Jennifer Wunsch

Free Christmas Gifts for Low Income Families: Gift, Toys, Holiday

Free Christmas Gifts for Low-Income Families

Today I’m going to share with you Free Christmas Gifts for Low Income Families.

It seems like the perfect time to visit all sources that provide free Christmas gifts for low-income families so that Christmas can come to every household irrespective of their financial condition.

As we glide into November, thanksgiving vibes are closely followed by the jovial bells of approaching Christmas. The warm musk of fir trees fills people with a sense of happiness that is only seen blended along with shades of red and white.

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As much happiness the idea of Santa and free toys for Christmas brings to children, it can bring stress to those behind the bushy white beard and beaming red boots when working on tightly cut expenses.

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Introduction – Free Christmas Gifts for Low Income Families:

Saint Nicholas, one of the most ancient predecessors of the modernized version of Santa Claus was renowned for the generous gifts that he provided to the poor, one of his most prominent acts of kindness being the provision of dowries to the three malnourished daughters of a pious Christian, so their lack of money doesn’t push them towards prostitution.

Many incidents like these root gift-giving traditions of Christmas to help people in need. Many non-profit organizations recognize this discussion and provide Christmas help for needy families by arranging lucky draws, Christmas giveaways for low income families, etc.

They arrange huge charity hauls so they can provide free Christmas toys for low income families and it is encouraged to give how much they can to participate in the true spirit of Christmas.

Organizations That Help Provide Free Christmas Gifts for Low Income Families:

Organizations That Help Provide Free Christmas Gifts for Low-Income Families

Many institutes, churches, etc set up various schemes, lotteries and Christmas giveaways for low income families so there is ample Christmas help for needy families.

Some of these benevolent organizations with their schemes have been explored in detail in this article so you can apply for free Christmas gifts if you need them.

  • Be an Elf

Be an elf is an organization built in partnership with USPS operation Santa with the goal of providing a maximum amount of free Christmas gifts for low income families.

USPS stands for The United States Postal Service which is an independent agency of the united states federal government’s executive branch and deals with, as its name suggests, the provision of postal services around the US and has started “Operation Santa” to give Christmas help for needy families by providing free toys for Christmas day.

  • USPS Operation Santa

Over hundreds of years ago, the U.S. post began receiving letters addressed to Santa Claus and finally, in 1912, Postman General Frank Hitchcock curated Santa’s first “mailroom” by letting his fellow local postmasters open and respond to these letters.

In the 1940s, when countless letters started flooding in, the program was opened up to the citizens as well and numerous individuals, charitable organizations, etc participated with the common goal of bestowing Christmas help for needy families on those who need it.

The program was further expanded onto the online surface so people could adopt letters online as well and the maximum number of willing people can have a chance to provide free Christmas gifts for low income families.

Initially, the online platform for operation Santa was limited in New York (started in 2017) but by 2019 the digitization of the program was successful all over the United States so anyone could adopt any letter that touched their hearts without any geographical bounds within the country and send them free Christmas gifts by mail.

In 2020, a heart-warming documentary on USPS’s Operation Santa namely “Dear Santa” was premiered on big screens across the US which depicts the beautiful hundred-year-old tradition where children write letters to Santa to receive free Christmas gifts by mail, not left upset wondering if they’d been naughty and not nice or done something wrong depending on the monetary situation of their guardians.

To watch the trailer for “Dear Santa”, Click on the link below:  

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7xams9

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Apply for Free Christmas Gifts Through Be an Elf:

Apply for Free Christmas Gifts Through Be an Elf

“Be an elf” promotes kids and families going through financial crunches to write letters for people to see and potentially adopt so they can receive free Christmas gifts by mail.

To see examples of said letters who may have received free toys for Christmas before writing one, click on the following link:

https://www.uspsoperationsanta.com/letters

If you are applying for USPS’s operation Santa, make sure to write your letter and mail it, with real stamps between 1st of November and 10th of December 2021.

Be an elf sweetly describes this early mailing procedure as a justification for the letters being mailed all the way to the north pole to Santa Claus and the time needed for the elves (that can be you if you volunteer!) to prepare their gifts.

It should be noted that letters mailed after the 10th of December will sadly not be considered this year.

