Free Presents and Gifts at Christmas
Just because you are on a low income and may have limited extra money at the end of each month, doesn't mean your children should go without a great Christmas. Instead of trying to juggle your monthly expenses and eking out a few extra dollars in the budget for gifts, it may be time to lean on your community and all the great help that is out there.
Avoid going into debt for Christmas, by taking on expensive loans and take advantage of the multitude of programs designed to help struggling families during the holidays. The holiday season doesn't have to be full of financial and psychological stress of making sure your family doesn't miss out. Reduce all the financial demands of the holiday season and take advantage of programs and services that are created to help low income earners.
Reach out Locally
One of your first orders of business is to reach out to those local organizations that you may have relied on in the past. These include your children’s school, a social worker, a local church and a local food bank. Every little bit helps at this time of year and whether getting extra groceries from the food bank will help fill a stocking or your children’s school has a giving program for presents, it can definitely be a great start.
Contacting your local Community Action Agency can be a great first contact as they generally have partnerships and connections with most local charities, churches and other non-profit organizations that help out all year long including the holidays.
If you see billboards in your area for local charities asking for donations for the holiday season, it may be for you that they are collecting. Call them up and see if you qualify for their programs. Next call the local radio and media outlets to see if they are running any holiday contests or gifting programs.
There are some very large organizations in the US that specifically make a big effort at Christmas time. Many of them have religious roots like the Salvation Army but not all of them. The Salvation Army’s Christmas Angel Tree may be the largest national program to get toys and gifts to the families that need it the most during the holiday season. However you need to sign up with the organization in order to get on to the gifting list.
The Lions Club is another large national program that gives free gifts to low income families with children specifically at the holiday season. Ensure that you call your local branch and get in touch with them as early as possible. Toys for Tots, sponsored by the US Marines is a massive effort to get toys out to children and you will need to contact your local Social Services organization to see if you qualify.
The Angel Tree giving program is also a major national giving campaign to support the children of prison inmates. These innocent children deserve a Christmas and are not responsible for the troubles of their parent. There are a number of specialty programs like this that reach out to specific demographics. If you are a member of a specific social group, religion or other distinction there may be special organizations that also cater directly to your needs.
Christmas is a time when a number of organizations contribute to the community they are in, through gifts, clothing, help with bills and more. Simply contact as many as you can to ensure your children receive the Christmas they deserve.