How to get holiday assistance from Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, more

Posted at 4:30 AM, Nov 18, 2020

DENVER, Colo. — If you need food help or toys for your kids this holiday season, now is the time to apply.

There are many organizations that help families during the holidays, but most need you to apply early.

Salvation Army

Families needing toys for children or food assistance need to apply as soon as possible. The Salvation Army's website has a link called Christmas Assistance.

"We don't want to see any child to go without a toy," said Salvation Army Intermountain Division Major Troy Trimmer. "We will add you to our list. When it fills up, we will add you to our waiting list, or send you to another another agency and refer you."

Salvation Army meals

Because of the coronavirus crisis, the Salvation Army will not have a major Thanksgiving meal at the Colorado Convention Center. Instead, the Salvation Army will serve meals at homeless shelters, hotels housing the homeless and the Salvation Army's own centers. To volunteer, visit the Salvation Army's website.

Mile High United Way/211

Mile High United Way's 211 website has an extensive list of assistance for meals, gifts/toys and even trees. Visit the 211 websitefor links and details.

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots has been helping families during the holidays since the 1940s. In many areas, Toys for Tots gives toys to dozens of organizations that in turn, give those toys to needy families. The deadline for groups to apply in the Denver/Aurora area this year is Friday, Nov. 20. Other locations may have different deadlines. Learn more on the Toys for Tots website.


The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) helps families with their winter heating bills. Learn more here.

"If you're wondering if you qualify, call our Heat Help hotline," said Theresa Kullen, the LEAP Colorado manager. "They are more than happy to answer questions and get people the information they need. We are here to help and truly want anyone eligible to apply."

Santa Claus Shop

The Denver Santa Claus Shop works with local social service, welfare, charitable, religious and housing agencies and organizations, etc. to help needy families. If you need help providing toys for your family this holiday season or know someone who does, admittance is by invitation only and only for Denver County residents.

Families must be registered and referred to the Denver Santa Claus Shop by a social service agency such as Catholic Charities, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Denver Public Schools' Homeless Education Network, Volunteers of America, Denver Children's Home or Head Start. Learn more here.


If you have a social worker, or are working with a social service agency like Catholic Charities, a local Human Services agency or the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, ask them directly what services or advice they might have for your family to find holiday help.