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Shelby County free holiday and Christmas assistance.

Several churches, seniors centers, charities and other organizations help the less fortunate in Shelby County Tennessee during the holidays. There may be free Christmas toys or gift cards for children. Meals are served at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in the Memphis area.

Some of the main holiday programs include Toys for Tots from USMC as well as Angel Tree. There is also Adopt a Family and Salvation Army Christmas resources. The focus is on children as well as the elderly in the community, and volunteers from these charities strive to provide free meals, gifts, toys, money, food baskets and other support.

Many of the churches will help people regardless of their faith. The centers use donations from the community and fundraisers to provide gifts. Or they may also hold special holiday meals, even including for Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas. So offering food is also a priority.

Some examples of the gifts offered to children may be games, books, free clothing, belts, and shoes. Almost all items are distributed to low income families as well as single parents in Shelby County on a first come and served basis. Some locations have very limited coverage zones as well, often by zip codes.

Millington First United Methodist Church
The main address is 8029 Wilkinsville Rd
Millington, Tennessee 38053
Call the center at (901) 872-4357
This location mostly has Christmas gift baskets, which may have food items or small toys. It is only for zip codes of 38053 and people in the Millington part of Shelby County. The application process usually starts in November, and only a couple hundred low income families may qualify for help.

Community Relations Department in the City of Bartlett
Location is 5868 Stage Road
Bartlett, Tennessee 38134
Main phone (901) 385-5589
They have more special Christmas and other holiday events. Referrals may be provided too for people in the city.




Disabled American Veterans, DAV Chapter 116
Address is 3158 Cuba Millington Rd
Millington, TN 38053
For information, call (901) 837-8035
The main program is for disabled veterans in the area, and they may hold some holiday programs for them. Those in the hospital may receive visits, free Christmas meals, and holiday joy. Other veterans may get referrals to free programs.

Raleigh Assembly of God
3683 Austin Peay Hwy
Memphis, TN 38128
Main telephone - (901) 386-5055
This church and charity supports the needy in Shelby County, Tipton County and Crittenden in Arkansas. They operate a food pantry with special Christmas and Thanksgiving meals served. Children and youth may receive small gifts or toys, as donations and volunteers allow. Other small items may be available in Shelby County too.

St Vincent DePaul - Shelby County
Address is 1306 Monroe Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 274-2137
On Christmas as well as Thanksgiving day, free meals are served. Anyone in need, the low income homeless, lonely, and others can stop by the Memphis charity - church for food, small gifts, and holiday company. More on St. Vincent Shelby County holiday assistance programs.

The Salvation Army of Memphis & the Mid-South
Location is 696 Jackson Ave.
Memphis, TN 38105
(901) 543-8586

Many holiday and Christmas programs are offered. There are free Thanksgiving turkey dinners, Christmas gifts and toys from Angel Tree, meals, games, and more. Volunteers may also visit the homebound and elderly in Shelby County to provide holiday joy.





Salvation Army Donation Center
8110 Dexter Rd
Cordova, TN 38016
Call (901) 737-8232 for intake.

Toys for Tots is run in partnership with churches, charities, The US Marine Corps and volunteers in Shelby County. It relies on donations of money, toy trucks, games, electronics, books, and many other items from families. Children under the age of 14 can then be given free Christmas toys. A main agency is Shelby County Distribution For Families is the Pat Thompson Center, which is located at 5700 Attu St, Millington, TN 38053. Parents can apply at the Mid South Chapter of the Red Cross, which has multiple locations in the county.

Family Store
3329 Austin Peay Hwy
Memphis, Tennessee 38128
Main phone (901) 373-3245
The Salvation Army centers referenced above have meals, Adopt a Family programs, toys, free coats, and more for both children and seniors. Low income limits and other conditions are in place.

Josephine K. Lewis Senior Center
Location is 1188 N Parkway
Memphis, Tennessee 38105
Main phone - (901) 636-4255
Meals may be served at Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. It spreads joy to the elderly at Christmas time.

Lucille McWherter Senior Center
1355 Estate Dr
Memphis, Tennessee 38119
Main phone is 761-2462

Frayser-Raleigh Senior Center
Main address is 3985 Egypt Central Rd
Memphis, TN 38128
Dial (901) 383-9101
Some meals or events may have small fees. But there can also be holiday parties, Christmas meals and food, and others for senior citizens and/or their spouses.

Goodwill Homes Senior Center
Address: 4590 Goodwill Rd
Memphis, Tennessee 38109
Main phone number is (901) 785-6790

Churches in Memphis and Shelby County
there are several religious places that help the less fortunate. Food, meals, small free Christmas toys for teens and youth, turkey meals, groceries, and more. The Shelby County churches focus on the immediate parish area, but anyone in need can drop in for holiday help. More on Memphis church assistance programs.

Orange Mound Senior Center
2590 Park Ave
Memphis, Tennessee 38114
For details, call (901) 636-6622
Free food, small gifts, and more. Some people in the region may have home delivered holiday meals or gift baskets.





St Jude Missionary Baptist Church
853 E Trigg Ave
Memphis, TN 38106
A free food pantry and/clothing closet is on site. Most of the services are for families and individuals or the poor in 38106. However others that are hungry or need a meal, including Christmas, will be supported as resources allow. There may be small donations, such as toys, for children and food baskets, and the churches does its best to spread the joy at the holiday period.


By Jon McNamara

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