How to Apply for Christmas Help for Low Income Families

For better or for worse, Americans celebrate our holidays generously. For many people participating in those end-of-the-year holidays, celebrating involves giving gifts to loved ones. Unfortunately, there are some Americans who cannot afford to participate in the festivities of the season. Even layaway programs designed to make purchasing more feasible sometimes are too much for the impoverished celebrant.

As a result, many families are forced to decide which is more important: celebrating Christmas or putting food on the table.

Where to look for help

Even around the holidays, some people finding it very difficult to ask for help. Either they don’t know or don’t care that there are government-funded programs designed to assist needy families during this time of year. Regardless, there’s lots of help available.



The best program for needy families might actually be the United Way Christmas Campaign (UWCC). Each year, the UWCC finds a way to provide both food and gifts for needy families across America. Along with some help from the United Way, you may be able to give your family the Christmas you’d love for them to have.

Getting started

In order to participate in the United Way Christmas Campaign, you’re going to need to find a local United Way headquarters. The internet can be a giant help here. Use the locator on the United Way’s website to find a location convenient for you. (If internet access is not readily available for you, look them up in your telephone book.)

As soon as you make contact, you want to ask about their application process for the UWCC. Put in your application as soon as possible. The sooner, the better.

Your application

The application can feel intimidating initially, because it asks a few financial questions. But don’t worry! This isn’t like applying for a loan, so there’s no need to be stressed out. The reason for the financial questions is that they want to make sure their efforts are spent on families who truly need help. This campaign is designed to benefit the needy, not families looking to save a few bucks.



You can find applications online or at your local United Way office. The specifics of the application process may vary by location, so your best bet is to save any questions for a representative from your local United Way.

The final decision

If you are denied assistance, try not to be let down. Usually, that just means that families much worse off than yours are being helped first. Fortunately, you don’t need to toss your hopes down the drain. That’s because whether you are approved or not, the United Way is prepared to help you.

They may not be able to offer you gifts or food, but most United Way reps will happily share with you additional assistance opportunities. Just ask for their advice.

If you’re granted assistance, there’s not much left for you to do. You may be asked about the ages and genders of the people you’re hoping to give presents to, but aside from that everything is stress-free. Just make sure that you are able to pick up your food and your gifts from the United Way a few days before Christmas.