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Burlington Vermont area free Christmas and holiday assistance.

Families in the Burlington and surrounding area can get free help at the major holidays, including Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. Charities and churches provide children with free Christmas toys, families a meal or seniors with a home delivered meal or companionship. Find entire food baskets, help from the Angel Tree or free Toys for Tots program, Thanksgiving meals, Adopt a Family and more. The goal is to allow a low income household to prepare their own holiday meal or get ready for the Christmas or Thanksgiving holiday.

However, whenever possible, families with kids will always be the focus. Using donations and a number of toy drives held throughout Chittenden County and other counties, there may be a wide variety of items given to them. Charities may pass out free books, small gifts, presents, Legos, clothing, dolls, sporting goods, educational or video games, and more.

There will often be a wish list created by the child, and while the goal is to provide them whatever they request on it, this is not always possible. The main churches or charities to apply at for help at Christmas are below.

Franklin-Grand Isle United Way
Location is 48 Lower Newton Street
Saint Albans, Vermont 05478
Call (802) 528-8530
Operation Happiness is for local households in Grand Isle and Franklin County. Needy families can receive a free Thanksgiving meal basket. The United Way will also use this program to offer assistance at Christmas, including gifts and small toys.

Vibrant Church - Hilltop Light Ministries - Community Bible Church
Address is 2025 Williston Road
South Burlington, Vermont 05403
Phone number is 802-863-1396
The Chittenden County charity offer free Christmas gifts to high school students and children under the age of 18.




Chances For Christmas - Champlain Mill
Winooski, VT 05404
(802) 777-5130
The non-profit supports four counties in Vermont, including Chittenden, Franklin, Addison and Grand Isle. Toys, games, and more are collected from individuals and businesses. Residents then Adopt a family and offer them the gifts.

Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf
Location of pantry is 228 North Winooski Ave
Burlington, Vermont
(802) 658-7939
Free food, groceries, and ingredients may be offered.. This includes at holidays, including Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Turkey dinners, ham, meat, vegetables, and other free food may be provided.

First United Methodist Church
Location is 21 Buell St
Burlington, Vermont

Catholic Charities social services and holiday assistance
Several churches help the poor, low income, elderly, and struggling families in Burlington, Chittenden County and the region. Children can get candy, small toys and more. Qualified low income parents can be given help during the holidays too, including free gift cards, certificates, food, and more. Or there is financial aid., free clothes, blankets for the homeless and more. Continue with Catholic Charities Burlington Vermont.





Joint Urban Ministry Project (JUMP)
First Congregational Church
38 S. Winooski Ave
Burlington, VT
(802) 862-4501
Various assistance programs are run. Financial aid, food, free Christmas gifts or toys for kids, food and more. The holiday help is only one program offered in the Burlington region.

Joseph’s House
Location is 113 Elmwood Ave
Burlington, VT
Main number is (802) 951-4290

Shelburne Town Holiday Food Shelf
Address is 5420 Shelburne Road, Town Offices Building
Shelburne, VT 05482
Call (802) 985-5116
The Shelburne Food Shelf serves any member of the community who is experiencing food insecurity. We ask for a one time proof of Shelburne residency. We do not ask for proof of need or income.

First Congregational Church of Essex
39 Main St
Essex Junction, Vermont
Phone (802) 878-5745
The main assistance program (at least during the holidays) is known as Christmas Giving Tree. Toys, dolls, trucks, games, and other presents may be given to children from low income or single parent/mom households.

Saint Joseph Co-cathedral - Joseph's House
Location is 113 Elmwood Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 951-4290
Drawing are used to provide help. There may be gift cards for shopping, Thanksgiving food baskets, winter attire, and meals delivered to the elderly in the Burlington area.

Toys for Tots - Chittenden County including Last Chance Program
For those that register online, there may be gifts, games, and other items provided. Volunteers and donations keep this program running across Vermont. Toys for Tots will generally give free Christmas toys to kids under the age of 15. To apply, read more or apply here or at

Salvation Army
Main center is at 64 Main Street
Burlington, Vermont 05401
Phone: (802) 864-6991
The Angel Tree and Adopt a Family program is for Burlington, Winooski, Milton, Charlotte, Colchester, Shelburne and Hinesburg. Toys are only for low income families, such as those on food stamps or living in poverty. The charity can also offer financial support, job placement, and more for those clients in the Christmas program. Or get free Thanksgiving turkey dinners or food baskets. Proof of income is needed. More information on holiday assistance from Burlington Salvation Army.





Our Kid's Bike Bonanzas
Location is 331 North Winooski Ave.
Burlington, Vermont 05401
Telephone (802) 863-4475
They give out a few free bicycles each year, around December. The program depends on donations. Children can get a brand new bicycle for Christmas.

Highgate Methodist Community Center
3227 Vermont Route 78
Highgate Center, Vermont 05459
They cover Franklin County, dial 802-868-4921
A kid shopping day will take place. The church arranged children from low income households or those in poverty to shop for some toys, clothes, books, sporting goods or toys they want, in partnership with local stores such as WalMart.

By Jon McNamara


















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