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Free Christmas or holiday assistance programs Wake County and Raleigh

Several churches, charities, and even restaurants help low income families in Wake County with their Christmas needs. The agencies offer free groceries, meals, free Christmas toys or presents as well as holiday food baskets, including at Thanksgiving. Children of all ages may be able to receive a present as well. The are resources including Toys for Tots, Angel Tree and other holiday services that provide support. Some of the main agencies to apply at for free holiday help in Raleigh and Wake County are below.

Find games, clothes, presents, Legos, tablets, toys, games or gifts and even free Thanksgiving dinners as well. The various organizations in Raleigh and the county rely on fundraisers, donations, and volunteers from the region.

One of the largest Christmas programs in Wake County is Toys for Tots. There is also Adopt a Family and Angel Tree in the Raleigh region as well as nearby communities. In addition to that, some volunteers from the community will even deliver a free, hot holiday meal (including for Thanksgiving) to seniors or a nursing home. People distribute toys to children and teenagers as well as struggling single mothers. There may even be other holiday assistance available during Easter as well as Thanksgiving.

Most organization will require proof of income and other conditions to be met. However the non-profits will do their best to ensure everyone, especially children and the elderly, have gifts and some type of holiday joy.

All-N' Together Services and the Christmas Cheer program
Address is Youngsville and Franklinton, NC 27525. Call (919) 559-9629
It provides clothing, free toys, and personal care items for the low income and needy.

Tar River Baptist Association
Main address is 92 NC Highway 56 East, Louisburg, NC 27549. Telephone - (919) 496-7172
Christmas Family Ministries offers free holiday meals, school supplies, toys, personal hygiene items, gifts, and toys. The ministries partners with churches, social services agencies and school counselors in this part of Wake County. Parents can “shop” at the stores for exactly what they want, so the goods will be used wisely.

Salvation Army
They have several centers in Wake County. The non-profit has free Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, including turkey dinners in Wake County and Raleigh NC. Other goods include home delivery service to seniors, the Angel Tree toy and clothing program, gift cards for Xmas shopping,  turkeys dinners, and the free Toy Shop. The Salvation Army program helps provide Christmas presents to those families with children or infants. More on Salvation Army free holiday assistance in Wake County.




  • 1863 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27604. Phone (919) 834-6733
  • 205 Tryon Rd. Raleigh, NC 27603. Phone number is 919-779-8867

Helping Hand Mission
623 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh, NC 27610. Call (919) 829-8048
The non-profit, charity organization runs a thrift store with clothing, toys, gifts and household items including some furniture. Other related programs include and Love Baskets as well as Operation Warm Clothing.

Economic Self Sufficiency - Wake County Human Services
Address is 220 Swinburne Street, Raleigh, NC 27620. Phone: (919) 212-7000
People not raising kids of their own can apply for holiday assistance. Any Christmas help is restricted to that situation only. Meals, boxes of food, free toys, clothing, and more is available to children.

Christmas Store -  United Church - New Horizons Fellowship
820 East Williams Street (Hwy 55), Apex, NC.. Dial  919-303-5266
Referrals are needed. Families in need need to be referred to the Apex store by the Fuquay-Varina Emergency Food Pantry, the Salvation Army, or Western Wake Crisis Ministry. Or get referrals from Dorcas Ministries, or the Holly Springs Food Cupboard. Free Christmas toys for kids, games, gifts, clothes and other items are offered.

Toys for Tots
This is run by the United States Marine Corps in partnership with charities, volunteers, and corporations in Wake County They collect toys, gifts, games, Legos, computers and more from the public and provide the items to children. Churches, charities, and businesses in Wake County all participate. They combine resources to give kids free Christmas gifts, toys, clothes, shoes, and so much more. Apply here

There are other charities, churches, and non-profits that offer assistance. They each offer their own programs, based on donations and qualifications. Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas meals may be offered. Or get free Christmas presents, gift cards, food baskets, or even computers fr kids. Some also focus on immigrants and Spanish speakers, including cultural meals. Try the agencies below.

