The holiday season is a time of love, belonging, and generosity. But hard times can make it tough for families to provide the traditions that make it special. They may need to choose between paying the bills and giving gifts, or the lack of a support system can make it too difficult to prepare or share a hot meal.
As the holiday season approaches, struggling families can get help with gifts and other assistance. Learn where to turn to for free gifts, gift assistance, help with meals, and more.
Help with Gifts
A Community Christmas
A Community Christmas (ACC) is a long-standing organization that aims to provide meaningful Christmas support to area families during the holiday season. For 2021, ACC will resume conducting the Adopt-a-Family program (see below) and Christmas Distribution Center after Covid-19 restrictions impacted last year’s event.
The Adopt-a-Family program provides toys, clothing, shoes, and gift cards to needy area families looking for help during the holiday season.
To request support, applications must be submitted to A Community Christmas. In-person interviews are not required.
Contact: (330) 454-3841
Send applications to:
A Community Christmas
PO Box 20050
Canton, OH 44701
Applications can also be dropped off at the American Legion back parking lot.
Toys for Tots
This not-for-profit organization matches new, unwrapped toys with children in Stark County. You can apply to receive a toy from Toys for Tots, and toys will be distributed during the first two weeks of December 2021.
To apply: Visit Stark County Toys for Tots to fill out the application. Applications are due by Nov. 15, 2021. Toys for Tots specifies that you must apply to only one agency to receive this support.
Project KARE is a charitable group that helps families served by Stark County Job and Family Services. Project KARE’s Holiday Program includes Adopt-a-Child, Adopt-a-Teen, and the Stocking Stuffers project.
Contact: To learn more about Project KARE’s Holiday Program, contact coordinator Michelle Neisel at 330-451-8846 or email Michelle.Neisel@jfs.ohio.gov.
The Salvation Army
The Akron Regional Food Bank
The Akron Regional Food Bank provides food and meal assistance to area families throughout the year.
The United Way offers emergency assistance and other help that can provide families with much-needed support during the holiday season.
The Stark County Homeless Hotline
For families who find themselves unhoused during the Christmas season, get help by calling the Homeless Hotline at (330) 452-4363
If you or a loved one are in crisis, call the Stark County Crisis Hotline at 330-452-6000.