Holiday Assistance Programs in Boston

Gift box

With the holiday season upon us, many people are looking for assistance to help with making the holidays a bit brighter. Fortunately, there are several organizations available throughout the Boston area as well as throughout Massachusetts that are specifically designed to help those in need during the holidays. Here is a look at just a few of the organizations offering help in the Boston area.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army helps families for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Christmas program, known as Christmas Castle, provides families with food vouchers, winter coats and toys for children who are 16 and under. Preregistration for the program continues until December 2nd, while items will be distributed December 7th through the 9th. To qualify for the program, you need to bring a photo ID for all adults living in the home, a current utility bill, a birth certificate for each child under 16 and proof of financial need (such as a MassHealth card or WIC vouchers). Call 617-236-7233 extension 396 or visit the Salvation Army at 1500 Washington Street in Boston for more information.

Cape Cod Times Needy Fund

The Cape Cod Times Needy Fund provides financial assistance to meet the basic human needs of families and individuals who live in Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The program is meant to help those who are facing temporary financial hardships, with most of the funds raised by donations from Cape Cod individuals, businesses, clubs, schools, civic organizations and faith organizations. The organization assists in variety of ways, including helping to purchase food, providing transportation to get to work, paying for medication and ensuring homes are heated in the winter. Call 508-778-5661 or 800-422-1446 for more information. You may also email the organization at [email protected].

Essex County Hunger Relief

The Essex County Hunger Relief organization operates a number of soup kitchens and food pantries throughout the area. The website offers a user-friendly interactive map where you can easily find the food pantry or soup kitchen that is closest to you.

My Brother’s Keeper

My Brother’s Keeper delivers food to needy residents in the Boston area south to Fall River and Cape Cod. All requests are processed by phone. The Christmas Assistance Line for My Brother’s Keeper, which is open from September through December, is 508-238-2562.

These are just a few examples of the organizations that are designed to help residents of Boston during the holiday season. For a more thorough list of agencies, visit


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