Holiday Assistance Programs Offer Turkey, Gifts, Resources to Boston Families

Community members: opportunities abound during the holiday season! The ABCD Dorchester Neighborhood Service Center, Project Bread, Salvation Army, Toys for Tots (City of Boston), Globe Santa, and many other local organizations offer a variety of holiday assistance programs. Look for more updates as the holidays approach! Specific program info after the break.

(Image Credit: June Campbell)

ABCD Turkey Assistance Program
The ABCD Dorchester Neighborhood Service Center (DNSC) is currently accepting applications for its Turkey Assistance Program. Contact your case manager for more details. If you don’t currently have a case manager, call (617) 288-2700 or visit the DNSC at 110 Claybourne Street, Dorchester, MA 02124 (a block past the intersection of Park and Washington Streets across from the old Lucy Stone school).

Project Bread FoodSource Hotline
When you call this toll-free hotline you can get screened for food stamp eligibility, receive referrals to emergency food programs in your neighborhood, and find information on food distribution sites and other programs supplying free or low-cost food. The hotline has translators available in 140 languages. Call at 1-800-645-8333.

Salvation Army Family Services Holiday Assistance
What: Seniors and families can receive food vouchers, a Christmas gift, and a coat.
When: Seniors: 11/9 and 11/10; families: 11/16-12/8, 9AM-1PM
How to register: Visit the Salvation Army at 1472 Washington Street in Roxbury. You must bring the following:
• Utility bill
• Photo ID
• Mass Health card
• A birth certificate for each child in the family
For more information: Call Family Services at (617) 236-7233 x2.

Mayor Menino Holiday Help
What: Families can receive gifts for children through the Toys for Tots program
When: Letters are currently being accepted.
How to register: Send a letter with names, genders, ages, and sizes for all children in the household, as well as a contact person’s name, address, and phone number. Mail letters to:

Mayor Menino – Toys for Tots
Boston City Hall
1 City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201

Note: This program depends entirely on donations received to the Toys for Tots program, so there are no guarantees that every request will be filled. You must write “Toys for Tots” on the outside of the envelope.

Globe Santa
What: Since 1956, Globe Santa has been The Boston Globe's annual appeal for needy children in Greater Boston. Families request gift assistance by writing to Globe Santa, stating their family size and need. This need must be verified and countersigned by a social service or religious agency that has previously registered with Globe Santa Fund. The agency must have documented records of the particular family's situation.
When: All letters must be received by December 3, 2010. Requests received after this date cannot be honored.
How to Register: Each family requesting assistance must write their own letter containing the following:
• An explanation of the family's need
• The family's name, address, apartment number, zip code, telephone number, email address, and names, ages and genders of each child 12 years old and under.
• The letter must be countersigned by a licensed and registered social worker who has knowledge of the family and documented evidence or records of their need, or by a clergyperson who has up-to-date congregation census records and/or documentation of the family's need.

Mail requests to:

Globe Santa
P.O. Box 55820
Boston, MA 02205-5820

Note: All social service agencies and clergy countersigning Globe Santa letters must be registered with the Globe Santa office by October 31, 2010. All letters must contain both the signature and office stamp/or Church Seal. Letters not containing either of these requirements will not be honored. Letters received from agencies or clergy not registered with Globe Santa office cannot be honored.

Upcoming holiday resources:

My Brother’s Keeper
1 (508) 238-2562
Call after 11/10 for holiday assistance program.

Ella J. Baker House
(617) 282-6704
Call after 12/1 to put your name on a list for a holiday event where gifts will be given away.

Christmas in the City
(617) 542-6611
Call after 12/1 for holiday assistance program.

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