I usually do these types of posts before Thanksgiving, but I’ve been looking for as many resources as possible to help those in need.
Much like last year, there aren’t a lot of free events, and most resources are stretched thin, as 2021 was as hard as 2020 for a lot of families.
The holidays are more than food and gifts, but no one should go hungry any time of year!
Here is my post with a list of food banks/pantries in San Diego. Many of the food pantries also have special holiday distributions, it is worth a call to find out of any additional food or gift distributions will be done.
As of now, I am not aware of any free Christmas tree giveaways, however, as I gather more information, I will update this post.
Toys for Joy will not be holding their annual event this year, instead, their site sends you to other resources such as The Rock Church for food, and The Salvation Army for other additional resources. The Salvation Army does an Angel Tree program to gather gifts for children in need. For more information about this program, contact your local Salvation Army location.
Sunday, December 19th, 2021 from 11am-2pm is the annual H.O.P.E. event hosted by New Vision Church. Every child ages 0-11 will get a free toy! This is an all-free family fun event filled with free toys, carnival games and prizes, a live petting zoo, big bike giveaways, food, haircuts, jumpers, arts and crafts, live performances, DJ, and a whole lot more! The event will be held at both New Vision Church and Colina Del Sol Park and Recreation which is directly across the street. The entrance is at 5310 Orange Ave., San Diego, CA 92115.
Hope Leadership Academy is hosting an Event, Toys for Hope on December 18, 2021,9:00am – 1:00pm at the King Chavez School: 415 31st St. San Diego, CA 92102. Toys for Hope will be a walk-thru experience this year! Free toys for kids 13 and younger, free groceries, and bike raffles!
211 San Diego has a listing of all sorts of holiday assistance from food to toys, events- all free. Some programs/events require proof of need, but not all.
If you live in Santee and need help with food and gifts for the holiday, contact Santee Santas. You can download and print forms, check into eligibility (it is income-based and they are very strict from what I’ve been told), and see what forms you need in addition to the application here.
The window to apply for Santee Santas is closing in just a few days, so if you want to apply, I recommend checking their website TODAY and apply ASAP.
Talk Back: If you know of any free local events, please leave a comment.