By Alex Temblador
When the holidays come around, all parents want to give their children everything on their wishlist. They want to see their children’s faces light up when they open a present, scream in excitement when they’ve gotten the one thing they wanted all year, and talk incessantly about who they’re going to show their new toy to. But the reality is that for some parents this holiday season or future holidays, giving their children presents or a holiday dinner is not easy. Some parents have been laid off right before the holiday season rolls around. Others have found hard times and are struggling with homelessness or issues with finding a job.
Whatever the case may be, all families and children deserve some holiday cheer and though as a parent you might be struggling this holiday season, know that there are resources, charities, and organizations who want to help your family and children have a wonderful holiday.
If your family isn’t struggling this holiday season, consider helping others through the resources we’ve provided below.
1) Contact your local shelters about local holiday programs.
You don’t have to be homeless or without food to contact your local shelters. Many shelters in your area know about local holiday helping programs in your community that would otherwise be difficult for you to find. Since we can’t list every holiday program in every city, we encourage you to find shelters in your area and start making phone calls. See if they offer free meals on Christmas, sponsorships by local volunteers for presents or Christmas trees for your family, or winter weather wear donations.
Click here to find the shelters in your local areas.
2) Need a holiday meal?
Many local food banks are donating holiday meals for families who are struggling this holiday season. Feeding America distributes 4 billion meals each year. With this resource, you don’t have to without the trimmings of a holiday meal for you and your family!
Click here to find your local food bank.
3) Lions Club International helps local families.
Lions Club is the world’s largest service organization with over 46,000 clubs worldwide. One of the components of Lions Clubs members are that they volunteer and help those who are in need within their communities. They are a great resource during the holidays to contact. Some run local drives, sponsor families, or donate presents, food, or funds to families in need.
Click here to find your local Lions Club and call them today.
4). Get help with your bills this holiday season.
The holiday season is essentially a cold time for many families, and with the cold comes the need to turn on the heat and when you’re trying to keep your family warm, energy bills can get costly. Those high energy bills combined with mortgage or rent, phone bills, car payments, and more can add up and hurt your holiday fund.
The great thing is that there are so many assistance programs that can help lower your bills during the holidays or do things like help keep your electricity on (or turn it back on). You can contact your state’s TANF program, to get temporary assistance. Or you can call your energy company and see if they have low-income programs or holiday assistance programs.
You can also click here for a full outline of programs that help families who are struggling to pay their bills.
5) Request a toy from Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots is a U.S. Marine Reserve Corps program that wants to provide toys to families in need during the holiday season. They run toy drives and raise money entirely for the goal of bringing joy to children’s faces.
Request a toy for your “tots” today by clicking here.
6) Receive presents from Elves!
BeAnElf.org is an awesome program in which low-income and needy children/families write to Santa. The letters are dropped off at a participating post office and then given to volunteers in the community who then sends presents or provide help and assistance to these children. Wonderful idea, right?
Unfortunately, the program is not nationwide as there’s only 20 participating post offices as of now. But maybe you live in one of those areas!
Click here to see if a Be An Elf location is near you!
7) A Giant List of State Christmas Assistance Programs
Needhelppayingbills.com is an awesome resource for the holidays, mostly because they provide a huge list of Christmas assistance programs that you can take advantage of this holiday season. Hurry now!
Click here to be directed to the list.