How to help and how to get help this holiday: Deadlines approaching

·6 min read

A list of places to donate or receive holiday help on the Seacoast: If you'd like us to include your efforts, email

Christmas gift giveaway

PORTSMOUTH — There will be a Christmas gift giveaway from Dec. 15 to 19, by appointment, at the Greenleaf Rec Center, 195 Greenleaf Avenue, Portsmouth. Call Alison at 207-977-6204 for more information.

Donations still needed: New toys for boys and girls ages 2 to 16; gift cards for teens; new books for ages 2 to 16; new stuffed toys/animals; new bicycles for boys and girls ages 4 to 12; Christmas stockings; and candy canes.

Toys for Tots

STRAFFORD COUNTY — For the last 71 years, the United States Marine Corps Reserve has distributed over 542 million toys to more than 250 million children. On behalf of the Marines of Bravo Company 1/25 we are excited to contribute to the local community and to ensure that every child has a gift under their tree this holiday season.

The organization will be facilitating the distribution of toys this year through other non-profit organizations within the community and will not be distributing to individual families this year and therefore you will need to register with a local non-profit organization. Please go to to find a list of local Non-Profit organizations near you to apply for toys. If you are in a position to donate toys you can find a list of drop off locations at

Holiday Toy Banks

DOVER — The Dover public welfare office is taking applications for the Dover Toy Bank. Dover residents can apply in person at 61 Locust St., Suite 334. Applicants must bring a picture ID and a copy of a utility bill.

PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth Firefighters Charitable Association has partnered with the larger Seacoast Firefighters Toy Bank and Operation Blessing here in Portsmouth to assist those in need this holiday season. Members from the Portsmouth Firefighters Charitable Association collect new, unwrapped toys and raise funds that are used to purchase gifts for families that struggle during Christmas.

Drop off a new, unwrapped toy at one of the many local collection locations. Toys are collected for newborns to 14 years of age. We are always in need of ideas and donations for the 11-14 year age group. We also need financial contributions to fill the gaps between donations. Mailing address for financial contributions: 170 Court St., Portsmouth, NH 03801. Please have toys ready for pickup Dec. 15.

Drop off locations: Fire Station 1, 170 Court St., Portsmouth; Fire Station 2, 3010 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth; Fire Station 3, 126 International Drive, Portsmouth; G. Willikers Toys, 13 Market St., Portsmouth; BankProv, 25 Maplewood Ave., Portsmouth; Seacoast YMCA, 550 Peverly Hill Road, Portsmouth; Patriots Park, 2 Freedom Circle, Portsmouth; Direct Capital CTI, 155 Commerce Way, Portsmouth; The Port Crossfit, 210 West Road, Portsmouth; Community Campus, 100 Campus Drive, Portsmouth; PINZ, Lafayette Road, Portsmouth; Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., 25 Chestnut St., Suite 300N, Portsmouth; Toyota of Portsmouth, 150 Greenleaf Ave., Portsmouth; Clear Choice MD, 750 Lfayette Road, Portsmouth; The Shanty, 115 Mirona Road, Portsmouth; Key Auto Group, 549 US-1 Bypass, Portsmouth; Seacoast Volkswagen, 95 Ocean Road, Greenland.

For more information, the Toy Bank Coordinator is Cassie Chamberlain at 603-393-4537 or

Free Christmas food baskets

DOVER — The Dover Police Department is accepting names, addresses and phone numbers of needy families residing in Dover for the Annual Christmas Basket Program. Each December, the Police Department employees conduct this program through Dover Police Charities to provide a Christmas dinner to families in Dover.

The Police Department employees seek community donations to make this program a success. Non-perishable food items, canned goods, or monetary donations will be accepted at the Dover Police Department, 46 Chestnut St. (Please make checks payable to Dover Police Charities.) If you cannot arrange delivery of donated food to the police station, call 603-742-4646 to arrange pickup.

Employees of the Dover Police Department will prepare and deliver the baskets on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. The delivery will once again be contact-free. Employees making the deliveries will leave the baskets outside the recipient’s home and contact them by phone. At this time, no volunteers are requested. For more information, contact the Dover Police Department at 603-742-4646.

ROCHESTER — The Share Fund and Gerry's Food pantry are offering free Christmas food baskets to anyone in need this holiday season. To obtain a basket, call 603-335-0011. Baskets will be available through Dec. 20.

DOVER — Community Action Partnership of Strafford County is offering free Christmas food baskets to anyone in need this holiday season. To obtain a basket, call 603-435-2500 Ext. 8136.

KENNEBUNK, Maine — On Friday, Dec. 24, 2021, Community Harvest, a local nonprofit organization, will host the 19th Annual Noel Dinner. Traditionally, The Noel Dinner is a complimentary Christmas Day dinner for community members to come together and share in delicious food and festive company. This year, due to the spread of COVID-19, the organization is making two significant changes. The Noel Dinner will be a delivery-only system rather than a gathered meal, and delivering the meals on Christmas Eve Day rather than Christmas Day.

All meal reservations must be made in advance by Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. “Once signed up, you will receive a confirmation with more details from one of our volunteers,” said de Bree. All community members are welcome to reserve complimentary meals by calling (207) 967-1911 or visiting The delivery of meals will adhere to CDC guidelines for social distancing, sanitizing, and other safety measures. Last year, The Noel Dinner served over 400 people in the greater Kennebunk community. Community Harvest was founded in 1999 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Kennebunk, Maine. The organization focuses on providing food and emergency community assistance for those living in Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel, and offers all services free of charge.

Holiday collection for the homeless

ROCHESTER — The Rochester Chamber's Holiday Events Committee is conducting a collection this holiday season for the Homeless Center for Strafford County. Sponsored by Holy Rosary Credit Union, you are invited to drop-off items in need, that are listed below, to benefit children at the homeless center.

Donations will be accepted at Holy Rosary Credit Union, located at 133 Brock St., in Rochester and the Chamber of Commerce located at 18 South Main St., in Rochester now through Dec. 17, 2021. Days and hours that donations can be dropped off are Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The Homeless Center for Strafford County is currently seeking the following items: Paper towels; Lysol wipes; hand soap; kids craft kits; wash cloths; new pillows; new pillow cases; new twin sheet sets; mayo; mustard; ketchup; ranch dressing; Chef Boyardee beefaroni and ravioli; healthy kid snacks; granola bars; popcorn; “Annie’s” snacks; and sugar free applesauce.

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Ways to donate and find help this holiday season on the Seacoast

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