Give back this season

'Tis the Season of Giving in Orange County

Whether you've got the itch to write a check or actually pass out plates of food, volunteer on your own or with friends and family, there are plenty of options available to give back this holiday season.

Whether you have a whole day available to volunteer or just a few hours, there are many ways you can help.



Donate funds, food or time to the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen, located at 720 West 19th Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. For more information, call (949) 548-8861 or visit


Donate funds, food or time to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, located at 8014 Marine Way," Irvine, CA 92618. For more information, call (949) 653-2900 or visit


Volunteers needed for Thanksgiving" potluck" dinner at Bluebird Park, located at Cress Street and Bluebird Canyon Drive. Sponsored by the Crosscultural Council and the Resource Center. Volunteers needed to set up at 11 a.m., the event starts at noon. Contact (949) 497-3936 for more information.


Volunteers needed to serve free meals at Mary's Kitchen on Thanksgiving at" 1 p.m." and from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Friday Nov. 23. Mary's Kitchen is located at 517 Struck Ave. Contact (714) 633-0444 for more information.

Volunteers and donations needed at Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, located at 426-A W. Almond Ave. Contact (714) 771-1343 for more information.


Volunteers, nonperishable food items and turkeys needed for a free dinner for the needy at 6 p.m. at Placentia Presbyterian Church, located at 849 N. Bradford Ave. Contact (714) 528-1438 for more information.


Volunteers, cooked food and money needed for free dinner at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at San Clemente Community Center, located at 100 N. Calle Seville. Sponsored by Family Assistance Ministries. Contact (949) 492-8477 for more information.


Volunteers needed to serve free dinner from 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Main Place Christian Fellowship, located at 13841 Red Hill Ave. Contact (714) 505-1734 for more information." 



Probation Community Action Association (PCAA)" is dedicated to serving at-risk and victim families and helping to reduce youth crime and violence." Community members and local organizations are invited to "adopt-a-family" by purchasing items or making a monetary donation so that parents can select gifts for their families. Please call (714) 393-3685, email [email protected] or visit the PCAA website at" for more details.

Orange County Toy Collaborative

The Orange County Toy Collaborative distributes more than 250,000 toys to needy children in Orange County during the holiday season.

Orangewood Children and Family Center Holiday Wish List

OCFC is a 24-hour emergency shelter care facility for children who have been abused, abandoned and/or neglected, and is owned and" operated by the Orange County Social Services Agency.

Operation Santa Claus & Senior Santa and Friends

Operation Santa Claus and Senior Santa and Friends are holiday gift drives conducted throughout Orange County each year. Operation Santa Claus collects and distributes gifts and toys to needy children who have experienced abuse or neglect, or who are physically or mentally challenged or homeless. Senior Santa and Friends serve elderly and dependent adults who may be neglected, displaced or physically or mentally challenged. You can donate toys, gifts, funds, or your time unpacking, sorting and preparing gifts for distribution. For more information, visit the following websites:

Volunteer at The Friendly Center

The Friendly Center, a community and family resource center in the city of Orange, is once again sponsoring the 12th Annual Holiday Outreach Party. Volunteer services needed include setting up and serving lunch, handing out food and toys and helping children with various craft projects during the party. To learn more about responsibilities and times, visit"

Volunteer or Donate to the Alzheimer's Family Services Center

Alzheimer's Family Services Center, formerly known as Adult Day Services of Orange County, is seeking help for their Annual Caregiver Holiday Party. The charity is looking for volunteers to help set-up, serve food and clean up after the party. Items on their wish list include: thick felt-tip and dry-erase markers, puzzles of landscapes and animals, watercolor paints and construction paper, to name a few. The center is located in Huntington Beach. For more information, please visit their website at

Samaritan's Purse processing center

Help package shoe boxes of goodies to be sent overseas to kids in need for the holidays. Volunteers are needed in November and December. Call the Orange County processing center for more information: (714) 432-7030. Personal note: I've volunteered here in the past and it's an easy way to give back for a few hours on a Saturday. It's even more fun to do with a group or as a family! More information.

How are you giving back this holiday season? Let us know in the comments section below! Happy Holidays!