United Way Christmas assistance programs.
The United Way is a worldwide non-profit organization that provides families referrals. One source of information they give is on Christmas assistance programs. They provide support in the form of referrals. Any resident of any town or county can use their services, and there is no cost involved to learn about what agencies provide Christmas relief.
The team at the united Way are a resource for local communities across the country. Almost 3 million people volunteer there to help the less fortunate…in one form or another. While the non-profit does not provide their own holiday meals or Christmas gifts, but rather direct individuals to where they can turn to for help. So they guide families to local churches, a Salvation Army Family Service Center, charities such as the Assistance League, and countless other organizations. Over 60 million people learn about Christmas toy drives as well as other social services from the United Way on an annual basis.
They may even have information on Christmas assistance programs run by retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Target, and grocery stores. Or there also tend to be municipal government organizations, such as Police or Fire Departments, that hold Christmas gift drives, and the United Way can be a resource on them as well.
The United Way is also involved in raising money in their local communities. They hold fund raisers with local groups as well as charities, and they collect donations from businesses and individuals throughout the year. While they do hold some Christmas gift drives, and help groups collect food boxes at Thanksgiving and/or Easter, this is not their main goal. It is but one service they offer.
Each year the United Way will set a goal of how much money they want to raise for low income families. They also work with organizations on holiday gift drives, so that kids can get free toys, games, Christmas gifts, and more. Once again, the United Way will not provide these items themselves to the public, but they support other charities in running their Christmas programs.
Referrals from United Way to Christmas Programs
As noted, the organization has information on various local resources. The exact number will really depend on where the family lives. More populous cities and counties will of course have more options for toys and gift programs, but then the demand is higher. On the flip side, small communities have less options, but hopefully the demand is lower as there are less people requesting Christmas help.
The list below is who the United Way may refer people too. It is just a sampling. Also use the search box below, and type in terms such as “Christmas assistance” along with county, “free toys” in a city or county, or even agencies such as the Salvation Army, etc. It will direct individuals to a resource for their needs. Or find information on the following:
- Salvation Army program – The United Way can refer households to Angel Tree, Adopt a Family, and other programs
- Assistance League – This organization is not as wide ranging as some, but some locations provide help such as Sharing programs and more.
- Charities – There are national charity organizations, that operate locally, that the United Way can direct individuals to.
- Love Inc. – They are a leading, faith based social service agency. Referrals are also available to this group, though they are not national.
- Toys for Tots – The United Way often provides administrative and financial support to this US Marine Corps Christmas assistance program.
- Churches – Many serve free holiday meals, hold small gift drives for kids, and support members of the parish.
The United Way also has information on Christmas food programs, ranging from soup kitchen to pantries and many more. As low income families often need a meal as well, as holiday food can be very expensive for a struggling household. Or dinners are also served in the general public, and the United Way can refer people to these resources in their local community. Find assistance with free Christmas meals as food boxes.
As noted, there are additional resources located across the site. For more information on where to turn to for assistance during the Christmas holiday season, the UnitedWay.org is the national site. Or use the search box below to query by county, city, and using terms for holidays/Christmas.