Christmas is that magical time when enemies become friends and all is well with the world. It is that time when even the coldest of nights become warm and sunny days due to that one magical aspect that has traveled down from generations to generations - the Christmas Spirit.
The Christmas Spirit is something that lights the fires of the lonely during the cold nights of winter; it's the thing that divides a single pie enough for ten hungry people, and it is that aspect of life that ensures that no one sleeps hungry on the Christmas night.
However, even the Christmas Spirit requires some help in today's world. There are certain individuals and families that fall under the low income bracket. These families cannot afford a lavish Christmas like most of us do. Thankfully, there are various institutions that ensure Christmas is not a cold and bitter night for them.
Christmas Assistance from Charity Organizations
There are different programs in different states that make Christmas help possible. These programs are mostly done on a voluntary basis. These programs contact families that are in need and then check whether they fulfill criteria that such programs have. Non-profit organizations like the United Way, charities like MyTwoFrontTeeth and Toys for Tots offer assistance to low-income families during the festive season. JoyJunction is another non-profit donations-only organization that extends Christmas help to families in need.
Christmas Help from the Church
Charity programs exist on donations from other people in the parish. Parishioners can provide books, toys and other donations to such families through these institutions. Normally, major retail chains provide accommodation for such programs to be conducted in their premises. The Salvation Army is a protestant Christian Church known for its charity work. They help them by providing them with Christmas toys, clothes and food. You can talk to the pastor of the church you belong to and seek Christmas help.
How Christmas Help Reaches You
Here's how the distribution of gifts actually happens. Parents and adults are invited to select the gifts they wish for their children and relatives. They are then gift-wrapped. Because children are not present during the event, children think that the gifts have come directly from their parents and relatives. It is important to maintain anonymity in such programs so that the kids from low-income families don't feel low. While some programs offer help this way, there are others who require family members to register online and express their wish to get Christmas help. Then they arrange to send these families gifts and food to help them enjoy Christmas. There are some who sponsor holidays and those like Make-A-Wish Foundation which make your Christmas wishes come true.
Such Christmas help for families who live a hand to mouth existence is an excellent way of ensuring a dignified process for parents, family members and relatives to celebrate a meaningful and warm Christmas with their families. Parents rarely have to do anything, with volunteers available for wrapping the gifts in a personalized manner. In fact, the entire area is abuzz with the Christmas spirit much before Christmas.
Though there are many institutions that ensure Christmas help for low-income families, everyone can help a bit on a personal level. If you do know of anyone who would not be affording to buy Christmas gifts or celebrate Christmas this year, you and your friends can collect a small sum and donate to help them celebrate.
Another great way of finding families in need for their Christmas celebrations is the Internet. There are various forums and websites which act as a go-between for people who wish to help such families during Christmas. However, one has to be careful and do a certain amount of research before deciding to help a low-income family found over the Internet, like anything and anyone else found on the web. Non-profit organizations and charity groups make good use the social media to inform the masses about their Christmas help programs. They send out mails or post messages on social networking websites about their charity programs for Christmas. So, it advisable to keep checking these websites as also the official websites of charity organizations. If you meet the criteria they have for extending Christmas help to low-income families, they will be more than happy to help you.
Sometimes, you can even collect all your old toys, clothes and anything that is in good working condition and gift it to anyone you know who needs help this Christmas. Believe me, spreading the Christmas cheer makes you believe that a little bit of help goes a pretty long way.