I will be updating this post as more information becomes available. This year is very light on programs that are open to anyone, so I recommend that you lean on your community resources:
- If you receive WIC or SNAP benefits, check in with your social worker to see if they have any information on holiday help programs. Events like Toys for Joy are being held on a referral basis only. You have to receive an invitation from the event to attend. These are being given out by social workers and those with connections to the group.
- If you attend church/synagogue/mosque, check with your religious leader or the secretary/office staff. They may have referrals to programs offering holiday help.
- Check with your kids’ school. Talk to the school counselor, resource teacher, or school secretary.
- If you frequent local food charities or co-op’s, they may have some resources on holiday events or toy giveaways.
Here is my monthly list of free food opportunities within San Diego County. Many of the food pantries also have special holiday distributions, so it is worth a call to find out of any additional food or gift distributions will be done.
As of now, I am not aware of any free Christmas tree giveaways, however, as I gather more information, I will update this post.
- The Salvation Army does an Angel Tree program to gather gifts for children in need. For more information about this program, contact your local Salvation Army location.
- 211 San Diego has a listing of all sorts of holiday assistance from food to toys, and events- all free. Some programs/events require proof of need, but not all.
If you live in Santee and need help with food and gifts for the holiday, contact Santee Santas. You can download and print forms, check into eligibility (it is income-based and they are very strict from what I’ve been told), and see what forms you need in addition to the application here.
The window to apply for Santee Santas is closing in a few weeks, so if you want to apply, I recommend checking their website TODAY and apply ASAP.
Talk Back: If you know of any CONFIRMED free local holiday events in 2022, please leave a comment.