20 Opportunities to Give During the Holidays
The holiday season brings lots of joy, but it also brings big bills and debt. We might stand in line for hours to get a great deal on Black Friday or we can rush looking for the perfect gift to make our children happy, but what about the families who don't have the opportunity to give to their loved ones? There are many families this year who have been impacted from a natural disaster like the Holy fire or veterans, or those who are down on their luck. Families that volunteer during the holiday season have found that some of their most cherished memories were seeing true joy in those who needed it most. What can you do to give back? Here are some of the ways you can volunteer in your area:
Los Angeles County
- American Red Cross, opportunities to help displaced families from the recent devastating fires.
- Los Angeles Rescue Mission, for over 75 years they have been providing help, hope, and opportunity for men, women, and children in need.
- The Giving Spirit Winter Outreach is an organization that assembles and distributes “survival kits” to families living on the street.
- Holiday Toy Drives. This is a good time to talk to your children about the spirit of giving to others. Your family can participate in a holiday toy drive, like Toys for Tots or the L.A. County DPSS Adopt-A-Family Program.
- Downtown Women’s Center is exclusively dedicated to serving the unique needs of homeless and very low-income women in downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row community. They provide supportive housing and an on-site health clinic providing health screenings and workshops.
- Hope for Paws, here you can volunteer to work with animals. Many people abandon their pets and dump them onto the streets. These animals are then in danger of starvation, abuse, and death.
- The Richstone Family Center is an organization dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse, strengthening and preventing violence in families, schools & communities.
Orange County Area
- Operation Santa Claus. You can donate gifts to children who've been neglected and/or gifts for our senior community.
- Christmas Toy Drive. Help provide welfare, health, and self esteem to students under the McKinney Vento Act and identified as homeless.
- Holiday Wish List, Orangewood Children & Family center helps infant to 18-year-old children who have been neglected.
- Orange County Rescue Mission. Help the homeless by providing warm clothing such as jackets and socks or sweaters.
- Friendly Center Holiday Volunteering at Orange County’s friendly center that offers several seasonal volunteers and giving opportunities for O.C. families to help those in need.
San Diego Area
- San Diego Rescue Mission. Volunteers help with outreach for our early holiday meals on November 17 and December 15. The shift is 8:30AM – 10:30AM. Great for individuals, families or groups!
- Wreaths Across America is happening at the Miramar, National Cemetery to Honor our veterans through the laying of Remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country's fallen heroes and saying the name of each veteran aloud.
- Wounded Warrior Homes, if you can’t spend the time, how about a financial donation that can help provide safe and secure housing, food, and comprehensive support services for U.S. Military Veterans battling PTSD and/or TBI.
- Habitat For Humanity in San Diego. You can help build a house, or help sort in their store and so many opportunities for a wonderful organization.
- National Sock Day, hosted by us, Method Schools, parents can come out with their children in your silliest socks while we read stories and make sock puppets. We ask families who attend to donate a package of socks or other warm clothing items like sweatshirts, underwear for men, women, and children, and travel size hygiene products so we can donate to local shelters in the area. You can find out more information here.
- Support the Enlisted Project and you can help provide financial relief to the enlisted and recently discharged families during the holiday season. STEP is looking for families to help distribute gifts at their office this holiday season.
- Koinonia Family Services. For the past 3 years, our students have participated in creating gift bags for foster children during their holiday party. This is a nice surprise for the children during the this time of year.
If you'd like to see what other opportunities are available throughout SoCal, you can visit www.volunteermatch.com to get involved.
Giving back will help take your family out of the stress of being so caught up in the events and planning for Christmas. This will even enable you all to put back what many have forgotten. So, in the hustle of the anticipation of the gifts, music, decorations, food, family gatherings and such, bring some meaning this holiday season