Christmas Program

Packing boxes for the Christmas ProgramThe Christmas Program at The Maine Children’s Home has reached the maximum number of applications for Christmas boxes that we can take this year.

We will not be accepting any more applications. Please plan early for next year as our limit is reached quickly once we begin taking applications in early November.

If you need Christmas help, there may still be some resources available to you.

Please try one of the following options:

  • 211maine.org
  • Your children’s school
  • Your local town office, fire or police
  • Your local food bank
  • Your church or a church in your area
  • An online internet search for Christmas help in Maine

Your caseworker may also have other resources.  

Please keep in mind that most Christmas assistance programs do not allow you to apply if you are getting help from any other business, program or organization. 


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, 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 Get involved 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):

  • 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 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.

2017 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 $1,800
3 $2,264
4 $2,727
5 $3,190
6 $3,654
7 $4,117
8 $4,580
9 $5,044
10 $5,508

How to Apply for the Christmas Program

Read the Christmas Program eligibility requirements, then go to the online application to apply. Note that we are no longer taking applications for this year.

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 email, or click below to sign up.

Volunteer for the Christmas Program

Our Supporters

New Balance Foundation logoThe Christmas Program is made possible thanks to the very generous 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.

Delivering GoodSince 1985, Delivering Good has provided more than $1.6 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 32 years of service, Delivering Good 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, Delivering Good has been able to provide children, and often their entire families, with self-esteem and hope through a gift of something brand new.

Pajama Program logoPajama 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.