Every year, as the holidays approach, families around the world gather together to celebrate with festive decorations, feasts of all flavors and varieties and often also an exchange of gifts. What’s very easy to forget during these times of feasting and celebrating is the fact that there are so many families in the world that are struggling just to put food on the table for the kids, holiday gifts and elaborate parties just aren’t in the picture for them. They desperate need the Christmas help that’s available for low income families
I’m going to share a little bit about my own past that I don’t share with many people I meet today. While I am now a fairly well-paid electrical engineer, and I’ve finally hit a certain level of success with my writing, I’ve not always been at this level of financial comfort in my life. I was a child in a family with one brother who had serious medical problems for most of his childhood, and parents who struggled to earn enough simply to make the 3 hour trips necessary to take him to the specialist, let alone feed five kids.
Things weren’t always easy when Christmas came around and there was very little (if any) money for presents or celebration. I remember my young friends talking about their 14 or 15 awesome presents, and quickly leaving so that I didn’t have to tell them the truth. I remember the year my father lost his job at the wood chip mill, when people in the community came together to help to anonymously give the children in our family some of the coolest gifts. To this day I wonder who the wonderful people were who donated those gifts for us that year.
Here at MakeUseOf, a few writers covered various innovative ways that you can support charities, such as Givv, which lets you donate to various charities with one monthly donation, and GoodSearch, a fantastic search engine where half of all ad revenue goes to support the charities that you choose. In this post I’d like to offer the flip side of this coin, not how you can give, but how you can receive. A little bit of Christmas help for low income families today who are in those kind of circumstances, where simple survival takes all of your resources, and you simply have nothing left to make the holiday magical for your kids.
7 Top Sources That Offer Christmas Help for Low Income Families
The following resources are some of the most important organizations that do some very impressive work for families in need during the holidays (and the whole year). I’m afraid the majority of organizations on this list are U.S. based, but I did search for as many non-U.S. charities as I could – if you know of any and you can share those websites with readers, that would be very helpful and appreciated. To start with, I would like to mention one of the most important organizations that helps the families of kids who are terribly sick.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation is one of the world’s most important charitable foundations, not simply because they grant the Christmas wishes of children, but because they grant all wishes of kids throughout the year. Even more importantly, they do so for kids who face life-threatening medical conditions aged from 2 1/2 to 18 years old.
If you know such a child and are eligible to refer that child, I would encourage you to do so as soon as you can. I guarantee the 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.
Of course, no list of resources for families in need during the holidays would be complete without a mention for the. For some reason, charities like these make it much easier to give (usually straight from their home page) than to receive. I don’t think this is by design, but simply because it takes so much more effort to collect donations.
Of all charities in the world, I think 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, and I’ve seen the lines just outside the soup kitchens and food pantries of people hoping to collect a little 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. Just click on the link above and search for the closest location where you live using the map on the right side of the page.
Also, if you live in the UK, don’t forget to check out the branch of the Salvation Army based there.
Another fascinating charity that most people probably wouldn’t normally contemplate is the Angel Tree Church program by the Prison Fellowship Organization. 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 that end up 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 a lot more barren and depressing than most of us could possibly imagine. The Prison Fellowship seeks to show these children through “Angel Tree” gift collections across the world, that even if they live a community where everything seems hopeless, that there is a world out there where people love them and care about them. A similar charity to this is the ToysForTots organization operated by the U.S. Marine Corp.
Finally, 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 the UK based ToyBox do for children across the world – it’s enough to warm your heart four times over.
While I’ve only listed a few charities that can offer Christmas help for low income families, there are many more. The UK based website Donation4Charity.org is not only one of the best websites to find charities to donate to, but it’s also a great way to discover the charities that may be able to offer your family some help.
And, no matter where you are or what your circumstances are during the holiday season and throughout the entire year, I’d like to wish all MakeUseOf readers a very festive holiday season, and a very prosperous and successful new year.