News

Holiday Season is upon us and some of us need help when making ends meet. See below for programs providing Thanksgiving meals, Christmas baskets, toys for children, and more. Will be updated throughout the holiday season. For holiday events, visit our Community Events Calendar.


Holiday – Christmas, toys for children, holiday meals, etc

NEW – Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is on December 21, 2017 and you can join Golden Valley Health Centers and California Central Valley Journey for Justice is in remembering those who have passed away and recommit to the fight to end homelessness. Lunch, pastries, hot chocolate, and a limited number of free coats and blankets will be provided if needed. If you bring the flyer, you will receive a free hygiene care kit and winter weather items (flyer available in the list down below). It will be at Applegate Park at 12:00pm (noon). For more information, contact Joseph Homer at (209) 355-4397.

NEW – Merced County Rescue Mission Annual Christmas Eve Banquet will be on December 24, 2017 from 10:00am – 12:00pm at The American Legion Hall at 939 West Main Street. There will be a complete Christmas meal with all the fixings. Walk-in.

NEW – Merced County Rescue Mission Toy Drive is open for donations. Donate new, unused toys appropriate for ages 0-13 years of age to the Rescue Mission at 527 West 20th Street Merced, Monday – Saturday from 12:00pm – 5:00pm or call (209) 722-9269. Donations will be distributed at the Christmas Eve Banquet (see above for time/location).

NEW – Merced County Behavioral Health Department is presenting a Community Holiday Celebration at the Los Banos Community Center on Monday, December 18, 2017 from 3:00pm – 8:30pm. They will have free food, games, prizes, and raffles. Morning workshops will be available from 9:00am – 2:00pm and registration is required to attend. Register by calling Dr. Jennifer Jones at (209) 617-3567.

NEW – Boys & Girls Club Breakfast Winter Camp registrations are available now and available in sessions of December 21-22 ($50/child), December 26-29 ($75/child), and January 2-5 ($75/child) for children ages 6 – 18 years of age. Daily camp goes from 7:00am – 6:00pm. Transportation is available at additional cost. Activities include sports, DIY STEM activities, field trip to Rockin’ Jump, Breakfast with Santa (optional), and more. Register online at bgcmerced.org/wintercamp

LOVE INC is having “Adopt A Family” program available for Christmas. Individuals are able to “Adopt” a family and provide monetary donations  for the family to be able to have a Christmas meal, gifts, and what is desired. Those who want to adopt a family should call in order to be listed. Those who wish to sign-up to receive items, call. The phone number is 209-383-1265 Ext 150.

Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC) is giving out Christmas Baskets, which will contain a full chicken, rice, beans, nonperishable items, and candy. Sign-up’s begin on December 1, 2017 at 8:00am. Their office hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 4:30pm. To sign-up, they require ID, proof of income, and proof of residency. Baskets will be distributed on December 21, 2017.

Mariposa County Senior Services Coalition is having “Adopt A Senior” for the holiday season. Make a difference in the life of an older Mariposian this holiday season by donating lap blankets, fleece blankets, mittens/scarves/caps and socks/slippersocks. Drop off your donations at Mountain Crisis Services. For more information, contact Kristen Fiester at (209) 742-5865.

City of Merced Fire Department and Merced Police KOPS for Kids The program is open to low-income families living within the city limits of Merced. Applications are located at Merced Police Department (South Station at West 11th Street) and Merced City Fire Station (#51 at 99 East 16th Street). Applications are open now. One application per family. Please bring photo ID for adult listed on application, ID for each child (birth certificate, medical card, school ID, etc), and proof of residency. For children ages newborn to 12 years old are eligible. Toy giveaway will be on December 16, 2017 at the Police Station on 470 West 11th Street from 10:00am – 2:00pm. For more information, contact Eugene Drummond, Community Liason for City of Merced Police Department at (209) 385-6297.

United Way of Merced County is having a winter coat drive all winter long from October 1, 2017 – February 15, 2018. Coats and sweaters are being accepted, and would prefer items for children ages 1 – 19 years old. They’re open Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm, closed every other Friday.

City of Atwater Fire and Kops for Kids is accepting applications at VFW Hall (1390 Broadway Avenue) Monday – Friday from 10:00am – 2:00pm. Toy pickup will be on December 23rd from 7:00am – 12:00pm at Bellevue Elementary School in the gym. Applications require photo ID of the applicant, proof of residency, and social security or medical card of each child. Available for Atwater families only.

Catholic Charities is hosting Toys for Tots and you can apply by registering in-person at 336 West Main Street, Suite 1 anytime between Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 3:00pm (closed between 12:00pm to 1:00pm). The person applying will need to have ID, proof of address, and proof of income. They will need an ID like a birth certificate or medical card of each child. Children must be 1 – 12 years old to be eligible.

Marine Toys for Tots is accepting applications in person at their office at 510 West Olive Street, Monday – Friday from 10:00am – 4:00pm. Children up to 12 years of age are eligible. No documents are needed when registering.

The Bus is having their annual Stuff “The Bus”: Operation Holiday Toy Drive with Merced County Sheriff’s Office. The Bus will be located at the Walgreens parking lot on the corner of G Street and Olive Avenue in Merced on Saturday, December 9, 2017 from 8:00am-2:00pm to collect donations of new, unwrapped toys from the public. Cash donations, as well as, new coats and blankets will also be accepted. For those who are interested in donating but unable to make it to the toy drive, barrel sites are located throughout the county, including The Bus administration office, 1810 K Street, Merced. All donations will benefit children in Merced County. For more information about the toy drive, please contact CJ Jones with Merced County Human Services Agency at (209)385-3000 x 5285.

Holiday Program Flyers 2017

Check out our Events Calendar to see the latest Halloween events in the next couple of weeks, also available HERE. You can also see below for a list of tips to make sure children stay safe and enjoy Halloween fully.

Visit Merced or Mariposa County Resources