Holiday assistance for Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving.
The Salvation Army administers a number of year round holiday assistance programs. Families can get help around Christmas, Thanksgiving, and even Easter. Food, meals, gifts, coats, and other assistance is offered to struggling families, seniors, and children who apply on time. The Salvation Army does its best to acknowledge national and religious holidays by spreading hope year round.
A focus is on families with children, and they should never go without during a holiday period, even if their parents are struggling. Additional services are for families that are living in poverty or the unemployed. Regardless of your religion, income, race, or background, the Salvation Army administers programs for the holidays. The main resources are listed below, as well as contact information.
Being a national organization that operates in most cities and counties, the Salvation Army tries to recognize all holidays in accordance with local culture and customs, including non-religious holiday observances. They try to help the less fortunate during those special seasons, and provide them with food, meals, and gifts. All of this is done while respecting their culture and traditions.
Christmas meals – Usually the demand for assistance is greatest around Christmas time. This is when most families are trying to provide food, gifts, and a joyous time for their families and children. Oftentimes there is also the ongoing struggle with trying to provide for your family, and pay your regular monthly bills.
One thing the Salvation Army tries to do is provide groceries and meals to the less fortunate, with a focus on families with children and seniors. Typical Christmas events offered by your local Salvation Army branch may include a free, hot, and tasty Christmas Dinner or concerts. The local centers also pass out food boxes and hold coat drives or offer other gifts.
The meal often comes with other support. Many locations provide extensive assistance to those who are struggling. Oftentimes holiday cards, gifts, toys, and free food will be distributed to hospitalized youths and seniors as well. In some areas, prepared holiday meals are delivered to those in need or shut-ins. Find additional programs that offer free Christmas meals.
Angel Trees is another program that the Salvation Army has in place to collect gifts for distribution to children around Christmas time. This service is offered in hundreds of counties around the country, and a formal application process is in place. Most communities offer this service, and hundreds of thousands of children get free gifts and toys from the Salvation Army Angel tree program every year. Depending on the exact center, Angel Tree may also include the collection of food and meals to help needy families enjoy the holiday season.
The “Trees” are set up in various offices, malls, non-profits, and other locations with tags that contain the name, age, clothing size, and toy requests of an underprivileged child. Many businesses also help keep this service running, and their employees pool their money to participate.
The trees and tags have the wishes for a boy or a girl in the community. It will be specific, such as size of clothing and the gender of the child. Then, through the public’s generosity, people buy the children gifts, clothes, food, coats, and much more. This ensures that these children have gifts under the tree on Christmas morning.
Without The Salvation Army, the generosity of local community members, and their combined efforts through the Angel Tree and other holiday or Christmas programs, many children would be without toys or they would not have a gift at Christmas time. The Salvation Army does its best to assist needy families to ensure that their hardship is not suffered by their children as well.
Coats for Kids program – This is another Salvation Army sponsored program that relies on the support of generous businesses and individuals in your community. Members of your local town or city will buy a warm winter coat for children whose family can’t afford to provide for them. The Salvation Army will then distribute the coats (usually winter) to boys and girl in the community.
Based on donation levels, the Salvation Army will also try to give them free winter attire, such as boots or gloves. All of these programs generally round yea round, with more availability around the key holidays. The Coats for Kid assistance program has provided hundreds of thousands of new or gently used clothing items to children across the nation over the years.
Toys for Tots - Families selected for assistance from this Salvation Army Christmas program receive not only an opportunity to get gifts for their kids by shopping for their children at The Salvation Army's Toy Shop, but Toys for Tots will also usually distribute a food voucher. So the service usually combined a toy as well as food box to help families provide a warm meal for Christmas or New Years. Oftentimes this program is run in cooperation with other local charities organizations, or agencies like the United States Marine Corps.
There are dozens of other similar holiday services as well, from the Salvation Army as well as other agencies. Find additional places to apply for free Christmas gifts as well as a listing of resources.
Thanksgiving assistance from Salvation Army – The holidays provide a sense of tradition to many. The Salvation Army will try to ensure meals are prepared and shared with the hungry and disadvantaged in the community during Thanksgiving.
The details vary by location, but Thanksgiving programs may provide a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. When this is not an option, there may be a takeout lunch bag, small gifts and toys passed out for your children during this holiday. Some times what is served will depend on what the applicant has request, and what type of food has been donated. In some parts of the county, prepared Thanksgiving meals and baskets are delivered by volunteers to those families in need, including seniors or shut-ins, who can’t pick up the food themselves. Locate more information on free Thanksgiving dinners.
Easter assistance – While not as common, many Salvation Army locations also try to help struggling families keep food on their table during Easter as well. Families and hungry people who are struggling to provide for themselves or their families are welcome to take advantage of any assistance that is provided. This can include baskets, eggs, hot meals, and much more. Easter eggs may be hidden for the joy of local children during Easter.
Find a Salvation Army social service office for holiday assistance
To locate the Salvation Army in your area, and other non-profits, find local assistance programs. Or use the search bar at the top of the site to search by county or city. In addition, we also have a list of Salvation Army centers by state and county below, and many of them offer help at the holidays.
Call them to learn about the application process as well as any deadlines in place. Every year hundreds of thousands of families receive some form of holiday assistance, gifts, meals and food from the Salvation Army, and never hesitate to contact them.
District of Columbia
Hawaii and Honolulu County