Holiday Hands

What is the Holiday Hands program?

Our Holiday Hands program helps ensure that 2,500+ adults and children in our community have a brighter holiday season because of donations of gifts (in the form of physical gifts and/or gift cards) from the community. The program increases financial stability by reducing financial pressures.

Who qualifies?

United Way of Hunterdon County works with the Hunterdon County Division of Social Services (DSS) to identify individual and families in need of assistance. Typically, this includes lower-income families or individuals who qualify as ALICE, elderly residents on fixed incomes, single parents, individual with developmental disabilities, and people suffering from illness.

How are participants identified?

Most of our clients are from referrals from Hunterdon County agencies that are aware of our program and the benefits it offers enrollees.

We also communicate with other area agencies that host similar holiday programs to ensure that individual and families are being served by a primary agency.

How does it work?

  • United Way sends a letter and Holiday Hands application to the client by early October.
  • The client has until October 31st to return the application to us (we prefer mailed applications, but accept drop-offs to our external mailbox located at the Volunteer Center).
  • The client applications are processed during October and November and their gift requests are then shared with donors.
  • Donors purchase gifts throughout November and early December to meet the needs of our clients.
  • Clients are notified of a pick-up time to visit the Volunteer Center to collect their gift(s).

Holiday Hands Frequently Asked Questions

As with all United Way of Hunterdon County programs, there is no cost to participate.

Either you were not on the list of clients from DSS, or your address has changed. If you have changed addresses or believe you qualify and were excluded, please contact us at holiday@uwhunterdon.org for more information.

When clients agree to receive a gift from United Way of Hunterdon County, we require that we are the only sponsoring agency for holiday support. This is to ensure that enough gifts are available for all Hunterdon County residents who need them. This is also a policy we have development in conjunction with Salvation Army and other agencies offering assistance.

A United Way of Hunterdon County representative will contact you to schedule a time that is most convenient for your schedule. When you agree to pick-up time, we strongly encourage you to keep the time or give 2 days' notice if you need to reschedule. Pick-ups are scheduled to adhere to our Covid safety protocols, your schedule, and to make sure that all applicants are served fairly.

If you miss your scheduled pick-up time, you will be notified of a post-event pick-up day for any remaining gifts that are available. At that time, gifts are on a first-come, first-serve basis. We strongly suggest you keep your scheduled pick-up time.

No. Client pick-up times are scheduled with consideration to individuals who responded first and appeared at their agreed-upon time. Anyone who visits and does not have an appointment will be required to reschedule their visit.

Gift cards to area retailers such as ShopRite, Walmart, Kohl's, or generic VISA gift cards may be available. There is no guarantee that a gift card to a specific retailer will be available. We also encourage clients to consider gift cards/vouchers from one of two area Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations (Washington, NJ or Manville, NJ) for an opportunity to put their gift card value to use in obtaining larger household goods. We also have a toy store for all children 9 or younger. We will also have household goods in our gift store for clients to select at pick-up.