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Columbia Missouri area free holiday assistance programs.

There are a few Christmas, Thanksgiving, and holiday programs in the greater Boone County region. Free items are given out, such as Christmas toys, food boxes, Thanksgiving turkey dinners, winter clothes, and much more. There are really only a few charities that focus on providing help in the Columbia Missouri area, and they are noted below.

Now there are a few places to call and apply at, and the application window is usually in the October-December timeframe. But meals may be a little easier to get, as some churches and charities offer same day dinners (for free) such as on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

In general, thousands of local Boone County Missouri families get some form of holiday assistance. They come from all races, backgrounds, religions, ages, ethnicities, and genders. Single moms may get free Christmas gifts or clothes for their kids. Senior citizens and the ill get a meal, or maybe someone visits them in their home. Food boxes with ingredients, small stocking stuffers, gift cards, and many other Christmas presents may be available to qualified applicants.

Toys for Tots in Columbia and Boone County

This is the main Christmas and holiday assistance program in Boone County. Thousands of low income families and the working poor get help each year. The USMC runs it with local organizations and stores, including Dollar General, Menards, and Family Dollar. Based on donations, kids under the age of 14 can get toys, gift cards, clothes, books, games, and much more at Christmas. It is a free service. URL is

Assistance League Of Mid Missouri
1729 West Broadway, Suite 1 A
Columbia, Missouri 65203
The thrift store is at (573) 445-4803
Now they focus on selling low cost items. This may include Christmas and/or birthday toys. They also have clothes, free school supplies, small gifts and more. Note the items will generally have a low cost and be gently used, but it can be a good option for a low income family seeking help at Christmas.





Salvation Army Family Services
1108 W Ash St
Columbia, MO 65203
(573) 442-3229
Many emergency financial aid programs as well as social services are run. Some of the holiday programs include the following. There is also shelter, a low cost Family Store, and other aid.

Angel Tree – Unwrapped new Christmas gifts and presents.
Thanksgiving dinner, meals, and free turkeys.
-Adopt a Family as well, for free toys, clothes, and more for the entire family.
Meals on Wheels for the homebound in Columbia.

Holiday food, meals, stocking stuffers for children and other holiday help (in the form of referrals) is from Central Pantry. Call (573) 874-7848 for locations in Boone County.

First Chance for Children focuses on very young kids. They are at Location is 1010 Fay Street, Columbia, Missouri 65201. Some small toys for new moms and dads may be given, including during the holidays. The phone number is (573) 777-1815.

By Jon McNamara

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