Three national organizations that provide free Christmas toys for low income families are Toys for Tots, Angel Tree, and Operation Santa Claus. There are many more on the state and local level as well, but these three are accessible across the country.
Toys for Tots was designed by the U.S. Marines. Each year it partners with businesses to provide drop boxes for unwrapped toys. These toys are then taken to a warehouse and sorted according to age and gender. Toys for Tots works closely with many churches, social welfare agencies and community groups to make sure the toys get into the hands of needy kids. Their website also makes it easy to locate drop boxes for donations, as well as for low-income families to request a toy. Angel Tree is organized by the Salvation Army. There are two different Angel Trees: One is dedicated to helping low-income families with Christmas toys, and the other is dedicated to supplying a Christmas toy for a child who has one or both parents incarcerated. Angel Tree allows low-income families to sign up from September through October, and in November, individuals, churches and community groups pick up the tags with the child's request and buy the presents. Operation Santa Claus is a national organization often organized at the local level. It accepts presents, clothing, food and money, which they then distribute to the charities with which they partner.