At Bond & Botes, we know that Christmas is supposed to be a wonderful time for family members to come together, spend quality time with one another, and reflect on the long year that’s coming to an end. Unfortunately, not everyone can take part in these festivities. With spending quality time with family comes exchanging gifts (which can be expensive) and cooking a large meal (which can be just as expensive as the gifts). If you fall into this category, you are not alone. Thankfully, churches and other local organizations realize the financial struggles and hardships that can come with Christmas.
If you are in a financially compromising situation, contact one of the organizations below and ask about programs which are available this Christmas.
Salvation Army: Angel Tree Program
Families receive gifts in the form of gift cards, grocery store vouchers, toys, games, books, clothing, and shoes. In addition, they offer free holiday dinner boxes filled with turkey or ham and all the traditional holiday fixings and hot holiday dinners at their soup kitchen.
Salvation Army Bessemer Corps
In addition to offering groceries and perishable items to Jefferson County Alabama families, this branch can help people apply for government assistance and various social services, including WIC vouchers or free lunches for a student. They also arrange other case management and counseling. Free holiday meals and maybe gifts are provided too, in particular around Christmas. Seniors and children in Jefferson County can benefit from the holiday programs.
Address: 525 13th Street, Bessemer, Alabama 35020
Phone: (205) 425-4303
Community Kitchens at St. Andrews Episcopal Church
Community Kitchens serves a lunch meal 365 days a year from 2 locations in Birmingham. There are no charges, criteria or requirements to be served. Meals are served weekdays and Saturdays at noon in the church parish hall. Sunday sack lunches are served from the UAB parking lot on 11th Avenue South and 11th Place.
Address: 1024 South 12th Street, Birmingham AL 35205
Phone: (205) 251-3569
Community Kitchens at Grace Episcopal Church
Community Kitchens serves a lunch meal 365 days a year from 2 locations in Birmingham. There are no charges, criteria or requirements to be served. Meals are served daily at 12:45 pm in the church parish hall.
Address: 5712 1st Ave North, Birmingham AL 35212
Phone: (205) 251-3569
Christian Service Mission
Emergency boxes of groceries are available in Jefferson County. Christian Service Mission also has Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, and volunteers will deliver food to the homebound.
Address: 3600 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35222
Phone: (205) 252-9906
Jimmy Hale Missions
Downtown Jimmie Hale Mission, Inc. is a Christian-based, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, which includes a homeless shelter for men, a shelter for women and children, after-school Bible clubs, recovery programs, learning centers, and thrift stores. This charity is often misspelled Jimmy Hale Mission.
Gadsden Center of Concern
The Gadsden Center of Concern (formerly Catholic Center of Concern) is a faith-based charity that helps families living in poverty. Food, holiday assistance, clothing, and other support is arranged.
Address: 612 Chestnut Street, Gadsden, Alabama 35901
Phone: (256) 546-0028
Etowah Baptist Missions Center
Applications are accepted for Thanksgiving meal baskets. There are also Christmas toys, hot meals, and more for children and senior citizens.
Address: 215-221 Wall Street, Gadsden, Alabama 35901
Phone: (256) 546-2980
The Salvation Army branch in Gadsden
Meals and gifts can be provided around their respective times of the year. The Salvation Army in Alabama really provides these holiday programs for kids, as they do not want children to go without during the holidays. Help around the holidays can come from programs such as Angel tree, warm holiday meals or emergency food boxes, and much more. Even items such as free winter coats may be offered, too.
Address: 114 – 120 N. 11th St., Gadsden, AL 35901
Phone: (256) 546-4673
Christmas Charities Year Round
Christmas Charities Year Round provides toys, gifts and food for the holidays to less fortunate children and families in the community. They also provide gifts and food to elderly and disabled individuals.
Address: 2840 Jordan Lane, Huntsville, AL 35816
Downtown Rescue Mission
The Downtown Rescue mission provides daily bags of food, free articles of clothing, turkey boxes comprised of an entire Thanksgiving meal, and toy bags for Christmas.
Address: 1400 Evangel Drive NW, Huntsville, AL 35816
Montgomery Area Food Bank & WellsFargo
Now through January 31, the Montgomery Area Food Bank is teaming up with WellsFargo to help more families share holiday meals this season.
Address: Any local branch near you
12 Bushel’s Food (The Well Family Worship Center)
Food is distributed on Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:30. Families receive several bags of groceries containing bakery goods, canned and boxed food, meat, cheese, fresh produce, and other commodities. There is also assistance during the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays.
Address: 3515 South Broad Street, Scottsboro, AL 35769
Shoals Area Meal Programs
First Presbyterian Church of Florence
224 E Mobile Street, Florence, AL 35630
- Friday and Saturday from 12:00pm-1:00pm
Trinity Episcopal Church
210 N Pine Street, Florence, AL 35630
- Monday nights
First Presbyterian Church
130 E 5th Street, Sheffield, AL 35660
- Tuesday nights
3215 Huntsville Road, Florence, AL 35630
- Monday nights
Brad Botes is a principal of each of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He and his team of bankruptcy lawyers have spent over 30 years guiding people through financial challenges. Read his full bio here.