Tag: Holiday Assistance

How to Find Holiday Assistance in Massachusetts

Two hands shaking with random computer designs projected on them

After reading stories about holiday assistance, now you are asking yourself, “How do I find local organizations willing to help me and my family or the families we serve?”

Programs and people that will be there for you

To help you start and finish your holiday assistance search or to find an organizations that accepts donations, here are six of the best statewide resources we found.

1. Food Source Hotline (800)645-8333
Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline has a friendly and helpful staff that will be able to locate emergency food programs and pantries near you. Call the local food pantry to inquire about holiday basket availability and requirements to receive food.

2. Mass 2-1-1
This is a fabulous, comprehensive website for locating local resources for holiday assistance.
If calling 211, dial 6 to ask for assistance.

3. Sharingweb.org
Check out this unique website which focuses on food, shelter, and crisis resources in Massachusetts. Click on “resources,” then “holiday assistance” to locate resources.

4. Salvation Army
Salvation Army is one of America’s favorite charities by reputation. The seasonal red kettle donations help provide winter coats, clothing, gifts and holiday assistance to needy families and the homeless. Enter your zip code on the above link to locate a Salvation Army in your area.

5. Catholic Charities
This is a great resource for low income families needing help year round. The “Basic Needs Emergency Services” includes food, fuel, rental, utility assistance as well as holiday assistance. Available funding varies from city to city.

6. Holiday Assistance Fact Sheet
Our favorite resource is our own MNIP fact sheet on holiday assistance programs in Massachusetts listed by region (statewide, area, and town). The information is current and will save you time and energy in hunting for assistance.

Please let us know of any special organizations or experiences that you want to share.

Happy holidays to all.

A Gift for the Holiday, a Goal for the New Year

A Gift for the Holiday, a Goal for the New Year

“After you feed people for Thanksgiving and Christmas, what do they do for the other 363 days a year?  They still need food, shelter and people they can rely on to help figure out how to put food on the table and pay the rent,” Angela stated.

This week, I introduce Angela, a young woman with two children living in the city of Springfield. I had the pleasure of interviewing Angela about her experience with SCAN 360, a community based program located in the heart of Springfield that provides holiday assistance as well as services and support throughout the year.

Knowing the people you serveAngela from Scan 360

“The problem is that some people and programs only show up during the holidays. SCAN 360 helps me during the whole year, so by the time Christmas comes they don’t have to ask me to write a list. They know what we need, because they know me and my family.”

For some people, support during the holidays means a small gift or a meal; enough to make the holiday season special.

For others like Angela and her family, there were bigger challenges in her life that she wanted to address. SCAN 360 knew the difference and built a relationship that provided support beyond the holiday season.

Setting goals can make a difference

“I had gone to other programs in the past and they made me feel like a number. At SCAN 360, they really care about me and my family, not just during the holidays, but all year. Some bigger groups just let people take the gifts and not work on any goals that will make their lives better. I needed to do more.”

If your organization provides assistance during the holidays, be sure you are aware of people like Angela who are ready to set goals that can change their lives. Offer the turkey, but also be ready to talk about making a budget for the coming year.

It may be a bigger task, but after listening to Angela, I think it is worth it.

What do you think?