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Harris County and Houston free Christmas and holiday assistance.

Non-profits, charities and churches provide help during Christmas to low income families in Houston and the greater Harris County region. There are normally tens of thousands of children that are provided a free toy, box of food or some other Christmas gift. In addition, low income families in Houston may receive an entire holiday meal (at Christmas or Thanksgiving) as part of Adopt a Family donation programs. There is also Toys for Tots in Houston, gift cards and the elderly or disabled in Harris can have food delivered to them.

Each charity will have an application process in place, with immigrants and Spanish speakers also assisted. The toy and Christmas gift programs usually require families to register anywhere from August to October. Thanksgiving means may be available much closer to that particular holiday.

Based on donation levels, children from low income families may be given games, books, small electronics, electronics, gift certificates, or clothing. Parents in the Harris County area can be provided with gift cards to shop for their child and other support. The primary charities to try are below.

My Brother's Keeper Outreach Center
Address is 12713 A Bissonnet Street
Houston, Texas 77099
Phone - 281-498-9933
Christmas assistance is for children under the age of 10. There are presents to open, free toys, snacks, and more.

Program run by the Houston Chronicle
Address: 1200 Lathrop Street
Houston, TX 77020
Gifts are given across Harris County. Many single as well as working poor parents benefit from this service. Toys and clothing is offered on a first come and served basis from the give away program.




Houston Food Bank
Mailing address - 535 Portwall Street
Houston, Texas 77029
For information, call 832-369-9390
The phone hot-line can refer residents to Thanksgiving. Easter, and Christmas meal programs. The staff may also have information on Adopt a Family programs and donations.

Houston Fire Department and Holiday Outreach Program
Proof of residency and more is required. Donations allow the government agency to offer gifts for children and infants. The information name is Operation Stocking Stuffer. Up to 3 toys may be given, as resources allow. The key partner church is New Life Christian at 11249 Crown Park Dr, Houston, Texas 77067. Call 832-394-6632 for information on registration process.

Houston and Harris County Toys for Tots
Register online. Harris County parents can be given games, clothing, gift cards, and free gifts for their child. Most of the gifts are brand new. Charities partner with the Marine Corps in Houston on this. The program is run by Houston children's charity at 1600 West Loop South, Suite 610 Houston, TX 77027. The main phone number is 713-524-2878. Or learn more and find applications here.

West Houston Assistance Ministries (WHAM)
10501 Meadowglen Ln
Houston, TX 77042
Phone - (713) 977-7803
Resources range from a food pantry with holiday food baskets to referrals. Gift giving programs help children, and the homebound or seniors may qualify for a home delivered meal at the key holidays.





Catholic Charities
Call 1-866-649-5862 for information.
Free Christmas help may be offered for income qualified families. Items passed out may be games, toiletries, small jewelry and much more. There may even be aid for immigrants to from the local churches. There are several centers in Harris County.

Churches across Houston and the county try to offer struggling families assistance during the holidays. Some give families toys and others serve meals, or they just pass out groceries from food pantries. Not only may help be given at Christmas (including to legal and illegal immigrants), but they also serve Thanksgiving turkey meals for free. Find details on holiday assistance from Houston churches.

The partner with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services offices in Harris County and Houston Chronicle. The non-profit focuses on the Christmas season. Children under 10 can be assisted. Eligible parents need to be on a DHHS benefit, such as food stamps or LIHEAP and in poverty, in order to qualify for holiday help. Contact social services for a registration card.

Star of Hope Mission
Gifts are given to homeless families. There may even be Christmas presents. The charity has a few locations including a women shelter at 419 Dowling in Houston (phone 713-222-2220) and the main office at 6897 Ardmore. Dial 713-748-0700.

Salvation Army seasonal services
They may be the largest provider of holiday programs. Seniors can have a meal brought to them, and thousands of children may receive a gift from Angel Tree. They also have hot Thanksgiving turkey dinners, Christmas food boxes, and more. Both children and seniors over the age of 62 in Harris County can register, provided they meet income guidelines. More information on Harris County Salvation Army resources.

Houston Children’s Charity
600 West Loop South, Ste 610
Houston, TX  77027
Phone: (713) 524 – 2878
Year round programs are offered. However during the fall and winter holiday seasons there are Toy Distributions, Christmas parties, and an Adopt a Family service. They also partner on Toys for Tots as another free resource.

SVDP of Harris County and Houston
Various churches and volunteers are on site. Free birthday or Christmas toys, boxes of food, meals at Christmas or Thanksgiving, and more is offered. There can be books, games, tablets, clothes and many other goods offered. More on assistance from SVDP assistance programs.

Cypress Assistance Ministries
11202 Huffmeister Road
Houston, Texas 77065
Phone number is (281) 955-7440
There is a free clothing closet for the poor, low income, working parents, and others. Immigrants can get small toys for their kids (maybe at Christmas), bikes, games, books, clothes and more.





Holiday, Thanksgiving and Christmas referrals
If the agencies above can’t help, there may be other organizations that offer free holiday assistance to low to moderate income households as well as single parents. Everything from toys to games for kids, food baskets, turkey or holiday food baskets and more is offered. There is also free Christmas toys, gift cards and other help for immigrants as well as Spanish Speakers in Harris County. Call 211 for information.


By Jon McNamara

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