Family Resources

At Best Friends, our families are our strength.  We are proud to include services to families as a part of our programs.  Please check this page often for educational opportunities, fun community events for your family, resources to help during times of need and ways to enjoy every stage of life with your kids. Is there something you need that’s not addressed here?  Our program managers might be able to help.  Please let us know if there’s a resource not listed by contacting us!   



holiday resources

Are unexpected expenses making it difficult to provide for the holidays this year?  If you are a family with a child in one of the Best Friends mentoring programs, we may be able to help.  Information on referrals to the Neenah-Menasha Christmas Giving Program and Appleton Salvation Army Christmas Assistance Program will be available in the October “Best Friends Family Information” email.  Please watch your email for more information.


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FREE Future Ready: Career Paths for Middle School Students
Bordini Center, 5 N Systems dr, appleton
Thursday, november 1, 6-7:30pm
registration appreciated:

Better understand the ACP (Academic Career Planning) process that the schools are using with your children to help them plan their future career. Speakers will discuss the future job market of 2030 as well as career pathways and career cruising used in the schools.

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free parent meet up!
topic: building a positive relationship with your child
ed smith community services building, 181 E north water st, neenah
lower level conference room
tuesday, november 13, 6-7:30pm
please call 920-729-5600 by monday, november 12 to reserve a spot

Lori Casey from Parent Connection will talk about communication “door slammers” and “door openers” when it comes to your kids. How the simple working of things you say can create a more positive relationship with your child. Learn simple tips and tricks to foster better relationships in your family. We will talk through specific scenarios that all parents have experienced (or will experience) at some point. This is a must attend for parents who want to have a more positive home life!


Free thanksgiving meal
Hosted by christ the rock
monarch gardens, 2311 W spencer st, appleton
thursday, november 22, 11am-2pm

Why spend the day alone?  Come join us at Monarch Gardens for great food and conversation in a warm, friendly atmosphere.  Everyone is welcome top join!  No reservations are needed for meals served at Monarch Gardens.  To arrange transportation to Monarch Gardens or have a meal delivered if you are homebound, please call Christ the Rock at 920.730.8383. 

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free christmas help
christmas giving program through the brigade
for Neenah and menasha residents
deadline, monday, november 19, 4pm

Referrals will be based on emergencies, or unforeseen circumstances, that are out of the family’s control and which leave them unable to provide for Christmas basics.  Examples of such circumstances include: Fire/storm damage, job lay-off/loss, medical crisis, loss of income you had not been expecting.  The program is intended to help fulfill BASIC Christmas gifts for families in crisis (example: coat, hat, mittens, socks, underwear, shirt, pants and a small toy). 

If you feel you meet the qualifications to be referred this year, you should have received a form in the mail to fill out and return to the Best Friends office.  If you did not receive one, please call the office and we will send you one.  Then deadline to return this form is Monday, November 19 at 4:00PM.


free christmas help
salvation army christmas assistance program, 1200 W kimberly ave, kimberly
food baskets, adopt-a-family, toys and coats for kids
for appleton residents

Residents of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Little Chute, Kimberly, Kaukauna, Combined Locks, Greenville, Grand Chute, Larson and Darboy who are struggling financially can apply to the Salvation Army Christmas Assistance Program or Adopt-a-Family Program (1200 W. Kimberly Ave., Kimberly). 

You can apply for assistance on: 

Wednesday, November 7 from 8AM to 4PM
Thursday, November 8 from 11AM to 7PM
Friday, November 9 from 8AM-Noon

To register for Salvation Army Christmas Assistance, you MUST bring:
-Picture identification (driver’s license, etc)
-Proof of income (most recent check stubs)
-Social Security cards for ALL family members
-Proof of residency (electric/phone bill, lease, etc)

For families that have a Menasha mailing address, but are actually City of Appleton residents, you would not be able to apply for Christmas Giving but would apply through Salvation Army.

Fun Activities


free Retro video game challenge: arcade classics
neenah public library, 240 e wisconsin ave, neenah
saturday, november 17, 2pm-3pm

Test your skills with the Neenah Public Library’s Retro Video Game Challenge. Featuring your favorite Classic Arcade games, like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong Jr., Frogger and more, this event is perfect for all ages and skill levels. So whether you’re a seasoned gamer that grew up in the arcades, or you just want to try some old-school games, be sure to join us for this family friendly event. No registration necessary.

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free fleece hat all agency activity
best friends of neenah-menasha, 181 e north water st
lower level conference room
wednesday, november 28, 6-7:30pm
call maia at best friends at 920-729-5600 ext 3 by monday, november 26 to sign up

With winter around the corner what a perfect time to make a fleece hat for your child! The Appleton Hat Ladies consist of 13 women from the Darting Needles Quilt Guild. They will be here at Best Friends with their sewing machines in tow, to sew hats for your child. The fleece hats are unique and colorful. Who wouldn’t want to keep their ears warm with a nice fleece hat? Pizza will be provided. Let us know if you are interested in attending. No cost for this activity.