Find free Christmas trees.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get a free or low cost Christmas Tree. The assistance programs are very rare, hard to get, and most charities will not be able to help. But we do have a few suggestions below on where to turn to for assistance in getting a free Christmas tree or maybe some vouchers or financial support to help pay for one.
There are some non-profits that focus on helping certain “groups” of families. This can include families that are in the military, and they can get free Christmas trees from a couple different charities. There are also some national organizations that offer fully decorated trees to households that have young children or infants, and those will be free. Almost every organization though has limited resources as well as a strict application process in place.
Places to turn to for Christmas trees
Most charities and churches will give toys and free food at Christmas but not trees. But it can be worth a shot in making inquiries. The first suggestion will be the Salvation Army. Even if they can’t provide a free Christmas Tree to a family, the Salvation Army does operate Family Stores in most states. These are low cost thrift stores, and in some cases a gently used, artificial tree may be sold. The locations are open to the general public; not just low income families. The trees will need to be donated from the public, and if one is for sale, it is best to shop early. Find more details on Salvation Army assistance programs.
Free Christmas trees may be found on some internet sites as well. We have a directory of websites that give free stuff, and it may be worthwhile to review those. Or the main one to try will generally be Craigslist. This is a leading internet website in which all sorts of goods are given for free or sold at reduced rates, and both real and fake/artificial Christmas trees may be on them. Or there may also be ornaments, such as bulbs, Christmas tree lights, and more.
Military families, who live on a base, may be able to get a free Christmas tree. It can be placed into their home or apartment for them. There are volunteers and donations that go to the Trees for Troops non-profit organization. It operates nationally and based on demand and donation levels the military family may be assisted. It can help their spouse, kids, and others celebrate the holiday. Read more on http://www.christmasspiritfoundation.org/
A small non-profit that will give a fully decorated Christmas tree to families with kids is known as the Christmas Tree Project. There are income as well as other requirements in place that need to be met. Single moms and dads can also apply for free Christmas trees from the organization.
The non-profit gets thousands of requests for assistance each year, but only a small number can be filled. They operate not only in the US but also worldwide. Apply at http://thechristmastreeproject.org/ Or you can donate trees, cash, decorations, and give back to the less fortunate.
Still another option may be a local church. Some will have donations or be involved in charitable resources. A church can be contacted for a tree. Even if they can’t provide them, they may still have referrals as well as able to offer other help at Christmas. That can be toys, gifts, clothes, food, and even the ability to serve a free, hot Christmas meal. Find more details on getting help from churches.
The Lions Club, which is a hyper local organization, may also offer free Christmas trees from lots and fairgrounds across the country. Or they will hold sales to raise money, and some low income families and those who live in poverty (as long as they have proof) may receive discounts. The organization takes an active approach in their communities by holding fundraisers, partnering with businesses, and other public services. One service will be helping the less fortunate at Christmas, and find more details on Lions Club holiday programs.
Another option is to also call a local clearinghouse to get referrals. The United Way is but one service. There is free information on all sorts of financial aid programs, Christmas assistance (maybe including trees), thrift stores for ornaments, and more. All resources vary based on city, county, and state, but some may have information on Christmas Tree programs for the less fortunate, including senior citizens and disabled. Dial 211 to learn more or get information, or find other United Way free Christmas assistance programs.
As noted, it is fairly easy for a low income family to get food or gifts at Christmas. However a tree is more difficult to obtain. It is even harder to get free decorations for a tree, such as lights, bulbs, or glitter. However the programs above may be able to help.