7 Charities That Help Parents in Need Over the Holidays
About 43% of children in the U.S. live in low-income families. While many of these families do not fall below the federal poverty threshold, statistics show that they do not bring home enough income to meet many basic needs for families. It can be difficult for low-income families throughout the year, the holidays bring those difficulties into stark relief.
Initiatives like Operation Christmas Child and the U.S. Marine Corps Toys For Tots drives aim to ensure that every child has a gift to open sometimes parents need a little extra holiday cheer, too. These 7 charities aim to make the holidays merry and bright, not just for children in need but also for their parents.
1. The Salvation Army
A holiday icon, you can find Salvation Army volunteers ringing bells and collecting donations outside shopping centers and supermarkets throughout December. In addition to providing gifts and clothes to children for Christmas, the Salvation Army also organizes programs that provide financial assistance for bills and utility payments over the holidays as well as meal delivery services for low-income and underserved families. Everyone deserves full belly and a warm home and the Salvation Army works to ensure that happens over the holidays and all year long.
2. Warrick Dunn Charities Homes For The Holidays
Former NFL running back Warrick Dunn has gone above and beyond to give back to the community. His charity, Warrick Dunn Charities, provides furnishings, a stocked pantry, toiletries, and down payment assistance for single parents through its Homes for the Holidays program so everyone can have a home for the holidays. After his first season in the NFL Dunn started Homes for the Holidays in tribute to his mother and her longtime dream of homeownership. Twenty-two years later, the charity has helped over 170 families make the dream of homeownership come true.
3. Full Circle Home
As of September 2019, there were approximately 70,000 U.S. troops deployed overseas —many of whom have families at home waiting for their return. Full Circle Home's goal is to make sure that military spouses get a little holiday joy from their deployed loved ones. Facilitating the delivery of over 21.000 gifts and love notes from deployed soldiers to the loved ones at home, Full Circle Home helps "bridge the gap between our troops and those who support them. Their Heroes At Home."
4. Military Mama Network
Started in 2014 as a Facebook group to help military families connect, Military Mama Network has grown exponentially and now sports close to 20,000 members. Mission Elf, the group's holiday drive, helps provide military families in need with holiday essentials like Christmas dinner, gifts, ornaments, and other holiday help. The group also sends thousands of holiday cards to servicemen and women every year.
5. St. Vincent de Paul Society
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a voluntary organization within the Catholic Church that works to fight poverty. The organization has regional branches around the country that provide support to families in need over the holidays and throughout the year. Food, gasoline, medical bills, rent, and utilities are just a few of the things St. Vincent de Paul provides for those in need. The group also sponsors a program called Christmas Together, that provides a Christmas meal as well as gifts.
6. Pay Away The Layaway
Founded in 2011, Pay Away The Layaway is a non-profit organization whose mission is to pay off layaway balances that include gifts or essentials for children. The group travels throughout the U.S. during the holidays and back-to-school season and surprises families by paying off layaway balances at major retailers like Walmart, Kmart, and Burlington. Balances of around $200 are paid off using funds donated by "Layaway Angels."
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7. Adopt A Single Mom
For the last two years, Pennsylvania mom Donna Nelson has been adding single working moms to her Christmas shopping list. Nelson, who is a single mom herself, was inspired to start the Adopt A Single Mom project when her own son asked why Santa didn't leave her any gifts under the tree. Nelson raises $100 per mom on her list—half of which goes to gifts for the mom for under the tree and the other half to a gift card for the mom to spend how she sees fit.
Everyone deserves to feel loved this holiday season and these organizations are making sure no one misses out on a little holiday cheer.