Holiday Giving Project


Imagine that the holidays are approaching and your family is stuggling to make ends meet. You don’t know how you are going to pay the rent, much less manage to make a Thanksgiving dinner or afford gifts for your children during the December holidays. This is the reality for many families living in Montgomery County, as a typical family of four needs over $91,000 in income to afford the basic necessities in the county. Children in the county experience a poverty rate of over 9%, while 35% of public school students qualify for free/reduce meals (FARMS).

For over 30 years, the Holiday Giving Project of Montgomery County has provided Thanksgiving and December holiday assistance to low-income households. A network of social workers, school counselors, and other human service professionals refer families in need for holiday assistance to the County’s Department of Health and Human Services. The Department then distributes validated referrals among the Holiday Giving Coalition, made up of local non-profits, faith-based organizations, and governments. Each member of the coalition adopts specific zip codes in the county to serve referred families in need, including by providing food, gift cards, and toys collected through donations.

In 2022, the project successfully matched 13,069 families (incl. 26,833 children) with 38 Coalition members. Schools provided half of all referrals. The Coalition is currently accepting referrals for the 2023 season.

For more information, see:

How Do I Get Referred?

You can get referrals for assistance from school counselors, non-profit social service agencies, government social service agencies, any of the agencies listed as part of the Holiday Giving Project Coalition of providers, or as a last option through MC311 by calling 3-1-1 in Montgomery County. Referral to the Holiday Giving Project is not a guarantee that the family will be served. All assistance provided is based on the availability of donations but sometimes requests for assistance exceed the capacity of donations received.

How Do I Refer a Family in Need?

Staff and volunteers working for public agencies, schools, non-profits, and community groups can make referrals through the Holiday Giving Online Referral Platform, for which you will need to request an account. Please see the instructions below for additional information. The printable referral form can be used to obtain the necessary information and formal consent from the family you would like to refer. This form is available in multiple languages.

How-to Instructions

Printable Referral Forms (Fillable PDF)

‚Äč English | Spanish

2023 Deadlines

  • Monday, October 2 - First day for referrals
  • Thursday, October 26 --Last day on-time referral for Thanksgiving
  • Monday, November 20-- Last day for on-time referrals for December holidays

Email:  [email protected]

For volunteer inquiries, please connect with the Montgomery County Volunteer Center at (or by email at [email protected]) or contact the Holiday Giving Project at [email protected].

If you work for or volunteer for an organization and would like to make referrals to the Holiday Giving Project, please use the following link to request access to the online referral platform. Accounts are subject to authorization and approval.