17 Ways to Help Children During the Holidays


The holidays can be magical when seen through a child’s eyes: the lights, the traditions, the fall of snow and a cozy fire, and of course the presents. But, children in need often experience the holidays differently. There is never a more obvious time of year for a child to realize that their holidays don’t quite look like those of other children.

And when Santa doesn’t deliver the same types of expensive gifts that “he” gives other children, these children may even believe it was because they were undeserving or not “good enough this year.”

Many organizations offer ways to help children during the holidays. This includes our own, Operation Warm, where we work hard to empower you to give the gift of a warm, brand new coat to children who would otherwise go without. Learn More

You can also find ways to help children during the holidays by performing acts of kindness. Take a look at the list below. It is a nice mix of different opportunities for you to support children during the holidays.

Looking for help for your own children? 211 is a free service that connects people to local places that offer help.

Ways to Help Children During the Holidays

  1. Buy and fill Christmas stockings and drop them off at a shelter. Be sure to label them with age-range and gender. Here is a listing of shelters by state.
  2. Find an Angel Tree through the Salvation Army and fulfill the holiday wish of a child.
  3. Adopt a family. Many religions and nonprofit organizations offer the opportunity to support a family with gifts and food. Bringing Home Hope is one organization that focuses on families experiencing cancer.
  4. Donate to a food bank. More than 6.5 million children live with food insecurity.
  5. Create a fundraiser on Facebook to support a children’s cause.
  6. Organize a new pajama drive for children in a homeless shelter. You can also donate pajamas through the Pajama Program.
  7. Purchase a new toy and drop it off at a Toys for Tots location
  8. Make a Wish offers several ways to help children. For example, in 2018, every time you write a letter to Santa and give it to Macy’s, the company will donate $1 to the foundation.
  9. Fill a child’s holiday wish at My Two Front Teeth.
  10. Purchase as many gloves as you can and drop them off at your local school or children’s charity.
  11. Donate blankets to Project Linus to warm and comfort children who are ill.
  12. Use Amazon Smile and designate a children’s charity when you shop.
  13. Select Christmas gifts that give back. Kohl’s Cares donates 100% of net profit of select items to many children’s charitable organizations.
  14. Adopt a “sad” letter to Santa to for a child who needs a brighter Christmas. Visit Operation Santa or Be an Elf to learn how.
  15. Provide toys for a military child through Operation Homefront.
  16. Children’s hospitals often welcome visits during the holidays from volunteers who can lend a little cheer. Contact your local children’s hospital about current opportunities.
  17. Contact the local school counselor or social worker to find out if there is a child who could use an anonymous Secret Santa. They can provide sizes, wants and needs.

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