The organization also provides certain helpful tips to the kids and parents who are going to apply for free Christmas gifts by writing these letters. They have been summarized below:

1 A handwritten letter by the kid honestly asking for what he or she needs, describing their situation is bound to resonate with the reader, but it is advisable to have a parent add a letter or note of their own with their kids so a more reasonable and clearer picture of the household can be seen by the potential adopter of the letter who is willing to provide free Christmas toys for low income families.

2. The website clearly mentions that although a few requests for electronics like PS4s and tablets may be fulfilled but these are expensive items and may not always be able to be given as Christmas gifts by Santa’s helpers and elves are volunteers who are ordinary but kind people whose hearts are filled with love but a very scattered and less amount of people can afford to buy such expensive gifts for Christmas charities for low income families.

So, it is better to ask for much more reasonable gifts that you are in genuine need of, like sweaters, socks, books, school supplies, etc to get them as free Christmas gifts by mail at your doorstep!

3. They encourage all members of a family to mail all their letters in a single envelope so the volunteer can get a clearer image of their situation, feel more moved and may even choose to adopt the whole family and send them a larger amount of free Christmas gifts by mail!

The address to send these letters to apply for free Christmas Gifts are:

Santa Claus

123 Elf Road

North Pole 88888

Becoming an Elf:

Referencing their own words, being an elf lets you practice “micro- philanthropy” as with no indulgence by any mediators or middlemen, the process lets you give, directly from you to the child whose letter you chose to adopt.

If you want to help provide Christmas help for needy families by giving free Christmas gifts for low income families using be an elf, you can do either of the two following options:

1. You can donate money directly in the fund run, either as a one-time donation or a continuous/regular one by being an elf using the link: https://beanelf.org/give/.

You can also mail them checks to the address:

Be An Elf

8117 West Manchester Ave, Suite 500

Playa del Rey CA 90293

2. The more preferred way is by going through the letters written by children and their families, choosing the one or multiple ones that touch your heart the most and personally sending them free Christmas gifts by mail.

To do the same you need to follow these steps:

  1. Go to the official website for USPS operation Santa. The link for the same is: https://www.uspsoperationsanta.com/.
  2. Read through the many letters available on the website and choose the one that resonates with you the most.
  3. Adhering to the shopping guidelines, prepare and pack your gifts and send free Christmas gifts for low income families. To read the full shopping guidelines, click on the following link: https://www.uspsoperationsanta.com/faqs#shipping.
  4. Make sure to mail them anonymously as these gifts from Santa!
  5. Send your free Christmas gifts by mail by posting them to participating post offices by December 19 so they can reach their homes by Christmas!
  6. Use the following link: https://www.uspsoperationsanta.com/ship#find-location to find the post office closest to you and send all the free Christmas gifts for low income families that you can.

Note: Although people from all income backgrounds can write to Santa, USPS and be an elf whose vision is to provide Christmas help for needy families, give preference to families struggling financially.

You can also adopt as a team, split the costs and send in more, free Christmas gifts for low income families!

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Family Giving Tree:

Family Giving Tree is a non-profit organization that has a Holiday Wish Drive Program that works on providing a maximum number of free Christmas gifts for low income families.

Established in 1990, the family giving tree has provided around two million gifts in San Francisco and if you want to contribute in this extremely noble cause, you can provide Christmas help for needy families by doing either or all of the following options given by the family giving tree:

  • Donating: Any amount donated by an individual is considered generous and kind as it helps them to make bulk purchases and expand their reach and organize Christmas giveaways for low income families.
  • Lead-a-Drive: If you want to go a step further and take more responsibility in terms of organizing Christmas charities for low income families, you can do the same by arranging your own drive under Family Giving Tree. You can create a drive virtually as well through their virtual giving tree platform.
  • Volunteering: As Santa needs his elves, people who donate also need volunteers who can help sort, wrap and prepare the gifts so they can be sent to their partnered non-profit organizations, schools, etc. So, if you want to help and you cannot afford to give in any money this year, volunteering can be an amazing way to still provide Christmas help for needy families.

To read heart-warming stories of family giving tree, go on the following link: https://familygivingtree.org/holiday/holiday-stories.

