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Free Christmas Assistance For Single Mothers

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Holidays can be a difficult time, especially for single parents navigating through this period on a limited budget. This Christmas does not have to be like that. Whatever challenges may come your way, you shouldn't have to think about missing a holiday meal or denying your child the perfect Christmas gift.

The resources around you, including holiday programs and charitable assistance programs, can help you and your family have the most wonderful holiday season, so don't hesitate to reach out to them for help if your child doesn't have a present to open on Christmas morning. You can get holiday cheer by participating in these programs that provide Christmas help for single moms and even parent households in general.

Salvation Army Angel Tree

Christmas morning should be a joyous experience for every child. Thousands of charities rally to ensure that families receive gifts from the Salvation Army every year. Local chapters provide children with gifts every year by recruiting sponsors through gift giveaway events.

Christmas wish lists are shared with local donors who buy gifts of new clothing and toys on behalf of the child or senior. Once the gifts are delivered, the gifts are placed under the tree by the family and are enjoyed by all. If you would like your child's name on a Christmas tree, you should register to receive Christmas toys through your local social services department or call the Salvation Army to find out how to apply. Remember to have your proof of address ready to facilitate the process.

Lion’s Club International

Lions Clubs International has a significant footprint, often helping families with initiatives such as food box distributions and gift cards or gift certificates for holiday resources. Check the online directory to identify the Lions Club group(s) in your area to see if they can offer Christmas help for single moms. Get in touch with them and ask for help during the holidays. Don't hesitate to ask what you need since many Lions Club members are likely to help you.

Lion's Club provides Christmas help for single parent households, ensuring a joyous time for families. Contact your local Lion's Club for more information. Please do this within 1-2 months of the Christmas holiday to request assistance. Volunteers and donations are limited, so assistance is given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Adopt A Family

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul established the Adopt A Family program, facilitating gifts to families through generous donors. Families living in their homeless shelter or supportive housing program are matched with generous donors through Adopt A Family. It encourages monetary donations to help brighten the holidays for financially struggling families while providing donors with an opportunity to make a meaningful and impactful donation.

Each needy family member makes a wish list, including the adults in the adult family setup. This referral service avails the list to potential donors every year on November 5, making shopping easier and more enjoyable for donors.

Christmas Connection

During the Christmas season, Catholic Charities assist individuals and families in need and provide Christmas help for single moms. In addition to gifts and clothing, they provide household essentials like pots, dishes, and linens. If you require their assistance, you will be able to find out how to do so from any of their Catholic Charities groups. Search their national website by entering your city, state, or ZIP code, then contact your local Catholic Charities office by phone or email for assistance. The representative will answer any questions and provide you with detailed instructions on getting Christmas help for single moms.

United Way

United Way’s programs support those in need. The program is open to those who can apply, but referrals are also accepted. Additionally, sponsors can help ease your stress this season by adopting entire families and providing Christmas help for single moms.

A Christmas Bureau administered by United Way helps low-income families in cities across the United States. As a result of donations throughout the holiday season, the Christmas Bureau can provide food and gifts directly to the poor. Please visit United Way’s website for assistance. Upon entering your ZIP code, you should see detailed information about your local United Way chapter, including a phone number that you can call, a physical address where you can mail a letter asking for assistance, and usually a fax number. 

The Christmas Bureau can be reached by contacting your local United Way office. The staff members will promptly provide details on how to receive help from people unfamiliar with the program.

Christmas SPIRIT Foundation

The Trees for Troops program is one of many Christmas SPIRIT Foundation programs that acknowledge and support the Christmas Spirit. Christmas programs foster a spirit of giving among kids and families and provide Christmas help for single moms. A nonprofit trade association for farm-grown Christmas trees, the foundation was founded in 2005 as the charitable division of the National Christmas Tree Association. The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation has provided various programs in the past, in addition to Trees for Troops, including college scholarships, online teaching materials, and hurricane relief.

Independent Charities of America has awarded the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation the “Best in America” seal of excellence. Through its registration as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, CSF participates in the Combined Federal Campaign, the world’s largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, with more than 200 campaigns nationally and internationally that raise millions of dollars annually. During the campaign season, CSF and other organizations that provide health and human services worldwide receive contributions from federal civilian, postal, and military donors.

