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Hidalgo County free Christmas and holiday assistance.

There are several places to turn to for free or low cost Christmas toys in Hidalgo County. But the assistance provided is not limited just to that. There may also be Thanksgiving or holiday meals served, food boxes given to low income households, and small presents placed into Christmas stockings for children. Much more may be provided too.

Every year there are thousands of struggling families in McAllen and Edinburg that apply for these programs. However the demand is high and the number of presents to pass out is limited, so there may be a waiting list. Even if a charity can't assist, they may provide the resident with referrals to other holiday programs in Hidalgo County, including affordable thrift stores.

Free Christmas presents (which may be dolls, trucks, games, or other toys) will be provided to those families that meet income limits. Applicants should have proof of residency, income, and expenses. Meals are generally served to anyone that is needy, no questions asked.

McAllen Police Department Programs
They hold a toy drive during the year. Only residents of the city can apply, and the department will normally pass out the gifts a few days before Christmas to those with a voucher.

Address: 2713 W Nolana Ave
McAllen, Texas 78501
(956) 928-1852
They provide clients a hand up rather than a hand out. Therefore the items provides at the store will be low cost. So Hidalgo County families can buy affordable toys, clothes, and more for their children, which they can wrap and place under the Christmas tree.

Salvation Army of Hidalgo Angel Tree Program
1600 North 23rd Street
McAllen, Texas 78501
For information, dial 956-682-1468
This Christmas program is for working poor families or income qualified, single parent homes with children under the age of 12. Toys and other social services are run, including a free Thanksgiving meal.




Brownsville Police Department Christmas for Kids toy giveaway
In some years, as many as 5,000 toys are provided using donations and contributions from Wal-Mart and other stores. Vouchers are given to to qualified applicants, and the child or parent will need to show proof of income, Social Security cards, report cards, SSI disability statements, or Medicaid forms, among other documentation.

Aging Offices and Senior centers
311 N 15th St
McAllen, Texas 78501
Phone number is (956) 682-3481
The non-profit only helps the elderly, low income disabled and senior citizens. Among the many programs are Christmas and Thanksgiving meals and companionship.

First Christian Church
1400 N. 10th
McAllen, Texas 78501
Volunteers may serve holiday meals. Those living in poverty with children may be given a small gift, if qualified and donations are available.

CASA of Hidalgo County
Location is 1001 S 10th Ave
Edinburg, TX 78539
(956) 381-0346
Children from abused households can participate in the annual Christmas part. Small gifts may be given to them as well.

Browsville Fire Department
They also run a Christmas donation program. It is similar to the police department indicated above.




San Pablo United Methodist Church
1002 W. Birch
Alamo, Texas 78516
This center will offer food, including at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Christmas and social service referral line
Phone – 1-877-404-4636
Callers can get information on charities that operate Christmas programs in Hidalgo County and that provide other financial aid. There may be holiday meals, free gift, shelter, Meals on wheels, and other services.


By Jon McNamara

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