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Free Christmas and holiday assistance Lake County Illinois

Find where and how to get free Christmas gifts, toys, food baskets and other help in Lake County IL during the holidays. Charities and churches across Waukegan Illinois as well as Lake County provide assistance to low-income families, kids, the elderly and unemployed among others. Locate Toys for Tots applications as well as free Christmas presents from Angel Tree, or get a free Thanksgiving turkey dinner or meal.

Based on donation levels and fund raisers, there may be toys such as books, video or educational games, sporting equipment. Matchbox cars, Barbie dolls and more. Free clothing or hygiene items may also be provided at Christmas. Some of the agencies also offer Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas trees or meals in Lake County IL, or Adopt a Family applications and support for other major events.

The programs were created in an effort to help those who would otherwise go without during these special times of the year. This means that the focus of their programs will tend to be on children as well as senior citizens. Those clients will take priority when the toys or other goods are passed out. Low income families may even be able to receive a entire, warm hot Christmas meal or the ingredients for one.

The charities in the Lake County region will call these programs different names, such as Adopt a Family or Toys for Tots. No matter the name, they all try to do the same thing by offering a gift to less fortunate household. In addition to the agencies below, find other places for free Christmas toys.

Salvation Army
Address is 850 S. Greenbay Road, Waukegan, IL 6008. Main phone number - 847-336-1880
The Adopt a Family as well as Angel Tree free gift program is run. There are other social services too, ranging from Thanksgiving meals to shelter and Christmas food baskets. Games for kids, Christmas gift certificates, bikes, electronics, shoes, and many other toys or gifts may be offered. Volunteers also participate in the Red Kettle fund raising campaign.

Love Inc.
The address is 339 N Lakewood Ave, Waukegan, IL 60085. Dial the referral line at 847.782.8630
They operate a referral clearinghouse. Working poor families and those facing a crisis can be referred to a local church in Lake County. Ministries may have clothing furniture, baby items, food, and more, which also operate during the Christmas season.




Catholic Charities
Location is 671 S.lewis Ave., Waukgan, Illinois 60085. Dial (847) 782-4000
A limited number of low income families can apply for Christmas assistance. Small toys, free clothes (including winter coats) and meals may be passed out too by this church. Programs are first come and served. More on Lake County Illinois Catholic Charities.

First Baptist Church
Location is 673 Oakwood Ave, Lake Forest, IL 60045. Dial (847) 234-2770
A variety of social services for low-income families, the working poor and kids. They process applications for Christmas Toys for Toys, have free holiday food baskets with groceries and more, clothes and other aid.

Lake County Senior Centers and Aging Centers help the elderly and disabled at the holidays. They hold parties, serve free Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, holiday celebrations and more. People over the age of 55 can drop in, get company, hot meals, and more. The homebound can also get Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving meals delivered to them. More on IL Agency on Aging.

Saint Mary of Vernon
Church address St Mary of Vernon Catholic Church
Address is 236 US-45, Indian Creek, IL 60061. Phone: (847) 362-1005
Some Christmas, holiday, and toy services are available. A free clothing closet and thrift store are on site.

Community Care Center at the Chapel
1966 W Hawley St, Mundelein, IL 60060. Phone: (847) 201-2777

Christian Assembly of God
Food pantry address is 2929 Bethel Boulevard, Zion, Illinois 60099. (847) 872-3541
Boxes of ingredients for Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving meals.





Free Toys For Tots is based in Highwood Illinois - Lake County
Many charities and corporations partner with the The Lake County Marine Toys For Tots Foundation. Children from low-income households, single parent families and others can get free Christmas presents. A variety of toys and free gifts are for young children and infants. There may be electronics, games, books, dolls for girls, Legos, tablets, and more. Registrations occur online, and apply here.

The New Hope Community Closet
Address is 1020 W Rollins Rd, Round Lake Heights, IL 60073. 224-325- 4673
A free clothing closet that also has XMas toys, games, books, and personal items. They provide assistance at Christmas during the holidays. There may be winter coats, boots, free birthday toys and other stuff.

Community Closet at Living Hope Church
1014 Belvidere Rd, Waukegan, IL 60085. Call (847) 336-6220
A clothing center allows income qualified families and those living in poverty to shop. Some clients may be given free items (such as toys, games, boots, or clothes) and other needs to pay a minimal cost.

Some towns in Lake County also offer holiday programs. If it is available, they will only support families or the elderly from that particular township. They may also hold holiday morning meals, gift give away events, and more. Residents can call their town office for more information. Or dial 211

  • Zion Township runs the “Elf Network” at 1015 27th Street, Zion, Illinois 60099
  • Benton Township may have gift cards as well as food baskets. Location is Village Of Beach Park, 11270 W. Wadsworth Road, Beach Park, IL 60099.
  • Beach Park Village Hall and Sheriff Office run a Christmas program. Santa will pass out laughs and small gifts and other support is given.

By Jon McNamara

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