How to Get Cash and Help For Hard Times

If you need cash for the holidays, there are several options available. Charities, churches, and non-profit organizations all offer assistance to those in need during the holidays. Knowing how and where to find this help can make your holiday season brighter. With a little effort, you can get financial assistance to pay for gifts, groceries, bills, and more.

Local Churches

Many local churches offer assistance throughout the holidays. If you're a churchgoer, check with your clergy about assistance. If not, you can still receive help by soliciting the churches in your area. Some major religious branches you might consider are:

Saint Vincent de Paul: The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul offers several types of assistance, including transportation, housing, utility bills, food and clothing. To secure assistance, contact the nearest Catholic Church in your community and ask if they have a Society of St. Vincent de Paul Conference in their parish or know of one in the vicinity.  You can also search here.

Jewish Federation of North America: JFNA operates in over 300 communities throughout the country, helping others according to Jewish principles.

United Methodist Church: The UMC makes a concerted effort to help those in need during the holidays. To search for a local branch, check here.

Charities

In addition to religious organizations, be sure to check with the following charities and NPOs, all of which increase their charitable offerings during the holiday season.

The Salvation Army runs their "Christmas Miracle" program every year and helps millions with food, shelter, and clothing. They also help low-income families through a social gifting program where citizens donate gifts that are in turn donated to families in need. To receive of this assistance, register through your local Department of Social Services or search your area for the nearest Salvation Army.

Toys For Tots is a charitable program operated by the US military. Families and individuals donate lightly used or new toys for families in need. These toys are then dispersed by the military to children aged 0-14. The goal is for every boy and girl to receive two toys. Open enrollment began October 15th. If you aren't on the list already, search your state and county here and apply as soon as you can.

Make A Wish Foundation: If you have a child under 18 years age that has a debilitating or terminal illness, Make a Wish can help. Make a Wish aims to fulfill the wishes of children with severe illnesses, and they go the extra mile during the holidays. To recommend a child for consideration, complete the application here.

Food Banks

FeedingAmerica.Org: The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks secures and distributes more than 3 billion meals each year to communities throughout the United States. To request aid, search your state and contact your local food bank.

FoodPantries.Org also offers various assistance to families in need. They offer an extensive list of food banks and soup kitchens by state. If you find yourself in need of a hot meal, search your state here.

Quick Cash

Despite the several organizations offering assistance, often families are still left wanting. As a final option, you may consider a short-term holiday loan. Lenders know that many Americans will take out short-term loans to see themselves through the holidays, so they often increase their approval rates. If you really just need a bit of cash to pay for presents and a turkey dinner with a bottle of wine, a short-term loan may be the solution. If wary of short-term loans, be sure to educate yourself on the pros and cons.