Need free Christmas gifts, toys or food in Phoenix or the surrounding area in Maricopa County, AZ? We know firsthand how frustrating it is when you can’t provide your kiddos with a huge holiday celebration. Sometimes, financial stress can make the holidays downright stressful and depressing. Fortunately, there are agencies that can help!
Free Christmas Gifts in Phoenix and Maricopa County, AZ
The Phoenix Salvation Army has assistance programs throughout the year, but has specific resources dedicated to helping those in need during the holiday season. The Christmas Angel Toy Program allows parents to register their children (12 and under) to receive gifts from the community. They also offer holiday meals, grocery assistance, and even utility bill assistance depending on circumstances.
Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots is a U.S. Marine Corps program which collects new toys for children (12 and under, up to 16 in some areas) in less fortunate circumstances. Registration is open October through December. You can register by phone, fax or email. Lookup the correct location to register with online (multiple available in Maricopa County).
Mesa United Way
JaKelle’s Christmas Box by Helen’s Hope Chest distributes holiday gifts for children in foster families, group homes, and kinship families. The organizer, John Zielonka, can be contacted at (480)834-2115 or [email protected] The event takes place on December 1st.
Arizona Helping Hands
AHH accepts online requests during November only. Items that may be requested include toys, personal care items, etc. They aim to support those connected to schools, social service agencies, and hospitals. Throughout the year they also offer special occasion gifts to children in foster care.
Family of God Ministry
This non-profit organization is accepting Christmas toy registrations on December 16th, 2017 at Cesar Chavez High School (3921 W Baseline Rd). In addition, the first 300 children to arrive will receive a free stocking. The family of God Ministry also provides grocery gift cards and it has a food pantry for eligible families.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Members facilitates a large adopt-a-family program for Christmas. Members visit each family to profile each person’s name, age, and needs. Families in need can be placed by calling Community Information and Referral (211). Unlike some other programs, there are no age limitations stated for children or other family members.
The Foothills Food Bank
The Foothills Food Bank (previously Foothills Community Foundation Holiday Project) offers assistance to community members throughout the year, but hosts specific events to pass out gifts via their adopt-a-family program. The events will be held Saturday December 9th and Sunday December 12th. Email [email protected] for more information.
City of Scottsdale
The City of Scottsdale has a holiday Adopt-a-Family program (480-312-0063) through Vista del Camino Community Center. There is also an Adopt-a-Senior program that provides wish list items to homebound seniors (480-312-5815). Their Paiute Toy Program is supported by the Fire Department and they also offer gift cards for teenagers.
ICM Food & Clothing Bank
ICM Food & Clothing Bank provides gifts for children and food boxes for families. In 2017 only the first 120 families could be registered and signups closed October 15th according to the organization’s Facebook page.
Free Christmas Meal Assistance in Phoenix and Maricopa County, AZ
Valley Assistance Services
For the past five years, Valley Assistance Services has partnered with the Green Valley Salvation Army to offer gifts and food baskets to seniors and children during the holidays. They also have delivery arrangements for homebound seniors. Those who wish to participate need to apply.
East Mesa Food Bank
The East Mesa Food Bank collects Christmas gift donations for children from the community and offers them in addition to their year-round food distribution services during the holidays.
Salvation Army Tucson
The Tucson Salvation Army will provide a free Christmas meal (on December 25th) 11:00 am-1:30 pm. Free shuttle rides are available from South Tucson’s City Hall, Ronstadt Transit Center and the Salvation Army Hospitality House.
Gospel Rescue Mission
The Gospel Rescue Mission will host a Christmas banquet Friday, December 22 from 11 am – 2 pm, on 28th Street between 9th Avenue and 10th Avenue in South Tucson. Prayer teams, social service workers, and community resource agencies will be available to guests at the event.
Crossroads Nogales Mission
The Crossroads Nogales Mission will serve a free Christmas meal.
Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank
The Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank provides holiday food boxes for people in need. They also offer basic personal care items when available. Recipients must visit the food bank and present a photo ID.
Other Holiday Resources in Phoenix and Maricopa County, AZ
Positive Impact offers assistance to Arizona families throughout the year, but has specific programs to help families in December. They help facilitate Adopt-a-Family matches for gift giving and receiving. They also collect food that can be used to supplement school-provided meals during the holiday break for low-income families. Apply by filling out the form on their website or call (480)899-7791.
Miracle on 31st St
Miracle on 31st St is a free Christmas celebration for children in Tucson with volunteers providing entertainment such as balloon making, face painting and meeting Santa. Children must be present to receive gifts. The event will be held Sunday, December 18th, 2017 beginning at 9 am.
Glendale Fire Department
The Glendale Fire Department accepts donations of toys and clothes to distribute to people in need on Christmas Day.
Every Kid in a Park
Every Kid in a Park allows fourth-graders free access to federal parks. For registered students, this also includes a free Christmas tree permit to cut their own tree in a National Forest. A parent or guardian must be present.
Rise & Dream Foundation
The Rise & Dream Foundation offers multiple services to children and families in Queen Creek, AZ area. They offer backpacks and food boxes to provide meals for children over the weekend and school breaks. They also have an adopt-a-family program through the school districts, which includes the entire family (not just a child).