The holiday wish drive likes to get a jump start on their Christmas preparations, the deadline to apply for free Christmas gifts is tentatively in July so make sure to get your applications in by then to get a chance to receive free toys for Christmas.

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How to Apply for Free Christmas Gifts Through Family Giving Tree:

How to Apply for Free Christmas Gifts Through Family Giving Tree

You need to finish your application form (link at the bottom) to get free toys for Christmas and submit it alongside your individual 501c3 or EIN number. In about a week or ten days, you will receive a letter confirming your acceptance or otherwise.

If selected, the agencies conduct interviews with the kids to understand their situation thoroughly and get to know their Christmas wishes.

These wishes are made into wish cards which are given to the companies and groups wanting to provide free Christmas gifts for low income families by participating in the holiday wish drive program.

The link to the application form to apply for free Christmas gifts is:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdUtd57-cJ-kgCmi2KUzJvGlltEh61t60orUFeJDvS-N4s5cQ/viewform

The family giving tree successfully arranges Christmas giveaways for low income families every year by partnering up with more than 300 schools, non-profit organizations, homeless and community centers, etc to make sure Christmas reaches every house.

Toys for Tots:

The program, which was initially founded by reservist Major Bill Hendricks, is now one of the most renowned Christmas charities for low income families in the US and is run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve.

They have helped around 272 million children and distributed an estimate of 604 million toys with the vision of providing free Christmas help for needy families.

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Apply for Free Christmas Toys Through Toys for Tots:

Apply for Free Christmas Toys Through Toys for Tots

The basic vision of toys for tots is to provide unwrapped and free Christmas toys for low-income families.

To apply for free Christmas toys, find Local Marine Toys for Tots Campaigns in your community. The link to do the same is:

https://www.toysfortots.org/request_toys/Default.aspx

After finding the campaign nearest to you, visit their local website to find detailed instructions. Toy applications are taken in and acceptances are also managed by local marine toys for tots campaigns, so contact them to get detailed instructions as to how their particular branch deals with the provision of free Christmas gifts for low-income families.

Generally, when you apply for free Christmas gifts, you will have to provide your name and your children’s names, proof of residence and a brief description of your situation and why you need their help.

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Mechanism of Toys for Tots:

Mechanism of Toys for Tots

Toy collections drives and campaigns start in October and last until late December which overlaps with the toy distribution time which is mid to late December. Local businesses have collection boxes for free Christmas gifts for low-income families where people can drop off new, unwrapped toys.

Coordinators take these free toys for Christmas to their local warehouses where they are sorted by age and gender. At Christmas, these coordinators with the help of various non-profits, church organizations, etc. distribute these toys for kids who need them in Christmas giveaways for low-income families.

To check your application status, click on the following link: https://www.toysfortots.org/contact_us/application-status/Default.aspx

Make Donations for Toys for Tots:

Make Donations for Toys for Tots

As there are thousands of applicants who apply for free Christmas gifts, any and all help by anyone is greatly appreciated. If you are someone who wants to extend a helping hand, toys for tots let you do the same in various ways. Like:

1. You can make a direct donation that will be utilized in providing Christmas help for needy families using their one-step secure process. The link for the same is:

https://www.toysfortots.org/donate/forms/simple/Default.aspx

You can donate money for free Christmas toys for low-income families using PayPal as well, the link for that is:

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_sxclick&hosted_button_id=PGR2NFNB3B4PL&source=url

You can send free Christmas gifts by mail as well. Just download the one-page form using this link: https://www.toysfortots.org/donate/donation-docs/mail-in-donation-form.pdf.

Mail this form with your cheque, money order or credit card information to the following address which will be used to buy and distribute free Christmas gifts for low-income families:

Marine Toys for Tots Foundation

Gift Processing Administrator

18251 Quantico Gateway Drive

Triangle, VA 22172

2. You locally donate a toy in one of the drop out stations or if you want to go a step further, you can host a donation for free Christmas toys for low-income families drop out at your house after contacting your local marine toys for tots campaign.

3. You can buy and donate toys online using the option of virtual toy boxes which will be ordered and paid for by your donation and act like free Christmas toys for low-income families.

