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Free holiday and Christmas assistance Dane County.

Find churches and charity organizations in Dane County that provide assistance programs at both Christmas, Thanksgiving and other key holidays. The goal is to provide free Christmas gifts to those low-income families who would otherwise not be able to give a present to their child. The holiday programs, including Toys for Tots as well as Angel Tree, also help senior citizens and provide free food baskets as well as meals to the entire family, including at Thanksgiving.

The Dane County and Madison Wisconsin charities work with volunteers and local businesses. They collect donated toys, clothing, and more from various sites. Kids, teens and infants can be given free Legos, clothes, dolls, video games or other items. Or they may purchase items, such as gift certificates for use at local stores. Items are collected from many sources in the county.

Then the volunteers from across Dane County wrap the Christmas items and distribute them, for free, to needy children and families. There are also free Thanksgiving dinners or Christmas decorations given away. The volunteers may also deliver a meal or small present to the homebound or a senior that is living in care.

Home Instead Senior Care
Address is 1574 Broadway Suite 101, Madison, WI 53713. Main phone: (608) 663-2646
The program is known as Be a Santa to a Senior. This will focus on spreading holiday joy to the elderly. Toys, presents, food baskets and more are delivered to older clients.

McFarland Community Food Pantry
5404 Anthony St, McFarland, WI 53558. For information, call (608) 658-0927
Clients need to be registered with the  McFarland Food Pantry. If they are, then free holiday gifts may be provided for those in the School District. Kids may be given free stocking stuffers, Christmas candy, or small decorations for a tree, among other goods.

Dane County Toys for Tots
New, unwrapped toys are given to kids, whether boys or girls. There may be games, shoes, electronics, dolls, Hot Wheels, arts and crafts, books, and other goods. Enroll online, and the distribution will take place at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison Wisconsin during the month of December. Apply here.




Middleton Outreach Ministry
3502 Parmenter Street, Middleton, WI 53562. Phone - (608) 836-7338
Christmas assistance is only for existing clients. They can enroll into the Adopt a Family program. This covers the entire low income household, and they are given meals, toys, gifts, winter clothes, and more. Donors even wrap the presents to be open Christmas morning. Other resources include financial aid for bills and case management.

East Madison Community Center (at 8 Straubel Court, Madison, WI 53704, phone (608) 249-0861) as well as The River Clothing Closet and Food Pantry (at 2201 Darwin Road, Madison, Wisconsin 53704, Dial (608) 442-8815) are a combination of free food banks and/or clothing banks. They do offer holiday help as well, as donations allow. Small birthday or Christmas toys, gift cards, meal baskets, free groceries, or other Christmas help may be offered.

Salvation Army holiday programs
Address is 630 East Washington Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin. Dial (608) 250-2200 or (608) 256-2321
The Family Service center operates the Angel Tree gift giving program. They also serve both Thanksgiving and holiday meals to families living in poverty as well as pass out turkey dinners. Children from low income families can get free toys, gift cards, shoes, books, and other presents at Christmas. More on free holiday help Dane County Salvation Army.

Milton Community Action
Address is 36 Hilltop Dr , Milton, WI 53563. Telephone - (608) 868-1166
The working poor, unemployed and low-income in Dane County can be given free Xmas presents, games, books and more. There may be winter hats or mittens, holiday food baskets, gift cards and applications to Adopt a Family as well.

Community Clothes Closet
Clothing closet address is 102 E Lincoln St, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin 53572. Call (608) 437-6114
They sell low cost, gently used items. This may be toys, books, tablets, electronics, video games, shoes and other items that can be wrapped as Christmas gifts. Parents, including single mothers, can therefore save money on the holidays.

Dane County Catholic Charities
Several churches in Madison and the county offer assistance, both financial and holiday. Resources include a free food pantry, hot meals, Christmas gifts or toys, winter coats, and other items. Seniors, the disabled and elderly can also have Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas meals delivered in the Madison region. More on Catholic Charities Dane County.





Saint Vincent De Paul Society Of Madison
2033 Fish Hatchery Road, Madison, WI 53713. For hours, call (608) 442-7200 or (608) 257-0919
Applications are available for everything from holiday help to financial assistance for bills. There are free groceries or turkey dinners for the holidays, hot Christmas meals for the homeless and poor in Madison, presents for kids and other programs.

Waunakee Neighborhood Connection
Location is 208 South Century Avenue, Waunakee, Wisconsin 53597. Phone (608) 849-5740
A store is open in Dane County. Residents shop for low cost Christmas gifts, such as book and electronics. A free food pantry. There may be some holiday meals, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

The Road Home
890 W Wingra Dr, Madison, WI 53715. Call (608) 294-7998
Children from homeless families, or those that are housing insecure, can get assistance at the holidays from the Adopt a Family Wish List. There are free Christmas presents as well as household supplies for the family, such as detergent, cleaning supplies and food. They provide support at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

United Way of Dane County
2059 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704.
They process Toys for Tots applications and also work with corporations and charities on the Winter Seasons of Caring program. Donations from the community allow new toys, clothes, and Christmas gifts for the community. Call 211 or Call (608) 246-4350. Partners include Alliant Energy and others.


By Jon McNamara


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