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Lake County Illinois free Christmas and holiday assistance.

Charities across Waukegan Illinois as well as Lake County provide help at the holidays. Based on donation levels and fund raisers, there may be free Christmas toys, clothing or gifts as well as food baskets. Some of the agencies also offer Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas tree or meals, Toys for Tots 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 Lake County 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.

Toys For Tots is based in Highwood Illinois
The Lake County Marine Toys For Tots Foundation is available. A variety of toys and free gifts are for young children and infants. There may be electronics, games, books, dolls for girls, and more. Registrations occur online. or dial 211 for details.

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.
Gurnee, IL 60031
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 847-4000
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.

Community Closet at Living Hope Church
1020 W. Rollins Rd.
Round Lake Height, Illinois
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.

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 is 236 U.S. Highway 45
Vernon Hills, Illinois 60061
Call (847) 362-1069
Some Christmas, holiday, and toy services are available. A free clothing closet and thrift store are on site.

Community Care Center at the Chapel
25270 IL-60
Grayslake, Illinois 60030
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.





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.

  • 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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