4. They in their own words describe their next option for donation i.e., in their literacy program as “need your support to deliver books to children to help break the cycle of poverty.” They send in books using the donated money as free Christmas gifts for low-income families. Use this link to donate: https://marinetoysfortots.salsalabs.org/upsliteracyprogram/index.html

To explore other options of helping toys for tots and extending a helping hand and providing Christmas help for needy families, read more on their official website which has been linked below:

https://www.toysfortots.org/donate/Default.aspx

  • Operation Homefront’s Holiday Drive:

Operation Homefront is a 501 non-profit organization that tries to help military families so they can thrive in societies they work so hard to protect.

One of the many schemes that operation Homefront works on to achieve its goal is its holiday toy drive, in a partnership with dollar tree to give free Christmas gifts for low-income families (essentially military-based).

The number of people who apply for free Christmas gifts is narrowed down to people who have a member in the military which increases your chance of receiving free toys for Christmas if it applies to you or your family.

Throughout all dollar tree stores, collection boxes are placed near the checkout counters through 2nd of December where people can donate their toys which all together act as the bulk for free Christmas toys for low-income families.

You can even volunteer in the distribution process of these gifts. Volunteers collect the donated toys and distribute them through their on-base Family Readiness Groups and nationwide holiday events.

  • Salvation Army’s Angel Tree:

The Salvation Army is one of the US’s most famous international charitable organizations and Christian churches and as expected, they also provide a Christmas charity for low-income families.

They are in partnership with Walmart and rescue Christmas to make sure that they can supply free Christmas gifts for low-income families through angel trees.

Families ranging from moderate to low monetary status can apply to Angel tree. What makes this stand apart from the rest is that if you apply for free Christmas gifts through an angel tree, you need to make sure that you are not enrolled in any other programs which narrow down the number of applicants here.

How Angel tree works are that an individual who is going to apply for free Christmas gifts undergoes qualification criteria check which includes document verification of the following (maybe more can be asked according to your branch): birth certificates, official custody of guardianships, shoe and clothing sizes for obvious reasons and a wish-list for that particular person.

No personal information but the name and Wishlist is shared with the donors who can choose to convert an applicant into an angel by sending them free toys for Christmas.

Although many Salvation Army centers run angel trees and help to provide Christmas help for needy families, they may or may not be operative in your locality so it is advisable to contact the center with the closest proximity and ask them beforehand if they are participating.

Some salvation army centers allow online applications for getting free toys for Christmas.

Use the following link to check if you can apply for free Christmas gifts online by entering your zip code:

https://saangeltree.org/

The time span to apply for free Christmas gifts is September to November but it is advised to apply as soon as possible to increase the chances of getting selected.

Many centers create paper angels from these wishes and they are displayed in high traffic areas near them so that people willing to buy free Christmas gifts for low-income families can do so by dropping these wishes to their nearest salvation army where they are later picked up by volunteers and distributed to poor children so they can get free toys for Christmas.

  • Operation Christmas Child:

Functioning as an extension to Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas child provides shoeboxes filled with rather practical gifts for kids who need them.

Check out their official website: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/ to volunteer at processing centers and browse through ways to give Christmas help to needy families.

  • Santa’s Little Helpers:

Santa’s little helpers are an online Reddit community where people come together to provide Christmas help for needy families. The official link to their Reddit community is: https://www.reddit.com/r/SantasLittleHelpers/.

Although anyone can apply for the free Christmas gifts provided by them, they generally go for families who cannot afford Christmas at all.

Applications start from late October on both their Reddit threads and official website.

The official website for Santa’s little helpers where you can apply for free Christmas gifts online is:

https://www.santaslittlehelpers.net/registrations/

They use amazon to let applicants build their carts with their maximum budget being seventy-five dollars. The shipping address is set to the applicant’s address as per their form so they can receive free Christmas gifts by mail.

  • Assistance League:

Although assistance leagues are not available everywhere, they greatly help communities where they have their centers. They have many Christmas charities for low-income families providing food, gifts, etc.

They let people adopt low-income families and send them food and free toys for Christmas. They also provide gift cards to supermarkets and local retail centers as extended Christmas help for needy families.

To find the nearest assistance league center or donate to their cause, use the following link: https://www.assistanceleague.org/.

