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Free holiday and Christmas assistance Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, and Dakota County

Find churches as well as charities across the Minneapolis and St. Paul region that give free Christmas gifts, Thanksgiving dinners, toys to kids and more. There is also assistance in nearby counties, including Anoka, Dakota and others. Find places that give free Christmas toys and holiday help below, including Toys for Tots applications, Angel Tree, Operation Toy and others.

Many charities in Ramsey and Hennepin County MN provide free presents or food baskets to low income families around the holidays. There may be everything from free Thanksgiving meals and meals at Christmas to toys, gifts, electronics, Legos, video games, winter jackets or clothing. Most of the programs, including Toys for Tots and Angel Tree, are focused on children, single mothers as well as senior citizens in the area, but the terms change by agency.

The demand for any type of assistance is very high, and only a small number of requests will be fulfilled. Also, the application period for both Thanksgiving and the free Christmas programs are usually available during the early fall months. Any free items, toys, or meals are first come and served, so apply for help early. What may be available in Hennepin or Ramsey County, as well as nearby areas, will vary. They rely heavily on donations and volunteers from the community as well.. Or look here for other free Christmas toys.

Franciscan Brothers of Peace
1289 Lafond Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota. Telephone – 651-646-8586
Hot meals, small toys for children (based on donation levels) and other holiday support is available in Ramsey County.

Salvation Army Clearinghouse (formerly Operation Joy)
Dial 651-746-3595
This can be provided in multiple locations, ranging from Hennepin County to Dakota and other locations. The Salvation Army centers have a variety of social services and items for children. They also provide free Christmas toys, meal services, as well as the Angel Tree and Adopt a Family program. Most of the assistance is for seniors and youth under the age of 14. More on Salvation Army Minnesota holiday assistance.

The registration period is usually in late October throughout November, as supplies last. There may be items such as free toys, gifts, presents, and meals as well. Other resources include Back to School supplies, winter coats, and more.

 

 

 

WeCAN - Western Communities Action Network
5213 Shoreline Drive, Mound MN 55364. Main phone – 952-472-0742
Referrals may be provided to Adopt a Family and other programs.

360 Communities
501 State Hwy 13 #112, Burnsville, MN 55337. Call (952) 985-5300
This charity helps low income people in Burnsville, Eagan, Apple Valley, Farmington, Rosemount, Lakeville, and Randolph. There is also a free Christmas Adopt a Family or Senior Programs.

Holiday Meals on Wheels
(952) 888-9616
Free food is for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It is for the homebound, elderly, and disabled that meet income and poverty guidelines. It operates in Bloomington, Edina, Richfield and part of south Minneapolis in both Ramsey and Hennepin County.

YMCA of The North
NW 5901, Minneapolis, MN 55485-5901. Call 612-371-8707
Meals, shelter, and help for the homeless. They are a Christian faith based charity that helps the poor in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Free Easter meals, decorations or stocking stuffers for kids, small Christmas toys and more.

Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly
2550 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55114. For information dial (612) 721-1400
Main phone: (612)721-6215
The agency hosts Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Turkey, ham, desert and other meal boxes. Anyone can stop by for holiday food, including Dakota or Hennepin County families. Kids may be given small toys or stockings with some candy as well.

Christmas Committee and Toys for Joy
Location is 408 E Main St, Anoka, MN 55303. Phone Number – (763)323-4982
The non-profit charity has Christmas items and goods. Cities include Anoka, Bethel, Blaine, Wyoming, Burns, Cedar, Coon Rapids, East Bethel, Andover, Ham Lake, Lino Lakes, Oak Grove, Ramsey, Saint Francis, and Stacey. The charity has a free Christmas dinner in Anoka County. Meats, ham, toppings, and other items may be served for families.

 

 

 

 

Free Toys for Tots of Minneapolis area and nearby counties
There are donations of new, wrapped presents from the community. Businesses, individuals, and charities may provide free toys, winter clothing, gifts, bicycles, dolls, sporting equipment, and more for children under the age of 13. There may be books, arts and crafts, Matchbox cars and so much more.

This is the Toys for Tots for Ramsey, Dakota, Hennepin and Anoka County as well. The USMC is also a partner. Application sites include the following, and low income families can also apply online here https://minneapolis-mn.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx?nPageID=100&nPreviewInd=200&nRedirectInd=3.

