Thousands of families receive help from the holiday programs available in Suffolk County, the city of Boston, and nearby Middlesex County Massachusetts. Non-profits and charity organizations focus on assisting low income families, the poor, and unemployed. Many senior citizens and elderly can also receive a free meal, and it will even often be delivered to the household.
However the focus is always on assisting children. They may be provided free toys, gifts, or clothing. Many winter coats are also distributed at Christmas time. Some form of aid is offered at most major holidays, including free meals at Easter or Thanksgiving. However the programs do ramp up to help the needy at Christmas time.
The non-profits feel that children in the region, including Suffolk County, should always have a present to up on Christmas morning. They should not go without just because their parents are struggling. So please do call an agency below, or donate toys, gifts, food, or just your time in order to assist the less fortunate.
Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD)
This is the regional community action agency. The non-profit may have referrals to Christmas assistance agencies, gently used children or adult clothing, and other serves for low income families. There are several locations and offices in the region.
John F. Kennedy Family Service Center
Address is 23A Moulton Street
Charlestown, MA, 02129
Main phone - (617) 241-8866
Only supports residents of Charlestown.
South End Neighborhood Action Program
554 Columbus Avenue
Boston, MA, 02118
During the Christmas season, holidays, and really year round the agency may have baby clothing, diapers, food, and more.
Catholic Charitable Bureau of the Archdiocese of Boston, Inc.
This charity also operates across Suffolk and nearby counties. Various programs are administered year round. Children and seniors may also enroll into holiday programs, including gifts at Christmas, home delivered meals, free groceries, and more.
Christmas in the City
Kennedy Brothers Physical Therapy 45 Franklin Street - 2nd Floor
Boston, MA, 02110
The charity will hold a Christmas party for homeless children in Boston. Distributes free toys, clothing and presents as well as entertainment and a free dinner.
East End House
Address is 105 Spring Street
Cambridge, MA, 02141
Call (617) 876-4444
Most of the aid is offered from a food pantry, including canned and dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, Turkeys at the holidays, meats, and dairy products. Another program is Toy Drive and Adopt-a-Family, which provides free toys and presents for children from families who would otherwise have a difficult time purchasing gifts for the holiday period.
Address is Post Office Box 55820
Boston, MA, 02205
Greater Boston Food Bank
70 South Bay Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts, 02118
Mostly has referrals to meal programs, soup kitchens.
Jewish Family and Children's Service (JFCS), Center for Family Assistance and Family Table
1430 Main Street
Waltham, MA, 02451
Telephone: (816) 47J-FCS5
Project Bread's Food Source Hotline
145 Border Street
Boston, MA, 02128
Main number is (800) 645-8333
This non-profit can connect qualified low income and working poor individuals and families to other food resources and regional Christmas or Thanksgiving programs.
Salvation Army of Massachusetts
Various resources are available, including the Christmas Castle Program. This will provide necessities (clothes, gifts, toys) to eligible individuals and families during the holidays. They also run an Annual Toy Drive, among other services provided.
Toys For Tots
Address: 23 Dry Dock Ave
Boston, MA, 02210
Call (617) 737-0500 for an application.
This operates across Massachusetts. The programs known as Toys for Tots provides free holiday gifts/ toys for children.
Note this service does not give free toys or Christmas gifts to individual families. Applicants must contact a church in their town (or city of Boston), a charity, or social worker. Christmas gifts are gender speficic and will be free and can include games, clothes, trucks for boys, dolls, and more. For more information on Toys for Tots in Suffolk County. http://boston-ma.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/request-toys.aspx
Town of Ashland
Location is 162 West Union Street Lower Level
Ashland, MA, 01721
Phone number - (508) 881-0109
Bread of Life
54 Eastern Avenue
Malden, MA, 02148
Offers a free meal program for low income and homeless people who are Malden residents only.
Town of Concord, Silent Fund
c/o First Parish in Church 20 Lexington Road
Concord, MA, 01742
This is for town residents only. It accepts holiday donations and then provides those goods, gifts, and toys to qualified town residents. Applicants need to have a referral from a pastor or social service agency.
Council of Social Concern
2 Merrimac Street
Woburn, Massachusetts, 01801
Main phone - (781) 935-6495
55 Park Street
Framingham, Massachusetts, 01702
The non-profit serves a free Thanksgiving Dinner at the Eagle Grille. It is for those from the community that might otherwise have no opportunity to celebrate the holiday.
International Family Program - Church
99 Concord Street
North Reading, MA, 01864
Has toys, free Christmas gifts and school supplies only to children and residents of the City of Laurence and surrounding areas.
Maynard Food Pantry
12 Bancroft Street
Maynard, MA, 01754
Main phone - (978) 897-8340
Natick Service Council - Seasonal and Holiday Program
Address of program - 2 Webster Street
Natick, MA, 01760
Our Neighbor's Table
127 Main Street
Amesbury, Massachusetts, 01913
Phone - (978) 388-1907
Serves free meals and offers nutrition information. Services also include Christmas and Thanksgiving meal and gifts baskets, congregate meals and more.
Project Just Because, Inc.
P.O. Box 36 86 South Street
Hopkinton, MA, 01748
The Holiday Wish List Program allows seniors and needy families to request toys, gifts, meals, and other assistance at Christmas and Easter. Thanksgiving baskets are also provided during the fall and Thanksgiving season.
Rod and Gun Club
Main address - 252 Wood St
Hopkinton, Massachusetts, 01748
Call (508) 435-4148
The club hosts a free Thanksgiving Meal with all the toppings. It is open to the general public.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
39 Central St
Natick, MA, 01760
A free Thanksgiving meal is served to the unemployed and those that need help.
Sun Santa Fund
150 Appleton Street
Lowell, MA, 01852
The charity distributes gifts and free toys. The program and is provided is funded by donations to children in need during the holiday season.
United Way of Tri-County
They run the Hope for the Holidays Giving Program. It distributes new toys that are acquired through donations. All items are made available to needy children during the holiday season.
Location is 46 Park Street
Framingham, Massachusetts, 01702
Call (508) 370-4873 for information.
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