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Boys and Girls Clubs of America:

Boys and Girls Clubs of America

Working on building responsible citizens, the boys and girls clubs of America also arrange Christmas giveaways for low-income families alongside the provision of meals, etc. Contact them to acquire more knowledge about the same.

The official site to donate or find clubs near you is: https://www.bgca.org/

  • Catholic Charities

Many local churches run Christmas charities for low-income families where they provide many programs including the “Christmas basket” program where people give Christmas help for needy families in the form of giving them canned goods, produce, turkey, etc.

So they can have a full Christmas dinner. They also connect willing donors who want to give free Christmas gifts for low-income families to deserving people.

Visit their site to read more about them or donate: https://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/

  • Lions Clubs

Lions clubs, most famously, extend Christmas help for needy families by hosting parties where anyone can walk in for a meal.

Read more about them in their own words or join them via the following link: https://www.lionsclubs.org/en

  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, established in 1833, is a lay catholic worldwide organization that runs on the vision of following Christ’s call to serve the poor, the suffering, and the deprived.

They provide Christmas help for needy families by collecting and distributing toys locally. Their programs vary from state to state

To know more, click on: https://ssvpusa.org/

Some other programs that provide Christmas help for needy families in some way or the other:

  • YMCA and YWCA

They are leading non-profits that partner up with other organizations like toys for tots, salvation army, etc and provide Christmas help for needy families by volunteering and donating.

  • Make a Wish

Make a wish in a non-profit organization that works for fulfilling the wishes of ill children across the U.S. and although their program is not designated to a particular holiday, ill children belonging to low-income backgrounds can apply for free Christmas gifts as wishes as their “make a wish” wish.  

  • The Prison Fellowship Program:

The prison fellowship program provides free Christmas gifts for low-income families who have a family member who is incarcerated.

  • Christmas Spirit Foundation

Very much like Operation Homefront, the Christmas spirit foundation focuses on helping military families. Instead of sending free toys for Christmas, they send free Christmas trees as every gift needs a tree to sit under!

  • Meals on Wheels

Meals on wheels operates through easter, thanksgiving and Christmas providing free frozen food or hot boxes of food to people who need them and during Christmas, they may even include free Christmas gifts for low-income families who are a part of meals on wheels.

As it is a national service that runs widely on donations, if the funds allow it, they even send Christmas gifts by mail.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Frequently Asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions regarding how to apply for free Christmas gifts have been answered below:

1. Can One Application Be Used for All While I Apply for Free Christmas Gifts?

No, all organizations have slightly different eligibility criteria, forms and documents that may be required to be verified. So, it is highly advisable to go through the eligibility and requirements for each application that you fill-up.

2. How Can I Be Sure That My “Be an Elf” Application Letter Gets Chosen?

There is no textbook answer to that question as donors choose letters that touch their hearts the most and there is no way to make sure that it happens. It is always encouraged that one is truly honest about their household and financial situation.

Mentioning the reason as to why you need their help and are applying alongside how much it would mean to you if you are selected always helps to get selected to obtain free toys for Christmas.

3. Should I Apply to All Organizations That Are Giving Free Christmas Gifts to Low-Income Families?

Ans) As no place can assure you of getting free Christmas toys for Christmas, it seems wise to apply in every place that arranges Christmas giveaways for low-income families as it maximizes the chance of being selected somewhere.

But make sure to read the terms and conditions with the eligibility criteria while applying as some organizations prefer the applicants do not apply elsewhere.

4. Can I Write a Thank You Note to the Person Sending Me My Gift?

Ans) Most organizations that provide free Christmas toys for low-income families through donors keep them anonymous but one can write to the organization thanking them for starting this initiative of providing Christmas help for needy families.

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2 thoughts on “Free Christmas Gifts for Low Income Families: Gift, Toys, Holiday”

  1. Hello! My family is joint family all work hard for money for my school fees and we don’t celebrate Christmas because we don’t have money for gifts there are 4 kids in family including me I am in 8 standard.

    I saw this and read it .if you can help that will be thank full. Thank you wish you a good luck

    Reply
  2. Yes my mom is a 62 years old and she is on based income witch isn’t that much,so also have 5 children in her house hold. From age 7 to 16. She really needs help with Christmas. If you can help that would be awesome. Thank You. God Bless

    Reply

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