  • Community Emergency Assistance Programs - 7051 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota 55429. Call (763) 566-9600.
  • Rise Inc. - 2003 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418. Telephone - (612) 781-3114.
  • Grace and Mercy Tabernacle Church of God in Christ -
    14501 Nowthen Boulevard, Ramsey, MN, Call (763) 807-0759. They serve Anoka County.
  • Red Lake Nation Embassy- 2111 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Call (612) 874-9588
  • Southern Anoka Community Assistance is at 627 38th Ave NE, Columbia Heights, MN 55421. Call (763) 789-2444
  • The CHAP Store is at 2020 E. HWY 13, Burnsville , Minnesota, 55337. They are in Dakota County, and dial 952-890-8222 for information on Toys for Tots.
  • The Father's House - 609 W Travelers Trl, Burnsville, MN 55337. Phone: (952) 234-2279
  • Real Believers Faith Center of Hennepin County is at 2010 Fremont Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55411. Call (612) 588-1097.
  • Tabernacle Faith church - 2025 North 4th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55411. Call (612) 521-8038.
  • Good in the 'Hood - 2101 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55404. Low income families in Hennepin County can dial (612) 440-7463.
  • Grace Apostolic Church - The charity is at 4215 Fairview Avenue, Minnetonka, MN 55343. The Hennepin County agency can be reached at (612) 824-1086
  • West African Family and Community Services helps people of all faiths. Location is 7200 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55429. . Telephone number is (763) 561-3042
  • Minneapolis Urban League provides free toys, coats, and more in Hennepin County. Address is 2100 Plymouth Ave North, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55411. Phone (612) 302-3100.
  • The Purpose Church - 3001 Russel Ave N, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55411. Phone (855) 467-8776.

Hospitality House Youth Development
1220 Logan Ave N, Minneapolis, MN, 55411. Phone: (612) 522-4485
The assistance program is known as Christmas with Dignity. Free gifts, food baskets, dinners, groceries and more are offered.

 

 

 

 

NACE Food Shelf
A free Holiday Program is for Anoka County from 18511 Highway 65 NE, East Bethel, MN, 55011. Dial (763) 434-7685
Low-income families, the disabled, elderly and others can get help. Christmas toys or decorations, candy, tree and more stuff.

Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners (IOCP)
Address is 1605 County Road 101 N, Plymouth, MN, 55447-2708. Call (763) 489-7500
Free Christmas toys and gifts, including at Hanukkah, Christmas, and Eid al-Fitr seasons. They also pass out birth gifts to kids, small toys, and free food boxes. Volunteers may have goods and items.

Southern Anoka Community Assistance
Address is 627 38th Ave NE
Columbia Heights, MN, 55421-3806
(763) 789-2444
The charity gives away freee Christmas toys each year. Kids from low income or families in poverty, single mother run homes, and immigrants often get help. There are also free frozen meals, including turkey dinners, given out during the holidays based on donations.

Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People - VEAP
Another center is at 9600 Aldrich Avenue South,
Bloomington, MN 55420
Programs include holiday, birthday celebrations, some small Christmas toys or gifts, and free Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, including Turkeys and the like.

Union Gospel Mission
435 University Ave E, St Paul, MN 55130. For holiday assistance, dial 651-292-1721.
Hot meals, referrals, and Thanksgiving or Christmas help for families in poverty.

Waconia United Food Shelf
11 Elm St S, Waconia, MN, 55387. Call (952) 442-3878

Messiah Lutheran Church - Minneapolis
Location is 2400 Park Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55404-3713. Call (612) 871-8831
Gift cards, games, books, trucks, dolls, clothes, bags, gift-certificates, and many other free Christmas toys or items may be passed out.

The Toy Shelf, Inc.
2393 Margaret St N, North St Paul, MN. Call 651-308-9961 or 651-777-7693
They give free toys year round to struggling families. Birthday and Christmas gifts. There may be books, hygiene supplies, shoes, video games or consoles, and so much more based on donations.

Toys for Joy
This is offered for residents of northern Anoka County. Volunteers, companies and real estate agencies collect and give away free Christmas toys, gift cards, food baskets and more to kids and the working poor. Learn more here. https://www.toysforjoymn.com/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Centennial Community Food Shelf
200 Civic Heights Cir, Circle Pines, MN 55014-1788. For information on Holiday Program, call (763) 784-2013

North-Suburban Emergency Assistance Response (NEAR)
Location is 5209 W Broadway Ave, Crystal, Minnesota, 55429-3101. Main number is (763) 533-2836
A few free holiday programs are run. They serve Christmas meals to the needy and low income. Children can get toys or gifts such as mittens, books, bikes, electronics, video games and more. Some Easter baskets too.

Columbia Heights Police Department - Anoka County
Address is 825 41st Avenue NE, Columbia Heights, Minnesota 55421. Phone Number is (763)706-8113 or (763) 706-8100
Small gifts, toys, and presents for children and teens.

By Jon McNamara

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