This holiday season, Denver Public Schools is compiling a list of free holiday meals, gift giveaways, food assistance organizations and child care resources for our families and kids. We know this is valuable information for our communities this time of year, so please share this holiday resource page with families and other educators. Do you know an organization that provides one or more of these services, and isn’t on the list? If so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide us with an attachment or a link to more information. Then, we’ll add it to the list. Happy holidays!
Denver Inner City Parish
The Denver Inner City Parish is hosting:
Donations are needed for Holiday Toyland. New, unwrapped gifts for kids can be delivered to 1212 Mariposa St. For more information, click here or call Annie Green at 303-629-0636. Cash donations are also accepted at www.dicp.org.
Denver Parks and Recreation
Kids ages 5-18 can sign up for a free My Denver Card, which gives them access to recreation centers, pools and cultural facilities.
Dolls for Daughters
The 8th Annual Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop will provide assistance to 5,000 children ages birth to 18 on Dec. 2. The organization plans to provide each child with a new toy, a Lego set, a stocking, a new stocking stuffer, a new book/bookmark and a new toothbrush and toothpaste kit. No pre-registration is required but guardians must show a photo ID (driver’s license, passport, photo ID card) and provide a birth certificate for each child in order to receive gifts. Photo IDs and birth certificates can be from state or country. For legal guardians who don’t share the same last name with a child, you must provide a letter from a school or state agency with the child’s date of birth confirming that you have legal custody. Other eligibility rules apply.
Food Bank of the Rockies
Food Bank of the Rockies distributes food through partner agencies in 30 counties in Colorado, including most of Metro Denver. Click here to enter your zip code or address and find the food pantry closest to you. Food Bank of the Rockies only distributes food directly to the public from its warehouse the third Saturday of every month from 9 a.m.-noon.
Mile High United Way
Mile High United Way has an online food assistance resource center, where families can find information on food pantries, food vouchers, soup kitchens, community meals and more.
Colorado Shines Child Care Referral at Mile High United Way offers a free child care resource and referral service. Contact a Child Care Navigator 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1-877-338-2273 or email email@example.com.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army will host a free holiday meal 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 23 at the Convention Center. Arrive early; no registration is required. Families who need additional assistance with clothing, food or household items can call 303-295-3366 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Clothes to Kids of Denver
Clothes to Kids of Denver provides free clothes to kids, so kids can feel comfortable and confident in the classroom and focus on success. Click here for eligibility information.
Toys for Tots
The local Toys for Tots campaign provides holiday toys to families in need. Families can request toys by contacting one of Toys for Tots local partner organizations; click here for a list of those organizations.
Energy and Utility Cost Assistance or Rental Assistance
Administered by Denver Human Services, the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) helps qualifying low-income households with winter heating costs by paying a portion of home energy bills. In Denver, 8,309 households received help with their utility costs during the 2016/2017 winter months thanks to LEAP. Residents who wish to apply may call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (432-8435), or visit www.denvergov.org/LEAP.
The Temporary Rental Utility Assistance Program TRUA program provides rental and/or utility assistance to residents experiencing a housing crisis, offering up to six months of rent assistance and up to $1,000 in utility payments. The city is using the 3-1-1 call center to route residents looking to access housing assistance. Residents can dial Denver’s main information line, 3-1-1, and press 6 for help. Information is also available at www.denvergov.org/housing.
Volunteers of America Colorado Branch
The Volunteers of America Colorado Branch is providing Christmas dinner baskets to families and individuals. To receive a basket, you must have a voucher from the Volunteers of America Mission. Vouchers will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Volunteers of America Mission, 2877 Lawrence St. One voucher will be given per household and an adult from the household must be present. You must provide an ID and proof of residency (an item of mail) to receive a voucher. For more information, call 303-297-0408 or click here.
Volunteers of America also teams up with The Denver Post and Safeway to deliver holiday fruit baskets to seniors with limited income in the Denver area. To suggest a recipient or volunteer to deliver baskets, click here. For more information, contact Bradley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Servicios de la Raza
Servicios de la Raza is giving away Christmas meals and toys to kids at 9 a.m. Dec. 19. Food and toys will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis, so plan to arrive at 7 a.m. to wait in line. Participants will need to provide a photo ID, proof of address and a child’s school ID or birth certificate to receive toys. For more information, contact Neva at email@example.com.