Cars 4 Christmas

Rural and suburban areas account for a large percentage of the population that needs basic transportation. Generally speaking, there are few options for public transportation in those areas. Transportation is still required to find employment or seek medical treatment. This is where the Cars 4 Christmas car charity comes in.

It gives free charity cars to qualifying individuals and families all year long and uses the holiday season to raise public awareness of its charitable cause. Cars4Heroes is expanding the organization’s reach to veterans and their families nationwide. The organization annually distributes hundreds of cars filled with groceries, toys, cleaning supplies, child safety seats, and gas cards.

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots is an annual program sponsored by the US Marines that collects toys for children of needy families. Toys For Tots provides you with new, unwrapped toys. Those interested in registering their children and requesting toys at Toys For Tots should contact their local Department of Human Services, 2-1-1, or Catholic Charities for information on when and where the event will be held. 

Again, if you have any trouble, you can contact local charities, civic organizations, or the Department of Social Services in your area. You can either request a toy or donate a  toy. Toys set up donations boxes for Tots in several states. As part of their festive season campaign, they partner with sponsors such as Toys” R” Us, Babies” R” U, Disney, and Macy’s to give brand new toys to the children.

Toys for Tots can provide your child with a new toy from Santa if you’re worried that he won’t have a merry Christmas. To brighten the holidays for children in need, the organization collects toys and distributes them. By selecting your state on the official website, you can request a toy. Then, you will receive local instructions for requesting and picking up the toy.

Family Giving Tree

Their Holiday Wish Drive offers an opportunity to make a child’s life better. Every year, they receive names and wishes of the children they serve from more than 250 Bay Area, California agencies. A wish card is printed for each child, detailing their age, gender, first name, and the gift they wish to receive. Companies, schools, and organizations in the Bay Area, California, display wish cards, often attached to trees, in their lobbies and other public spaces. The success of this program is due to the generosity of customers, employees, and students. The Family Giving Tree does not work directly with individuals but with regional Social Service Agencies in northern California seeking assistance. Please get in touch with your local Social Services office for more information. Before contacting them, please visit their “Who We Help” page. 

Operation Santa

Children are granted their Christmas wishes through Operation Santa. Employees sort out children’s letters to Santa from all mailed to the post office. Personal information is removed before the letters are copied. Post offices participate in fulfilling the Christmas wishes of the children by offering these to community members. By adopting real letters from underprivileged children, you can send gifts directly to the children who wrote to Santa. 

As part of USPS Operation Santa, letters to Santa from children have been available to read and adopt since 1912. Many of them are written by kids or moms asking for necessities such as “new shoes, size 6,” or a warm coat for their five-year-old. Letters continue to pour in daily, and the “elves” at the post office pick them for posting.

Over the holidays, some volunteers feel alone and sad and find inspiration and comfort in adopting a child’s letter. Other volunteers have families and teach their children the importance of Christmas. The USPS website allows anyone in the US to print out their adopted letter and a barcoded shipping label. 

To send their gifts, volunteers who adopt letters must scan the labels at one of the 19,000 US Postal Service branches. If volunteers are late with their packages, post offices can accept them until January 14, 2022.

Urban League

More than 1,000 low-income families are served by the Urban League through the 100 Neediest Cases program. More than 300 families are adopted during the holiday season by the Urban League. Numerous items are given to adopted families, including bed linens, clothing, shoes, appliances, etc. The families are also provided financial assistance.

In 1922, the 100 Neediest Cases was created as a charitable campaign that selected 100 families and individuals to receive assistance during November and December. Charities and sponsoring organizations are responsible for administrative costs. Local nonprofits adopt individuals and donate food, medications, household supplies, and holiday gifts. 


You may be able to receive assistance for your family or for another needy family you may know from your church. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your pastor if you wish. Whether your church has already started collecting food items and toys for Christmas and Thanksgiving for the needy, see if you qualify as a recipient. You are also welcome to contact your local church and inquire about their programs if they exist and apply even if you do not attend church.
Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!

Exploring free Christmas assistance options for single mothers? Broaden your horizons by learning about the comprehensive aid available through hardship grants for single mothers in our latest blog post. Take a step towards a more secure and joyful holiday season today!

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Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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