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Free holiday assistance in Polk County Florida.

Residents across Polk County Florida can receive free holiday assistance from several organizations in the community. Some of them, such as a charity, may provide free Christmas toys to children from low income families as well as a hot meal to the household. Others are operated by thrift stores, and residents can buy low cost presents and other items.

Almost every single agency in Polk County relies on donations from the community as well as volunteers. This means that the number of families that can be supported at Christmas is limited. There will of course be a focus on young children as well as clients of the agency that are accessing other social services. If not qualified, a referral may be provided to other gift giving programs, such as those that are run by churches.

Lehigh Community Services
Address is 201 Plaza Drive
Lehigh Acres, Florida 33936
Phone: (239) 369-5818
This non-profit houses various charities. Some of these partner organizations will help less fortunate families at Thanksgiving or Christmas. This includes toys, clothing, school supplies and more. The locations may also offer case management as well as financial aid.

Salvation Army
Location is 2620 Kathleen Road
Lakeland Florida, 33801
Applications for free holiday toys as well as meals need to be done in person. The Polk County charity runs Christmas programs such as Adopt a Family. There may also be shelter, clothing, and other year round assistance programs. There are thousands of kids that may be assisted each year by the Christmas Angel Tree program.

Lighthouse Ministries
1653 Shephards Land in Lakeland as well as 3094 HavenDale Blvd in Winter Haven.
Call (863)687-4076
Both free Thanksgiving meals (such as Turkeys, Ham, and side dishes) are provided by the charity along with Christmas programs. Children, infants, and teenagers may be given everything from clothing at Christmas to small gifts or stockings.




Talbot House Ministries
A Care Center on site can provide assistance to the homeless and working poor.

Elderpoint Ministries
Location is 145 E Edgewood Dr
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone number is (863) 682-7249
This mostly serve Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to the elderly.

Polk County Toys for Tots
The sheriff's department, churches, volunteers, and local businesses donate new, unwrapped toys to the program. All of the items are then given to children from low income or unemployed households. The application process is done using the main Toys for Tots website.

Frostproof Care Center
(863) 635-5555
Mostly financial aid is offered, but there may also be Christmas programs too.

Catholic Charity Churches of Polk County
They require an appointment in all cases. There may be resources such as basic needs, clothing, and financial aid. Seasonal assistance also includes Christmas programs, Easter basket, and more. They also offer general advocate for families living in poverty. The Lakeland charity serves the entire county. There are local churches that are part of the network as well.

Pine Island FISH
Po Box 357
Cape Coral Florida 33993
Phone number is (239) 283-4442 
They only cover residents of Pine Island and Matlacha. Volunteers will try to offer food baskets to vulnerable families at the holidays, pass out small gifts, and offer other social services.




Hardee Help Center of Wauchula Florida
(863) 773-0034.
A focus is on senior citizens in the region. The elderly can be given a home delivered meal at Thanksgiving or Christmas and maybe a small gift to open.


By Jon McNamara

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