Lancaster free Christmas and Thanksgiving help.

Lancaster based charities provide holiday assistance to low income families and those facing poverty. Volunteers from a number of agencies provide free hot meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas, distribute gifts, free toys as well as presents to children, and visit seniors and the elderly. The goal of the programs is to try to spread some form of holiday joy to as many people as possible across Lancaster County.

These charities operate by collecting toys, games, clothing, and other items from the general public, and then pass out the items to income qualified families. The application period will usually start in the fall, and Christmas help is generally provided on a first come and served basis. Toys for Tots in Lancaster County also closes early. The main non-profits and charities to try for assistance are below.

Columbia Christmas Ladies
Location is 10th and Mifflin Streets
Columbia, Pennsylvania, 17512
Using reservations, a free Christmas meal can be served, and the elderly, disabled, and homebound can receive transportation as well.

Brownstown Area Churches
14 School Lane Avenue
Brownstown, Pennsylvania, 17508
Telephone number is 717-656-7570
Home delivery of Christmas meals is available, and they also serve one to families and children at a local Lancaster site.





Cross Roads Brethren in Christ Church
Address is 800 Donegal Springs Road
Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, 17552
Call 717-653-1616

St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church
Address is 929 North Duke Street
Lancaster, PA, 17602
Free meals are available from volunteers. There may also be small gift baskets, games, or toys for children from struggling or unemployed families.

St. John’s United Methodist Church
3001 Lincoln Highway East
Paradise, Pennsylvania, 17562
Food baskets, small gifts for children, and other Christmas help is offered.

Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church
44 East Orange Street
Lititz, Pennsylvania, 17543
They only have a community meal at Christmas. Telephone number is 717-626-2175

First Baptist Church
612 North Duke Street
Lancaster, PA, 17602





East Donegal/Conoy Area Christian charity
Coffee Goss Road
Maytown, PA, 17550

West Green Tree Church of the Brethren
Location - 740 Greentree Road
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, 17022
Free meals, toys, and gift baskets may be provided, such as a Turkey, Ham, and more.

Salvation Army
131 South Queen Street
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 17603
Main phone number is 717-397-7565
Programs such as Angel Tree can provide free gifts, winter coats and toys to children of all ages. There are also food baskets and they offer many other social services, such as financial aid, vouchers for winter clothing, Thanksgiving turkey dinners, and more. This is in addition to the Christmas programs. Continue with Salvation Army in Lancaster County.

Water Street Ministries Outreach Ministries
Lancaster, PA, 17604
Free holiday food boxes for Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas is offered to low income and working poor families.

Holiday Hope
Dial 717-826-3272
Toys, gifts, and more is provided for low income families. They also offer Thanksgiving assistance too.

St. Joseph Church
440 St. Joseph Street
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 17603
There may be Thanksgiving meals, small gifts for kids, and Christmas food baskets. Applications are for Lancaster families living in poverty.

Ephrata Area Social Services
227 North State Street
Ephrata, Pennsylvania, 17522
Call 717-733-0345
Gifts, toys, and more are available in the Ephrata and Cocalico region of Lancaster County and Pennsylvania.

Share the Blessing Non-profits
This agency supports all of Susquehanna Valley. They collect food, gifts, toys, and more, and then provide them to low income and struggling families. Vouchers and gifts certificates may be offered too for families with children, including single parents.

Lancaster County Project for the Needy
They run the Christmas Food Basket for the county. All holiday assistance is first come and served, and there are free groceries and other items passed out.

Lititz Warwick Community Chest, Food Bank
Lititz, PA, 17543
Main phone – 717-627-0770
Groceries and food items are passed out so people can gt a free meal.




Toys for Tots in Lancaster County
Several non-profits and charities participate. They collect new, unwrapped toys for kids, infants, and even teenagers. Books, games, clothes, and more may be passed out for Christmas. Apply at

Lancaster County Council of Churches
Address: 344 North Marshall Street
Lancaster, PA, 17602
Call 717-291-2261 for information.
Various Christmas programs are run. Presents for children, food baskets for single moms, and free toys may be passed out as the result of donations. they also offer shelter for the homeless, financial aid, and other assistance.

MHA, Holiday Gift Project
Address - 630 Janet Avenue
Lancaster, PA, 17601
Free gifts and holiday joy is for people in hospitals as well as the disabled in the community.

Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services
2420 Gehman Lane
Lancaser, Pennsylvania, 17602
Main number is 717-208-3711
The services around the holiday include  Christmas Eve Food Box Giveaway,  Adopt a family, and referrals to financial aid and other local charities, such as for clothing or more.


By Jon McNamara

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