The holidays should be a joyous and wonderful time for families. But the reality is that for many families its a time of stress and hopelessness. Oftentimes this stress is caused by societies expectations to spend money, buy gifts, and engage in consumer-centric activities that for many individuals just isn't realistic. Fortunately there are options for families and individuals. These options help provide families with the funds they need to enjoy the holiday festivities without the worry of how they're going to pay for it. 


Food Banks

Food banks can provide food during thanksgiving and the holidays so that your family can also enjoy the joy and sitting down together as a family to enjoy a holiday meal without breaking the bank to do so. FeedAmerica.org is one such provider as well as your local food bank which can be found here. contact your local food bank. Another online provider of resources and information is FoodPantries.Org. They offer information, resources, and can provide food for families in need especially during this holiday season. By following this link you find what they have available in your local area. search your state here.

Charities

In addition to religious organizations, be sure to check with the following charities and NPOs, all of which increase their charitable offerings during the holiday season.

The Salvation Army runs their "Christmas Miracle" program every year and helps millions with food, shelter, and clothing. They also help low-income families through a social gifting program where citizens donate gifts that are in turn donated to families in need. To receive of this assistance, register through your local Department of Social Services or search your area for the nearest Salvation Army.

Toys For Tots is a charitable program operated by the US military. Families and individuals donate lightly used or new toys for families in need. These toys are then dispersed by the military to children aged 0-14. The goal is for every boy and girl to receive two toys. Open enrollment began October 15th. If you aren't on the list already, search your state and county here and apply as soon as you can.

Make A Wish Foundation: If you have a child under 18 years age that has a debilitating or terminal illness, Make a Wish can help. Make a Wish aims to fulfill the wishes of children with severe illnesses, and they go the extra mile during the holidays. To recommend a child for consideration, complete the application here.