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The Christmas Program

Thank you from 1,717 little hearts — 2013 was another successful year for the Christmas Program!

Each year The Maine Children's Home provides more than 1,600 financially disadvantaged children throughout Maine with new toys and clothing as part of the Christmas Program.

In 2013, we surpassed the usual cut-off number, serving 1,717 children. A record! We could not have done so without your donations, volunteering efforts, outpouring of generosity and ongoing support.

Now, it's time to start planning for 2014. We often struggle to collect donations early on before the deadline, since boxes need to be completed during the first week of December.

In the words our enthusiastic Christmas Program director, Cristen Sawyer, it's never too late or too early to donate. The Christmas Program is a year-long effort, and we graciously welcome donations anytime.


Each year, the Christmas Program at The Maine Children's Home distributes boxes of gifts and clothing to approximately 1,600 financially disadvantaged children throughout the state. It is the only program of its kind that provides new toys, books, games and new, warm clothing to boys and girls throughout Maine.

Each child typically receives (box contents may vary):

  • Mittens, Thinsulate gloves, and a hat
  • A reading book
  • A coloring/activity book
  • Crayons or markers
  • A large and a small toy
  • A family game
  • A warm outfit

In order to qualify, families must:

  • Meet state income guidelines (we currently work at 133 percent of the federal poverty level)
  • Agree not to accept Christmas assistance from any other organization unless it is food
  • Be the parent or legal guardian of the children for which they are applying
  • Apply only for children who are 12 or under
  • Provide social security numbers for each income-earning individual in the household
  • Provide their annual gross household income and any food stamps or child support received
  • Be willing to provide proof of income

2013 Income Guidelines

To qualify for the Christmas Program, your income must be at, or less than, the amount listed here for your family size.

Household
Size
133% Monthly
1 $15,282 $1,273
2 $20,628 $1,719
3 $25,975 $2,164
4 $31,322 $2,610
5 $36,668 $3,055
6 $42,015 $3,501
7 $47,361 $3,946
8 $52,708 $4,392
For each additional
person, add
$5,347 $445

How to Apply for the Christmas Program

Read the Christmas Program eligibility requirements, then call (207) 872-0261 to speak with a Christmas Program volunteer to apply.

How to Get Involved

Each year, the Maine Children's Home books individuals and groups of volunteers ages 12 and up for Christmas box packing, inventory management and organization, and other duties as needed. This work can be labor intensive and may involve some heavy lifting and traveling up and down stairs.

Please be advised that spots for Christmas volunteering book quickly. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact us by calling (207) 872-0261, via e-mail, or click below to sign up on VolunteerSpot.

As always, we are accepting donations for the Christmas Program. We happily accept NEW winter clothing and complete outfits in sizes 0-18, NEW Thinsulate lined gloves and mittens, and NEW toys, family games, or sporting goods.

Donation Guidelines

All items donated to the Christmas Program should be:

1. Newly purchased
2. In original packaging free of dents, tears or dirt

Our Supporters

New Balance logThe Christmas Program is made possible thanks to the ongoing support of the New Balance Foundation and New Balance employees from the Norridgewock and Skowhegan locations that donate hundreds of volunteer hours to help with the Christmas program. There are also contributions from a multitude of people, businesses and schools, including student athletes from Thomas College.

K.I.D.S. OrganizationSince 1985, K.I.D.S. has provided over $1 billion worth of brand new clothing, shoes, toys, books, baby products and more to 70 million children in need throughout the United States and overseas. In these 26 years of service, K.I.D.S. has been able to efficiently and effectively deliver essential merchandise to communities prone to chronic poverty; families suffering from life-altering and debilitating circumstances; and communities hit by natural disasters. Thanks to generous donations from manufacturers, retailers and licensees, K.I.D.S. has been able to provide children, and often their entire families, with self-esteem and hope through a gift of something BRAND NEW.

Pajama ProgramPajama Program, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, provides new, warm pajamas and new books to children in need nationwide, many waiting and hoping to be adopted.

Click here to see a list of the Christmas Program's organizational supporters.

Contact Us

For more information about the Christmas Program, please contact us by calling (207) 872-0261 or via e-mail.

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