The holiday season is a joyful time, but it can also be a very stressful time. We all want to create magical holiday memories for our children, but for so many of us, finances make the reality of gift giving quite difficult.

If you have found yourself in a tight space this holiday season, don’t fret. There are many amazing organizations in the Boston area that are on hand to provide help with holiday gifts.

The Salvation Army

In a typical year, The Salvation Army puts new clothes and toys under the tree for one million children who might otherwise go without Christmas gifts. Anonymous donors adopt these little “angels” in an expanding Christmas tradition that makes the season more rewarding for the gift giver and happier for the receiver. The Angel Tree program is located at Walmart stores across the nation. Those needing assistance can contact their local Salvation Army location.

Toys for Tots

The basic mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas. But the primary goal is, through the gift of a new toy, to help bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America’s less fortunate children. To request assistance, please fill out an application.

The Cape Cod Times Needy Fund

Through the Cape Cod Council of Churches, the Needy Fund provides gift card assistance for families with infants and toddlers to cover the cost of holiday items, groceries, clothing, and infant needs. 

Globe Santa

Everyone needs a hand every now and then! Families who have children 12 years old or younger and live in Globe Santa’s delivery area can submit a holiday gift verification form from the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) or another approved agency. Globe Santa does not accept family letters without a holiday gift verification form.

My Brother’s Keeper

My Brother’s Keeper’s Christmas assistance program serves families all over eastern Massachusetts, including Boston and Cape Cod. (The program does not serve Framingham or points west.) All requests are processed by phone, by calling 508–238–2562. They cannot accept e-mail requests or requests made in person at the facility due to staffing limitations. Gifts are delivered directly to doorsteps between December 1-24.

The Kennedy Center

The annual holiday gift drive at the Kennedy Center in Charlestown provides seasonal gifts for more than 700 children from low-income families. For more information about how to request assistance, contact Crystal Galvin, director of community services, at: 617-241-8866 EXT. 1352, or at [email protected].

Citizens for Citizens Operation Christmas

Through the generosity of the community and local organizations and the hard work of many dedicated volunteers, the Operation Christmas program raises money and collects donations to buy and distribute toys and clothing to in-need families in the Fall River and Taunton areas. It is their goal to provide a traditional Christmas experience for children aged 12 and younger who reside in the Greater Taunton and Greater Fall River areas.

Project Just Because

No child should go without gifts during the holiday season, and Project Just Because makes sure that doesn’t happen by providing an assortment of holiday gifts for children up to age 18 who reside in Hopkinton. Parents or guardians may fill out a request for the children in their households.

Scituate Community Christmas

Scituate Community Christmas vows to meet the needs of the community at Christmas time and throughout the year by supporting families during times of hardship while inspiring the values of kindness, compassion, philanthropy, and volunteerism. This service is open to children residing in Scituate up to their 18th birthday. All information provided is kept in strict confidence.

Christmas in the City

This volunteer organization is devoted to helping Boston-area families experiencing homelessness and poverty experience the magic of the holidays, regardless of their families’ financial circumstances. They run two programs: Christmas in the City: Delivered is for those currently living in a shelter, and Jake’s Toy Mania, providing holiday gifts for families in need. 

Deanna Greenstein
Deanna is a mom of five (yes, five) children, who lives in Brockton with her small circus of kids, her husband, their dog Penny, and a few cats. Her life is loud, energetic, mostly fun, often gross (did she mention four of those kids are boys?), and she wouldn't have it any other way. In between carting kids to school, baseball, gymnastics, guitar, dance, track and field and every other kid activity known to mankind, she works as a school bus driver for the city of Brockton, and is the Director of Religious Education at the Unity Church of North Easton, a Unitarian Universalist congregation. Deanna also holds degrees in Elementary Physical Education and Dance Education, which she plans to put back into use one day. At parties, Deanna can often be found hanging out with family pets. She follows her children around with a camera like the paparazzi, is pretty sure that 97% of her blood stream is made of coffee, and her laundry is never done. You can also find her blogging at