Packing boxes for the Christmas Program

Each year, the Christmas Program at The Maine Children’s Home distributes boxes of gifts and clothing to more than 1,700 financially disadvantaged children throughout the state.

It’s the only program of its kind that provides new toys, books, games and new, warm clothing to boys and girls throughout Maine. We could not provide for these children without your donations, volunteering efforts, the outpouring of generosity and ongoing support.

We often struggle to collect donations early on before the deadline, since boxes need to be completed during the first week of December. It’s never too late or too early to donate. The Christmas Program is a year-long effort, and we graciously welcome donations anytime. All items donated should be newly purchased and in original packaging free of dents, tears or dirt.


Christmas box contents How to qualify Income guidelines
How to apply Donation needs Our supporters

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

Each child typically receives (box contents may vary):

  • Two sets of hats and mittens
  • Pajamas
  • An outfit of clothing
  • A coloring/activity book
  • Crayons or markers
  • Two toys
  • A game for the family to share

In order to qualify, families must:

  • Meet state income guidelines (we currently work at 133% 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 whom 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

Read detailed eligibility guidelines here.

2019 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 Monthly (133% of Federal)
2 $1,874
3 $2,364
4 $2,854
5 $3,344
6 $3,834
7 $4,324
8 $4,813
9 $5,181

How to Apply for the Christmas Program

Read the Christmas Program eligibility requirements, then go to the online application to apply. 

apply for christmas program

Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on the application process, donation needs and more! 

Donation Needs

All items donated should be newly purchased and in original packaging free of dents, tears or dirt. We appreciate your efforts to help our Christmas Program this year. Below, we’ve listed some of the most popular and needed items.

Full Needs List (updated 11/13/19)(Download Printable Needs List PDF)

Our Most Urgent Needs

  • Boys husky pants (size 12-14,14-16)
  • Boys slim pants (size 10)
  • Boys shirts & pants (size 18, men's size small & medium)
  • Boys pajamas (size 12-14 & 14-16)
  • Boys mittens & gloves (size large & men's small)
  • Girls shirts & pants (size 2T, 18 & 20)
  • Girls newborn pajamas (size 3-6mo & 6-9 mo)
  • Books for boys & girls age 10-12
  • Coloring books 
  • Crayons (16 & 24 pack)
  • Colored pencils
  • 18" doll accessories
  • Popular toys for boys and girls (Frozen, Jojo Siwa, Toy Story 4, PJ Mask, LOL, Paw Patrol)
  • Minecraft lego sets
  • Play-Doh / Large Play-Doh kits
  • Sketch pads

Donations are greatly needed and deeply appreciated all year long as we must build our inventory continuously in order to meet our needs. Please help us fulfill our needs by planning and donating early. All items must be newly purchased and in original packaging. Donations received after we finish packing in December will be held in storage to help us build inventory for the following season. 

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 travel up and down stairs.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact us by calling (207) 872-0261 or via email. If you would like to sign up to host a Giving Tree or Toy Drive, please fill out this form. Sign up to volunteer for Christmas begins in mid-October. Click the tab below to sign up!

Volunteer Sign Up


Our Supporters

New Balance Foundation logo

Pajama Program logo

Delivering Good


toys for tots logo





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