Earlier this summer, we posted an article titled “Want a Free Christmas? Get Started Now!” You can read the article here. Frankly, we were overwhelmed by the response. There were so many of you who reached out to us.
Some of you wanted to know if there was a contest you could enter to win a free Christmas. Others were baffled at why we’d titled the article that way, as the holiday is now upon us and there’s not enough time. And still others of you sent messages to us – we could hear your tears through your words – expressing your desire to give the best Christmas to your kids. You wanted to know how.
Unfortunately, the holidays aren’t fun for everyone. It sounds clichéd, but it’s true: parents are forced to choose between food and holiday gifts. Children are saddened as they wonder why Santa was so generous with their friends. And those who are more fortunate are left feeling unable to help.
If you’re one of the thousands of parents who struggle each year, there are organizations which can help you. Throughout the year, Julie’s Freebies is committed to directing you to great deals and, yes, freebies that you can take advantage of. But we know the holidays are hard. Here are a few ways you can ensure that your kids have the holiday they deserve.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is one of the most widely known charitable organizations. The foundation dates back to 1865, and while it was founded by a Christian group, the help they give isn’t limited to any one religion.
You’ve likely seen it in the mall. It’s a huge tree, and there are paper angels hanging from it. More angels than you could possibly count. On the back of each angel is a name, and a list of items that person would like for Christmas. You may be surprised what you see on those lists. Some ask for Xbox games, sure. But others ask for underwear and bath towels.
If you’d like your children’s names to be on the Angel Tree, please contact your local Salvation Army. Scroll down until you see a local office which offers seasonal services, and contact that office directly. You’ll fill out an application, and the Salvation Army office will tell you exactly how to get free toys for Christmas.
Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots is another national organization which provides free toys for Christmas. Unlike the Salvation Army, there are no strict requirements. However, there’s also no guarantee that your family will receive free toys for Christmas.
To contact Toys for Tots, first visit the website. Select your state and your county to determine if your county is covered by the Toys for Tots program – some are not. Then, simply request that your family be put on the list to receive free toys for Christmas. It really is that simple. Be sure to do this as soon as you can, as some counties may close registration before others.
The United Way
Your local United Way office may be able to help if you need free toys for Christmas. Doing so is simple. You’ll go to the United Way website and enter your zip code. Find out if your local branch of United Way is participating in a toy service this year.
If so, you’ll be able to register to go “shopping” at the United Way office. The organization receives thousands of new, donated toys each year, and those toys will be available to you. Usually you’ll be allotted one to two toys per child in your household. Most United Way offices will provide free toys for Christmas to kids 16 years old and under.
Other Ways to Get Free Toys for Christmas
If you’re in need of assistance, don’t be discouraged. There are hundreds of organizations across the country which offer free toys for Christmas. You’ll just have to do a little bit of research if the organizations above aren’t participating in your area.
The first place you should contact is your local Department of Social Services. Yes, the government office. DSS has a bad reputation, but the social services office proves invaluable to many parents, year-round. Many DSS offices sponsor a Christmas program for children. For example, in Durham, North Carolina you can register for the Share Your Christmas program.
Next, ask your kids’ school principal! Schools are an excellent resource in assisting you to find free toys for Christmas. Teachers and administrators are often very involved in the community, and they’re discreet as well. They understand that financial hardship is a sensitive situation, and will help to direct you to resources for your child.
Finally, inquire of churches and religious organizations in the area. Many churches offer programs to assist the local community. Those programs can help with toys, or they can help you take care of the rent so that you can buy a few gifts for your children.
We understand that Christmas is stressful. Money is always tight, and there are more days than dollars. But there are good and honest people who want to help, and that help is yours for the asking.