Families that are struggling to provide Christmas gifts or toys for their child may be able to get help from a number of South Carolina based churches and charities. Organizations operate across the state and focus their services on children as well as the elderly that meet low income guidelines.
Some of the leading agencies to contact for assistance are below. Note they will only provide holiday assistance to people in the immediate region, and these are not statewide organizations. There will be an application process that normally starts in the early fall months. The South Carolina groups also rely on volunteers and donations from the community.
What may be provided include gifts, clothing, games, free presents, and hot meals for the entire family. Many of the churches will also help the less fortunate at other times of the year, such as Easter or Thanksgiving. Members of a parish may even deliver a hot meal to a senior citizen or homebound, disabled person. So a local church can also be another source of information.
Augusta Chronicle Empty Stocking Fund
This agency services the part of the state around Augusta. There may be vouchers provided that parents can use to buy gifts at a local store. Other referrals may be available as quantities will be limited.
Loaves & Fishes
Main address is 25 Woods Lake Rd., STE. 810, Green Gate Office Park
Greenville, South Carolina 29607
Main phone - (864) 232-3595
Perishable food, meals, and more may be served at Christmas or Thanksgiving. There can be meals for seniors, the homeless, and people facing poverty, among other clients.
Clemson Community Care
Address is 105 Anderson Hwy
Clemson, South Carolina 29631
Call (864) 653-4460
The location only supports current clients. They operate a Secret Santa program for low income families. However, there are also other seasonal resources, including free back to school supplies and financial aid.
112 Reece Lane
Pickens, South Carolina 29671
Main phone number is (864) 898-4422
Needy children and their parents can get toys and gifts from the non-profit organization. This agency will only cover the counties of Pickens and Oconee in South Carolina. In order to apply, proof of income, residence, and more is needed.
Debi's Kids Angel Tree
2135 Ashley River Rd.
North Charleston, South Carolina 29405
This is a program that relies on donations from the community. People or businesses can bring toys, clothes, games, and even non-perishable food. The items will be packaged by volunteers and provided to children from low income families in the area. This is run in close partnership with the Salvation Army.
Praise Tabernacle Church
Location is 1120 Terry Dr
Aiken, SC 29801
Call the center (803) 443-9266
They mostly offer Thanksgiving meals, but can have referrals to other holiday services.
There are numerous Salvation Army holiday centers across South Carolina. Most of them have some form of holiday program. They may include Adopt a Family, Angel Tree, Red Kettle and others. Often the food pantries will give out more seasonal food at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and free meals may be served too. The primary locations include the following.
South Aiken Presbyterian Church
Main phone number is 1711 Whiskey RD
Aiken, South Carolina 29803
For information, call (803) 648-9574
They operate several holiday gift and Christmas meal resources. Children may get free toys, clothing, and more.
Toys For Tots operates in a few counties and towns. There will be strict application process. For those that qualify, the children may get some type of present to open under their Christmas tree. There are examples of children getting bicycles, games, books, and even brand new toys.
The gifts are for children under the age of 16 that come from disadvantaged families. It relies on people from the community to donate goods and toys to keep it operating.
Valley Empty Stocking Fund
Burnettown Municipal Building, 3144 Augusta Rd
Langley, SC 29834
Call the office at (803) 593-2337
This holiday program will provide free gift certificates or vouchers. The family can use them to buy Christmas gifts, meals for the holiday, or similar items.
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