Every year, as the holidays approach, families around the world gather to celebrate with festive decorations, feasts of all flavors, and often also an exchange of gifts. What’s easy to forget during these festive times is the fact that there are many families around the world that are struggling just to put food on the table.
In this article, you’ll learn all about how you can give or receive help with a variety of charities focused on providing Christmas support for struggling families.
For many families, simple survival takes all of their resources. But the following charities can help these families make the holidays magical for their kids.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation is one of the world’s most important children’s charitable foundations, not simply because they grant the Christmas wishes of children, but because they grant all wishes of kids throughout the year.
More importantly, they do so for kids who face life-threatening medical conditions aged from two and a half to 18 years old. The Make-a-Wish Foundation will make that child’s holiday one of the most magical and special that they’ve ever experienced. And if you miss the holidays, don’t worry—the foundation grants the wishes of these children the whole year.
If you know a child within this age bracket, and you are eligible to refer a child, the child’s wish will most likely come true. To make a wish, you have to fill out the referral inquiry form.
Of course, no list of resources for families in need during the holidays would be complete without mention of the Salvation Army. Of all charities in the world, when it comes to the holidays, the Salvation Army really comes out in full force.
You’ll see them with collection tins and ringing bells just about everywhere you go when you’re shopping for holiday gifts. You’ve probably even seen the lines of people just outside the Salvation Army soup kitchens and food pantries. These are people just hoping to collect a bit of food to get them through.
If you find yourself in need of a miracle for your kids during the holiday, you will do well by asking this organization for help.
The core services offered by the Salvation Army include:
- Angel Tree Program: In this program, the Salvation Army provides Christmas gifts for less privileged children in the form of clothes and toys.
- Grocery and Food Assistance: Meals delivered to struggling families not only during the holidays but all year.
- Bill-Pay Assistance: The Salvation Army helps families pay for heat and electric, so they can afford to enjoy the holidays.
- Holiday Events: Hosted Christmas events, including gift parties for children and visits to children’s’ hospitals.
Another fascinating Christmas charity that most people probably wouldn’t consider is the Angel Tree Christmas program put on by Prison Fellowship.
When people think of helping kids, they often picture families with two hard-working parents who are doing everything they can to make ends meet but just can’t seem to bring in enough. However, have you ever considered what happens to those kids whose parents are criminals in prison?
The truth is, these are children who did nothing wrong to deserve the situation they’re in. But with their parents in prison, they usually have a holiday that’s more depressing than most of us could possibly imagine.
The Prison Fellowship seeks to show these children compassion through “Angel Tree” gift collections across the world; that even if they live in a community where everything seems hopeless, there is a world out there where people love them and care about them.
If you’re a Marine, or you know any Marines, then you know that one of the most important elements of being a Marine is serving the community. In this spirit, the US Marine Corps runs a program called Toys For Tots, which collects toy donations from the community in order to give those toys to children in need in local communities.
Toys for Tots is a well-known community charity, and usually many people throughout various charities and community organizations assist the Marines in raising a cache of toys to be used as gifts.
Everyone knows that Christmas is one of the most important and magical holidays for children across the world. That’s why giving to a charity like Toys for Tots is one of those things that makes anyone feel good about contributing to something.
United Way is one of the most well-known charities that helps families all year. But during Christmas, the United Way goes into high gear to help families during the holidays in many ways. In addition to collaborating with various other charities to support Gift Tree initiatives, the United Way also provides Christmas assistance programs to families in need.
If you don’t know where to turn for help during the holidays, the United Way is the perfect organization to turn to. This is because the organization has connections to nearly every single charity in your community.
No matter what your situation, the United Way can likely help this holiday season. If you click on Contact Us on the United Way website, you’ll find a helpful FAQ area that will direct you in the right direction to get more help. If you’re looking to give, just click the Donate button on the main page to get further details on where and how you can give.
Operated by the Christian relief organization known as the Samaritan’s Purse, this charity provides partner charities around the world with shoeboxes that are filled with toys, school supplies, and other goodies for children in need.
The shoeboxes are filled with materials donated by people from all around the world. It doesn’t require a lot to fill a shoebox, but the difference it can make to a child who doesn’t have anything during the holidays is significant.
The organization even sends its shoeboxes to communities in need in countries all around the world. This includes communities affected by things like famine, war, disease, and more. If you don’t want to donate items, the organization accepts financial donations, which helps them purchase the items they require as well as covering the shipping costs.
If you really want to get into the Christmas spirit, donating to a charity like the Christmas Spirit Foundation will definitely work.
Imagine being a soldier stationed overseas, far from your family and loved ones.
The Christmas Spirit Foundation organizes a program called Trees for Troops, which involves packaging and shipping Christmas trees to troops stationed overseas all around the world.
A Christmas tree can make all the difference to lift the spirits of men and women stationed in remote locations. Even though they can’t be home with their loved ones for the holidays, a Christmas tree at least brings them the memory of home during Christmas.
One Simple Wish strives to fulfill the wishes of all the children in foster care. Through its partners, it receives the wishes of the children, lists them on its site, and collects donations to fulfill them.
So, you can find hundreds of holiday wishes here. These are about health, essential items, education, or even just fun and experiences. On its site, you can view the details of various wishes and kids and choose the wish you want to grant.
If you’re confused, you can simply contribute any amount to the OSW Holiday Giving Fund. Through this fund, One Simple Wish grants requests which haven’t been fulfilled yet. Besides this, you can pledge a monthly donation, start a wish fund, or volunteer.
Give What You Can During the Holidays
One thing that all children in developed nations should be taught during the holiday season is that even if their own family is struggling, there are children in other parts of the world that don’t even have food to eat.
While it’s hard to go with no presents during the holidays, most kids understand that they’re lucky to have a roof over their heads and warm food to eat. When you look at what amazing organizations like those above do for children across the world, it’s enough to warm your heart four times over.
While the focus of this list has been charities that can offer Christmas help for low-income families, it’s important to be as charitable as you can year-round.
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