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Free Christmas and holiday programs in Essex County Massachusetts.

The main holiday programs available in Essex County Massachusetts will help low income families at Christmas as well as Thanksgiving. Charitable organizations will provide free Christmas toys, gifts, vouchers, food as well as other presents to income qualified parents with children. Get help from Angel Tree, Adopt a Family, or Toys for Tots in Haverhill, Lawrence, and across Essex County. There are also charities that will serve a free meal to a family living in poverty or that is struggling, or pass out Turkey dinners and more.

The applicants to these Christmas assistance programs comes from all backgrounds and religions. Assistance is given to the unemployed as well as working poor in the region. If a family is facing a one time financial crisis, they too may be assisted in one way or another. The registration period will normally take place in September or October, so apply for a gift or meal early as presents are provided on a first come and served basis.

Salvation Army
In addition to financial aid for heating bills and other needs, there is assistance at Christmas for low income families. Programs include the Santa fund, meals or toys from Adopt-a-family, and Angel Tree for Essex County families. Children and seniors can also get free holiday meals delivered to them. Proof of ID, income, residency and more is needed when applying. More on Salvation Army assistance in Essex County.

Haverhill - Salvation Army also provides free Christmas help from 395 Main St., Haverhill MA. Call (978) 420-4192 or (978) 374-7571. A Thanksgiving dinner is served in late November. They also operate many of the other Salvation Army social services, both financial and for Christmas. A main service is Angel Tree, which is a free toy, gift card, and present program for kids from teenage years down to infant. Everything from shelter to winter coats, grants, and presents are offered by the non-profit.

Other regional Essex County Salvation Army Corp Centers. They offer many of the same resources as noted above.

  • Lynn Worship Center is at 1 Franklin Street, Lynn, Massachusetts, 01902. Main phone (781) 598-0673.
  • The Newburyport Corps Community Center is at 40 Water Street. Dial (978) 465-0883.
  • North Shore Center - 93 North Street, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970. Call (978) 744-5181.
  • One Salvation Army center is at 250 Haverhill St, Lawrence, Massachusetts 01840. Call (978) 682-8038
  • Another option is 50 Elliott St, Beverly, MA 01915. Dial (978) 744-5181




Community Service of Newburyport, Inc.
35 Summer St, Newburyport, Massachusetts 01950. Main phone - (978) 465-7562
Parents with children under the age of 15 can apply for gifts. There is also clothing, nonperishable food, winter coats and more for residents of the Newbury area. The Red Stocking program is also run at Christmas in partnership with local churches.

Pettengill House
Mailing address is 13 Lafayette Road, Salisbury, Massachusetts. Main phone: (978) 463-8801
This charity has several locations in Essex County. Holiday assistance is for struggling residents of Amesbury, Salisbury, Byfield, Groveland, Rowley, Merrimack, Newburyport, as well as Newbury. There are free Thanksgiving holiday baskets for clients, shelter, and small toys.

Toys For Tots of Essex County
The application URL is, or phone number is (978) 772-0133
Based on donations, there may be free holiday gifts as well as toys for children. Single parents often seek help from this service. Games, free winter boots, tablets, and many other Christmas presents may be offered.

Action Inc.
180 Main Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930. Call (978) 282-1000
Families or singles in the Greater Cape Ann can apply for holiday clothing or Christmas toys, such as books, games, and more.

Beverly Bootstraps
198 Rantoul St, Beverly, MA 01915. Phone: (978) 921-4710
Everything from free hot meals to eviction help, birthday or Christmas toys, winter fuel bill help, Thanksgiving baskets and more may be offered.

Community Action - CAI - Amesbury Center
44 Friend Street, Amesbury, Massachusetts 01913. Telephone number is (978) 388-2570
Everything from job training to applications to public benefits and referrals to Christmas programs are run for those in poverty.





Our Neighbor's Table
194 Main Street, Amesbury, Massachusetts 01913. Phone:(978) 388-1907
Free food is for both Thanksgiving and Christmas to families that would otherwise go without.

Essex County Catholic Charities
There are several churches that are part of this charity, including in Lawrence and nearby cities in Essex County MA. A number of assistance programs are offered, with Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas food programs offered. There are free groceries and baskets of food. In some cases, toys, gift certificates, books, laptops or other goods may be offered. More on assistance from Essex County Catholic Charities.

Eagle-Tribune Santa Fund
Address is 100 Turnpike St, North Andover, Massachusetts, 01845. Call (978) 946-2127 or 978-946-2000. Donations allow the fund to provide vouchers to use for buying gifts, clothing, and toys. Businesses (such as Target) and individuals contribute.

Neighbors in Need
60 Island St, Lawrence, MA 01840. Phone - (978) 685-8321
This is a pantry that often has free Christmas/Thanksgiving food baskets as well as holiday meals. There are multiple locations in Lawrence.

By Jon McNamara














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