With the holidays so close, many people that are having financial difficulties are understandably stressed. We completely get how discouraging this time of year can be, but we also know that there’s always hope. Fortunately, there are more than a few FREE Christmas gift options in the Fresno Area, so if you are struggling, consider these options so that everyone can have a Merry Christmas.
Get FREE Christmas gifts in Fresno, California!
Assistance League of Fresno has been established to help both elderly shut-ins and the children of Fresno. Their giving programs, which are often referred to as “operations,” are designed to provide gift boxes to the infirm, clothes for students, and teddy bears to victims of domestic violence. They can be reached at 559-349-0220.
Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission holds their Making Spirits Bright celebration every year and has been doing so for almost 25 years. This giving program selects a different elementary school in the Fresno County area each year. During the event, gifts are given to low-income children, meals are provided that have a festive theme, and the children can even take some time to have photos taken with Santa himself. Find out more about the even at 559-263-1000.
Fresno Rescue Mission was created to help people in the Fresno area find food. Every year, the mission has dedicated itself to helping low-income families achieve a Merry Christmas via their Christmas program. On any given day, the mission keeps its doors open to anyone and provides recovery programs that are designed to help people move past their life difficulties, take part in community care initiatives, and even has programs to help those that have experienced domestic violence. Reach out to the Fresno Rescue Mission at 559-268-0839.
Marjaree Mason Center is a center that was founded to help free the Fresno community from domestic violence. Every year, the center has a series of holiday giving programs that can help provide free toys for children or provide some holiday meals for families during the season. Additionally, the center also hosts donation drives so that families that have been affected by domestic violence can be supported. To find out more about their programs, contact their office at 559-237-4706.
Northpointe Community Church is a non-denominational church that relishes in community giving as a means to improve Fresno. Every year, Northpoint hosts its Christmas Toy Store. At this store, the families of Toby Lawless Elementary School are treated to a full store’s worth of toys at greatly discounted prices. These toys are all donated by the congregation and the surrounding community, and the proceeds help improve the elementary school. Contact them at 559-276-2300.
Poverello House has been providing help to people having difficulties for more than 20 years now. The charity provides food, shelter, and resources to the Fresno community, but during the Christmas season, the charity also has been known to provide toys for children as well. In fact, in the 2015 Christmas season, the Poverello House provided 3,000 toys to children in need. They also provide three square meals a day for the entire year for Fresno residents. To reach them, call 559-498-6988.
Saint Anthony of Padua is a Catholic church that prides itself on serving the Fresno area and providing for those that are in need. Every holiday season, the church holds an important event: the Advent Giving Tree/Project Santa. This event works somewhat like an Advent calendar; the ornaments presented on the tree are actual items needed by the community. For example, items like Vaseline, toothbrushes, and personal care items are requested. Additionally, the church also provides gently used clothes and games for young children. You can reach the church at 559-439-0124.
Salvation Army has programs that allow for families to be “adopted,” which means that volunteers will provide things like toys and gift cards in order to make the holiday season easier. This branch of the Salvation Army can be contacted at 559-233-0139.
United Way Fresno Toys for Tots is a program run by the United Way of Fresno and Madera Counties. The charity already does a lot of good work, including having programs for tax assistance, running career fairs, and providing free dental services for children. The Toys for Tots program accepts donations of cash and gifts that are then distributed to community members in need. As a result, this program has helped tens of thousands of children have toys for Christmas. Reach out to them at 559-244-5710.
Get FREE food for the holidays in Fresno, CA!
One of the Community Food Bank’s most amazing statistics is that the charity serves over 280,000 people per month. Established as a means to ensure that low-income families have a way to eat nutritiously, the Community Food Bank has initiatives like the BackPack program, which provides children with a backpack full of food and the Mobile Pantry program that distributes to the rural areas of Fresno County. These programs are especially beneficial during the holiday season when resources can be scarce and hard to come by, so reach out to them at 559-237-3663.
The Catholic Charities Diocese of Fresno Food Pantries grants families in the Fresno area eight visits in a calendar year. During these visits, families are given food that’s been donated by the Fresno community so that children can eat healthily when things get tough. There are no eligibility requirements to receive food from the pantries; just be there between the hours that it’s open and you and your family can receive food for a bountiful Christmas dinner.