Holiday toy help for those in need

The holidays should be a time for joy, celebration, family and fun, but for some, the holidays can be a very stressful time of the year. Although everyone dreams of giving their children a magical morning filled with toys and games from Santa and a family meal fit for a king, those dream can be financially straining. PHS wants to help families in need locate the resources they need to help those dream become a reality this holiday season. PHS Medical Social Worker, Monica Handlos has compiled a list of local resources that are available to help provide toys and holiday meals for families in need.

***If this list doesn’t cover your area please call United Way First Call for Help at 651-291-0211 or 1-800-543-7709 and ask them for agencies that are helping with Holiday Assistance. They will ask for your zip code and give you a list of local agencies that might be able to help you out.

Toy Programs:

  • Salvation Army

    To register for Toy Shop you can do so online here or call 651.746.3595 Monday-Friday 9:00am-4:00pm. Registration for The Salvation Army’s 2011 Toy Shop will be open until December 8.

    Toy Shop is a collaboration of churches and agencies who work together to register families for Christmas resources. When you complete the form, your information will be assigned and given to an agency that can serve you. They will be responsible for instructing you on how to pick up toys.

    In order to complete the registration, you must meet all of the following guidelines:

    • You must live in the 10 county metro area of the Twin Cities (Minnesota).
    • You must have a child or children up to age 14.
    • You must have an active email address (for online registration).
    • You must have a home address and receive mail there.
    • You have not registered for Christmas assistance anywhere else.
    • You must show proof of address and identification for every child when you pick up your toys.
  • Toys for Tots

    • Toys for Tots is a United States Marine Corp Reserve non-profit organization. Toys for Tots collects new toys for children whose parents cannot afford Christmas gifts. If you need to register to receive toys for your children the process is simple.
    • In order to request toys you will have to go online and hit the request toys tab. Find an agency close to you and contact them. They will submit a request to Toys for Tots for your toys.
    • For those of you looking to donate toys this year keep in mind that the PHS building is a drop off site. You can send toys with drivers or clinicians in the home or feel free to bring donations into the office for donation through Wednesday, December 12th.
  • Neighbors, Inc. Holiday Program

    • To qualify you must live in Inver Grove Heights, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, South St Paul, Sunfish Lake or West St Paul.
    • Apply in person at 222 Grand Avenue South, South St Paul, MN 55075. To learn more, call the Information Hotline 651.306.2156 (for Spanish call 651.306.2159). Registration open through mid December.
  • Community Emergency Assistance Program, Inc. (CEAP)

    • CEAP’s Holiday Program is open to residents of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park or East Champlin who have children in the household aged 18 or younger.
    • Call for an appointment to register. Leave a message on the Holiday Line at 763.450.3670.
  • St. Louis Park Emergency Program (STEP)

    • Open to St. Louis Park residents.
    • Register in person Monday-Thursday 1:00pm-2:00pm and Tuesday 6:00-7:00pm. If there are questions about registration, please call 952.925.4899. Registration for the Holiday Toy Program ends December 13th.
  • Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People, Inc. (VEAP)

    • Open to residents of Bloomington, Edina, Richfield and part of south Minneapolis (south of 50th Street, west of Cedar Avenue).
    • Register by phone at 952.888.9616.
  • Friends in Need Food Shelf

    • Friends in Need Food Shelf is providing toy assistance for Christmas. This program is open to residents of Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park, and Grey Cloud Island.
    • Please call on Tuesday for an appointment from 9:00am-6:00pm: 651.458.0730. You will need to bring your picture ID with a current bill for proof of address.
  • St. Paul Area Association of Realtors (SPAAR)

    • Toys for Joy Christmas Program provides gifts for low-income families in Anoka County.
    • Pick up application in November at your local food shelf, WIC/NAP site, Anoka county Income Maintenance, or at home helping agencies at the Anoka County Human Services Center in Blaine.
  • CAP Agency

    • Serves Scott and Carver Counties.
    • Call 952.496.2125 Monday- Friday 8:00am-5:00pm to set up an appointment with an outreach coordinator for application. Must have: ID, proof of address, children’s ages, and family size.
  • Christmas Anonymous

    • Serves residents of Olmsted County with children under 18 years old. One Saturday a year before Christmas toys are set up as a shopping experience for eligible families.
    • You must currently participate in WIC, CAP or channel 1 food shelf. Call 507.285.3940. Leave a message for registration information. Machine checked weekly.
  • Church of St. Stephen

    • Serves low income families in Anoka County.
    • Call 763.712.7441 for more information Monday-Thursday 8:30am- 8:00pm and Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm.
  • Hospitality House Youth Development

    • Christmas with dignity serves the city of Minneapolis and suburban Minneapolis.
    • Call 763.712.7441 Monday-Friday 9:00am-4:00pm for pre-registration and more information. Registrant must have current picture ID, and utility bill with address.
    • This sale gives a hand up to families in need by providing an opportunity to buy new gifts at a fraction of the original cost.
  • Neighbors, Inc.

    • Serves families in Inver Grove Heights, South and West St. Paul, Mendota Heights, Mendota, Sunfish Lake and Lilydale.
    • Call 651.455.1508 Monday-Friday 8:15am-4:30pm for registration and more information. Registrant must have current picture ID, utility bill with address, proof of family size and children’s ages.
    • Designed to help people who are financially unable to provide holiday gifts for their immediate family.
  • People Responding in Social Ministry (PRISM)

    • Serves families low income families.
    • Call 763.529.1350 to make an appointment. Registrant must have proof of address and ID cards for children.
    • Parents may come and choose holiday presents for each of their children approximately two weeks before the holidays. Holiday wrapping paper and other supplies may also be available.
  • Resource West

    • Serves families in Deephaven, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Shorewood and Woodland.
    • Call 952.988.5350 Monday- Friday from 9:00am-4:30pm to see if you’re eligible and register.
    • Families pick out one large items, 2 small items and stocking stuffers for each child.

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