How to Get Toys at No Cost for Your Kids This Christmas 2022

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With inflation at an all-time high and prices for necessities soaring, we understand why the upcoming holiday season can become a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be! The holiday season is supposed to be full of happiness and cheer. We want you to be able to provide your kid(s) with an amazing Christmas without having to worry about money. We created this article to provide resources and information on how you can get free toys.

Next, we will answer some of the most common questions on how you can get free toys for your kids this Christmas:

  1. What organizations offer free toys for Christmas?
  2. Are there any eligibility requirements?
  3. Is there an application or registration process?
  4. Is there a registration deadline to receive free toys?
  5. Can I call 2-1-1 for help?
  6. Where can I find additional resources to prepare for this winter season?

What organizations offer free toys for Christmas?

Many nationwide and local programs offer free Christmas toys, meals, and gift cards. Most of these holiday assistance programs target low-income families or single mothers. Eligibility requirements and registration deadlines vary by organization. However, we recommend applying for these programs as soon as possible because most work on a first come, first serve basis, and slots fill up quickly. More details are below: 

Toys for Tots

Marine Corps Toys for Tots is a national non-profit organization that works with local agencies to deliver unwrapped Christmas toys for kids. 

Eligibility requirements

  • There are no criteria to apply, but the charity works with local organizations that prioritize families with kids ages 12 and under. However, in some areas, because of overwhelming support, they can serve children over 12 years old. 

How to apply and the deadline to apply

  • Go to the Toys for Tot website, click “request a toy,” and use the search feature to find the local campaign that serves your area. 
  • You’ll have to fill out an application online by the deadline set by your local campaign. Some campaigns start as early as October. In the application, you must provide the following information: 
    • names and ages of kids in your family;
    • proof of residency; and 
    • a short explanation of why you need help with toys this year. A coordinator will then call you to verify your information.

Salvation Army’s Angel Tree

Salvation Army and Walmart partner with Rescue Christmas to reach out to families in need to help them for Christmas.

Eligibility requirements

  • Families with low to moderate income or living in poverty can apply. However, there’s one catch: you can’t be enrolled in any other holiday or Christmas assistance program. 

How to apply and the deadline to apply

  • Register your kid(s) through a local Salvation Army Corps Community Center, where you’ll provide information about your child’s wishes. 
  • The window to sign up for Christmas gifts opens in September and closes at the end of November. However, it’s recommended that the earlier you sign up, the better chances you have to get free toys.

USPS Operation Santa

Operation Santa allows kids from all over the United States to write letters and share their Christmas wishes with Santa. They have a partnership with Be an Elf, a network of volunteers who help fulfill the wishes of children all over the nation.

Eligibility requirements

  • According to Operation Santa, anyone living in the United States can write a letter regardless of age, income, or religion.

How to apply and the deadline to apply

  • Write your Christmas wishes and mail your letter to the following address before November 28th:

123 Elf Road
North Pole, 88888

Include your name and return address in the upper left corner of the envelope, and add a First-Class™ stamp in the upper right corner. Without a return address, USPS won’t know where to send your gift. Without a postage stamp, USPS will not receive your letter.

Can I call 2-1-1 for help?

You can call 2-1-1 or visit your state’s 211 website to find local charities and organizations that offer free Christmas gifts and toys. On the website, you will find additional information, such as eligibility requirements and the deadline to apply to receive assistance from these local organizations. If you call 2-1-1, you can also ask the operator to provide this information.

Where can I find additional resources to prepare for this winter season?

If you need additional assistance for the upcoming winter season, we highly encourage you to read the following article: Things You Need to Do Now to Prepare for Fall and Winter 2022
This article will provide information on how you can get help with your heating bills, how to prepare your home for winter, where you can find free winter clothes, and more!

Mitzi Colin Lopez is a Digital Ads Content Creator and Experimenter at Noticias Para Inmigrantes. Her origin as a Mexican immigrant characterizes and drives her to empower the Latinx, Hispanic and immigrant communities. She is a recent graduate of West Chester University, where she obtained her bachelor’s in Political Science and Spanish. Her passions include social justice, advocacy, hiking, traveling, and weightlifting.