Free Christmas Assistance in San Diego (2022 Guide)

The holidays can be financially stressful for anyone, especially those who barely meet their basic needs. Fortunately, various programs in the San Diego area offer free Christmas assistance to low-income households.

To help relieve some of your holiday stress, we have compiled a list of all the nonprofits and programs offering free holiday food and toy assistance in San Diego.

To qualify for most Christmas Food Assistance Programs in San Diego, you must be a low-income household and meet each organization’s requirements.

Read below for a list of all the Free Christmas Assistance in San Diego for the 2022 holiday season, including registration and contact information.

"Free Christmas Assistance in San Diego"

Free Christmas Assistance in San Diego (2022 Guide)

Below is a list of all the organizations in San Diego offering Free Christmas dinners, gifts, meals, toys, and more this holiday season.

We have provided the organization name, program offerings, registration requirements and instructions, address, and, where available, contact information.

Holi-Skate Toy Giveaway in San Diego CA

Holi-Skate Toy Giveaway

Join Black Women Lead for their Holi-Skate Christmas Toy Giveaway event for the 2022 holiday season.

Enjoy live music, free gifts, yummy treats, skating, and holiday cheer! Plus, meet Santa and the elf helpers!

Children from 0 to 17 years old will receive a free gift on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Pre-registration is not required, but encouraged for this event.

For event information and how to register, see the details below:

Event Date & Time

Saturday, December 17, 2022
10:00AM – 2:00PM

Event Location

8200 San Felipe Street
San Diego, CA 92114

Event Registration

To register, visit their Eventbrite page.


2022 Toys for Joy Gift Giveaway San Diego, CA

2022 Toys for Joy Gift Giveaway

Toys for Joy is celebrating their 26th year in 2022! This fun-filled family event brings the spirit of love and hope to families during Christmas.

To protect the health and safety of all participants, they will be hosting drive-thru toy distribution this year.

Each child, age 0-11 will receive a free toy and every family will receive a generous box of food to take home.

Registration is required for this event.

For event information and how to register, see the details below:

Event Date & Time

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Event Location

Mesa College
7250 Mesa College Drive
San Diego, CA 92111

Event Registration

To register, visit their website.


SDCA Christmas Toy & Grocery Giveaway in San Diego, CA

SDCA Christmas Toy & Grocery Giveaway

San Diego Community Assist (SDA) hosts their annual Christmas Toy & Grocery Giveaway for the 2022 holiday season.

They will be giving away 500 toys and 500 turkeys to kids and families in-need.

This event is free to attend so please RSVP today!

For event information and how to register, see the details below:

Event Date & Time

Sunday, December 18, 2022
1:00PM – 6:00PM

Event Location

Jacobs Center
404 Euclid Avenue
San Diego, CA 92114

Event Registration

To register, visit their Eventbrite page.


Be an Elf Free Toy Program

Be an Elf is a nonprofit organization that helps underprivileged children receive gifts during Christmas. The organization helps families write letters to Santa through the USPS Operation Santa® Program.

Individuals can then adopt real letters and send gifts directly to the children in-need who wrote them. There’s no middle man or charity, it’s direct from the donor to a child.

Many letters are written by kids and Moms who ask only for “a warm coat for my 5 year old,” “new shoes, size 6,” or other basic necessities.

Volunteers at Christmas may mail their gifts directly to children who need a brighter Christmas.

If your family is struggling financially, this is a great option on how you might be able to get some extra Christmas gifts for your kids.

Click here to find out how to get free Christmas gifts for your family.

The deadline for the 2022 holiday season is December 10, 2022.

Toys for Tots 

Since 1947, the Marine Toys for Tots has been bringing the joy and hope of Christmas to America’s less fortunate children.

In California, there are several Toys for Tots programs that can help provide your child with a new gift this holiday.

How to Apply for Free Toys in San Diego

If you would like to receive free Christmas toys from Toys for Tots this 2022 holiday season, you must apply for the program.

To apply for free gifts, follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the Toys for Tots website.
  2. Click “Find a Local Campaign” from the top menu.
  3. Select California from the state dropdown menu.
  4. Choose your San Diego from the menu.
  5. Once you are on the San Diego Toys for Tots page, click the red “Apply for Toys” button located at the top of the page.
  6. Follow the Application Instructions listed on the page to apply for free Christmas toys in California.


Salvation Army Angel Tree Program

The Salvation Army may be one of the most-popular organizations for holiday assistance. That’s because they provide a variety of services to those in need during the holiday season.

This year, Walmart and the Salvation Army are teaming up again for the The Angel Tree program. The program provides new clothing and toys to more than one-million children and families in local communities each year.

Once a child is accepted for the Angel Tree Program, donors can shop from the family’s Christmas wish list. Once the gifts are received, The Salvation Army will distribute them to the family just in time for Christmas morning.

If your family would like to apply for Angel Tree assistance for Christmas 2022, you will need to contact your local Salvation Army.

Submit your 2022 Angel Tree Application here.

Click here to find a local Salvation Army near you.


United Way Free Christmas Assistance Program

If you live in San Diego and are looking for food and/or gift assistance this 2022 holiday season, the United Way can help.

The United Way is partnering with several local organizations to provide free holiday meals and Christmas toys to low income families this holiday season.

To learn more about all the free Christmas assistance being offering for 2022, click here to visit the United Way of San Diego website.

If you’re searching for Christmas help near you, apply with one of the local charity organizations listed below.

You can also contact the United Way’s 2-1-1 Service for holiday assistance. Dial 2-1-1, text your zip code to 898-211, or visit the 2-1-1 Website to chat.


Operation Homefront Holiday Toy Drive

Operation Homefront’s Holiday Toy Drive helps bring holiday cheer to military families. For over a decade, they’ve partnered with Dollar Tree to provide military families with support during the holiday season.

Dollar Tree stores take toy donations, typically in November and December to help make the holidays brighter for our military families. In 2019, over 1,000 military children received toys from our Holiday Toy Drive.

To participate, start by registering for an Operation Homefront account. When you are eligible for the event, it will appear on your Account Dashboard. Once the event appears in your dashboard, you can register to attend and get help.

To learn more, visit their website at


Free Christmas Trees in San Diego, CA for 2022

The Christmas Tree Project is a nonprofit organization that saw an opportunity to help bring the Christmas spirit to families in need.

Their mission is to provide fully decorated Christmas trees to thousands of families who cannot afford them on their own.

Today, they are one of the largest organizations providing free Christmas trees to low-income families during the holiday season.

Although they are based out of Colorado, they give away trees across the country – including San Diego, California.

Click here to Request a Free Christmas Tree for 2022.

Holiday Food Assistance Programs in San Diego

We hope this guide on all the organizations offering free Christmas assistance this year was helpful.

We will continue to update this post as more opportunities for free holiday programs are announced.

Additionally, we will release our list of Free Turkey Giveaways & Thanksgiving Dinners each year in the San Diego area.

The holidays can easily become a financial burden for many low-income families living in San Diego.

We aim to help you navigate these difficult times and achieve financial security.

With that said, we would love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments if you found this information helpful and would like more articles like this!

Free Christmas Assistance in San Diego Summary

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Check out our other articles on Free Christmas Assistance available in California for 2022:


Please let us know in the comments section below if you have further questions about Holiday Giveaways, California SNAP, CalFresh EBT Card, or P-EBT.

Be sure to check out our article on the Free Thanksgiving Dinner & Turkey Giveaways in San Diego.

Also, be sure to check out our other articles about California SNAP and EBT, including: