy or gift certificate for their child to the unemployed.
Most military stations and local charity groups have a Toys for Tots type campaign. You need to contact your nearest Salvation Army or military installation for information on any type of free assistance that they can provide from this program. The registration for the giveaway of gifts will usually take place in September, October, or November. The primary email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Clothing closets and thrift stores. These non-profits may offer low to moderate income consumers free gifts, clothes or toys during the holidays. Some may offer free vouchers, or money, so you can shop for exactly what you need at the thrift store. Get more information on clothing closets.
Free cash back for shopping online is offered by some companies such as Fusioncash and Inbox Dollars. There is no cost to sign up, and consumers can truly receive free cash back ranging from about 2 to 10% on their purchases from retailers such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and others. This type of resource will help the family reduce the amount of the bills they incur during the holidays. Click here.
Some retailers, such as Toys R Us, Amazon or Wal-Mart, contribute to charities. People should inquire at a local state to see if this is an option. There are also toy donation or give away programs held by many charities as well as local businesses, and they will provide low income families with free Christmas presents, gift cards, and even money. Two of the primary providers include Salvation Army Family Services (which operates in most towns and counties) as well as the programs from Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.
Family, friends and neighbors. Ask them for help. Also be sure to return the favor to them when you regain self-sufficiency. It is very common for a grand-parent or aunt or uncle to provide a toy to a child, or maybe they can give the parent some free money so they can shop for a Christmas gift.
Local Catholic Charity affiliated churches may also be able to offer free Christmas gifts, vouchers, or money to use for shopping at a second hand store. Most major towns and counties have one of these groups operating in their community. The charities may offer free items from a thrift store to very low income families or the unemployed. Other lower to moderate income families may need to pay a little money for a Christmas gift for their child, but the stores that that tend to be available to the public and they will have very competitive prices. Find assistance from Catholic Charities.
Never let your personal pride get the better of you. If you have small children or others you need to provide for, swallow your pride and put your children first. Ask for help from a non-profit or a local charity, but be sure to sign up for a free Christmas present early as the programs operate on a first come-served basis. Your request for money or help will be kept confidential. If they do not have resources available, then check in with family, your friends, relatives, and neighbors.
In addition, if you would rather obtain a loan or a line of credit, but maybe you have poor credit scores, here are some options to consider. Note this approach should generally be a last resort, but here are some suggestions for taking out a low cost holiday loan, starting with our highest recommendation. Anyone that does borrow some extra money around Christmas needs to be sure to pay it back as soon as possible after the holidays.
Refinance your auto Loan - This is another up and coming way to both save money on your payments and to also get cash out of the principal on your car. The funds can be used to pay for Christmas gifts as well as other holiday shopping. The monthly savings you experience will really amount to free money that can be applied to any number of bills. In addition to receiving an equity cash loan as part of the refinance you can also lower your current loan's interest rate and/or monthly payment on your car.
Refinance the car itself - Similar to above, however this can provide free money only if you have paid off your car. If you own an automobile that is already paid off you will have a very good chance of getting approved for a loan by using your auto itself as collateral. We would always recommend using a traditional lender, versus what is known as an "Auto Title Loan", because a traditional loan generally offers the best interest rate as well as the most savings to you.
Take out a low interest salary advance loan from a credit union, peer to peer lender, or a payday advance lender. As noted though, this is a very risky way to borrow. From these options, a peer to peer or a salary advance loan will usually have the lowest interest rate. However any of these offerings should only be used as a last resort when seeking extra money at Christmastime. Note that for anyone looking for a few extra dollars, peer to peer and salary advance loans are becoming a better option than a more traditional payday lender. More.
Get a guaranteed, approved credit card that pays a rebate on all of the transactions made. You just need to use the card when you make your everyday purchases throughout the course of the year, not just during the holiday season. These types of credit cards that pay out a cash rebate when you shop can be very helpful during Christmas. They will reimburse you with either credits for future transactions or some will directly provide the customer with money that can use used for Christmas gift shopping. The card may give assistance in the form of a rebate of up to several percent of your purchase price.
So if you say spend $50 per week on your groceries, you can receive a rebate on the account of up to 5%, or $2.50, which is technically free cash. Use this type of rebate card year round. This extra money can build up over the year and allow the family to have extra funds for their Christmas present shopping.
However they may have limits where you may use the card or they may cap the amount of money that is rebated to you. Typically, these credit cards will also offer consumers access to additional savings from a select catalog. If that is not an option, they will fulfill online orders for merchandise or any Christmas gifts that are bought from a specific group of vendors or stores. Continue.