  • Capital City Hope Foundation, 1710 Aragon Drive, Knightdale, North Carolina, 27545, Phone: 919-395-0493.
  • Hope House. Inc. is at 334 North Allen Road, Wake Forest, North Carolina, 27587. For Toys For Tots applications, for kids under the age of 17, dial 919-601-9739 or  (919) 263-1007
  • Iglesia de Dios de Raleigh has an office at 4272 Old Faison Road, Knightdale, North Carolina, 27545. They focus on migrant workers and immigrants in easter Wake County. Phone: 919-822-4116.
  • Matrix Ministries International, 4501 New Bern Avenue, Ste 130, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27610. For free holiday programs, call 919-244-9900 or 919.710.8074
  • Telamon Corporation is a regional community action agency. The location is at 5560 Munford Road Suite 201, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27612. Phone: 919-270-4964 or (919) 851-7611
  • Eternal Life Ministries of NC Inc, 4636 Six Siblings Circle, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27610. Call 919-357-0399
  • Hill Street Community center address is 2307 Hill St., Raleigh, North Carolina, 27604. Phone: 919-996-5300.
  • Women That Care Inc. focuses on single mother and homeless - low income women in Wake County. Free toys, financial aid, food and more can be provided from 3341 Wills Grove Lane, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27615. For details call 919-798-8134.
  • Igelsia Nuevo Renacer Asambleas de Dios is another charity at 4004 Viewmont Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27610. Phone: 919-723-1302.
  • The other major towns and cities in Wake County also offer this free program. For example, children in Apex, Cary, Wake Forest, Holly Springs and other regions can get assistance. The main address is 2725 Western Boulevard, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606. (919) 828-8172. More on Toys for Tots Christmas gifts for kids.





First Baptist Church of Raleigh
99 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC 27603. Main number is 919-832-4485
They both collect and pass out free Christmas toys to kids, teens, and infants. Year round adults, single mothers, and children can get free clothes, books, and other items - not just at Christmas. Meals and food is offered too.

Word of God Fellowship Church
3000 Rock Quarry Rd, Raleigh NC 27610. Phone - 919-834-1141
The church helps the poor, unemployed, elderly and others. Call them for information on free Thanksgiving and Christmas meals as well as stocking stuffer gifts. Clothes, games, books, electronics and more may be offered.

Helen Wright Center, also known as Urban Ministries of Wake County
Location is 3603 Bastion Ln., Raleigh, NC 27604. Main number - (919) 833-1748
Various low income assistance programs are run. Free meals, food boxes, medications, homeless shelters and other assistance is given (for free) including at the holidays. More on Urban Ministries Wake County NC.

Community Helpers
111 North First Avenue, Knightdale, NC 27545. Call (919) 266-4050
They focus on Eastern Wake County. Free Thanksgiving nd Christmas meals and food boxes. There may be small gifts for kids, stocking stuffers, games, and household supplies too.

Regional Rescue Mission
1950 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27610. Call 919-688-9641 or (919) 828-9014
Various seasonal programs. They include Easter assistance, including baskets and free meals. There is a Thanksgiving turkey dinner, Christmas toys (a bag) and free dinner for the family as well as backpacks for school items.

Wake County Food Pantry and Clothing Closet
Main address is 2525 Sanderford Road, Raleigh, North Carolina 27610. Call (919) 833-8526
Provides food (such as turkeys and the topping at the holidays) and clothing to those in need. The non-profit also participates in Toys for Tots, referenced above. The center has limited hours.

Catholic Parish Outreach
Address is 2013 North Raleigh Boulevard, Raleigh, North Carolina 27604. Phone: (919) 873-0245

The charity supports children of Wake County from many of the churches. The charity has free small children's clothing up to age 4, women's maternity items, and baby stuff. The family can be offered a Christmas or Thanksgiving meal basket as well as be screened for other social services.

Wake County Holiday Cheer from the government
This is an Adopt a Family assistance program. The local government works with the United Way, local charities, companies such as Kroger and Wal-Mart and other organizations. Senior citizens, children from struggling homes and others can get free Christmas toys, games, books, toy trucks or dolls, and so much more. Call 211 for referrals.







Cary NC region
Low income families in Cary as well as Wake County, including migrant workers and Spanish speakers, can apply to the Toys for Tots as well as Adopt a Family program. There may be free Christmas or Thanksgiving food baskets, toys for kids, clothes, household supplies and more. Some free gift cards may also be offered to single mothers or the low income.

  • Diamante Inc., 607 Applecross Drive. Cary, North Carolina, 27511. Call 919-539-5780
  • Youth Development Center as a Toys for Tots application site. Location is  614 Pony Club Circle, Cary, North Carolina, 27519. Call 919-824-0891

St. Francis of Assisi Church
The address is 11401 Leesville Rd, Raleigh, NC 27613. Phone: (919) 847-8205
They operate a Christmas toy program in December only for income qualified Raleigh families in the parish. Some sites in the triangle region offer free, “traditional” Christmas meals. They are served to income qualified seniors, families with children, and the disabled. Some meals may be delivered to the homebound in Wake County.


By Jon McNamara

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