Archive | Orange County Charities

O.C. Charity Spotlight: StandUp for Kids

In 2003, the Orange County chapter of StandUp for Kids was born. With it came a new outlet of support for the community of homeless youth in OC– outreach centers, housing assistance, and mentorship programs. StandUp for Kids finds a way to reintegrate every youth back into the community, whether through going back to school or finding them a job. The main focus of StandUp for Kids programs is to lead youth to self-sufficiency and prevent gang involvement, teen pregnancy, drug use, and dropping out of school. In 2017 alone, they assisted over 350 youth, formalized partnerships with local shelters, and logged more than 6,200 hours serving children in Orange County. Continue Reading →

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Family Holiday Volunteering in the OC

The holiday season is a time of gratitude and generosity– what better way to channel this than volunteering and giving back to those in your very own community. Volunteering is a great way to act as a role model, encourage good works, and build memories with your entire family.

Orange County offers a wide range of opportunity for volunteer work during the holidays. Get to know your neighbors, and truly give back to the community this year! Here are a few places to start:

Build Futures – Huntington Beach, CA –

Build Futures focuses on taking young adults age 18-24 off of the streets, and providing them with the tools to stay off the streets. This year, they are asking for hygiene kits and grocery bags of food. This is a good one to do from home, and even as a part of a holiday gathering. Make an assembly line, blast the Christmas music, and ask guests to contribute some of the following items:

Build Futures asks for: “hygiene items (full size not travel) for the homeless youth we serve. Items needed include deodorant (male or female), lip balm, disposable razors (male or female), comb/brush (male or female), shampoo, conditioner, tissue (small packs), toothpaste, toothbrush, Soap (bar or body wash, Male or female), Toothbrush holder or caps (optional)”.

And for grocery bags: “Non-perishable grocery items for newly housed individuals are needed so they have food when housed. Re-usable fabric bags are preferred but can be paper. Suggested items (please keep in mind nutritional needs, these are full sizes): 2 to 4 cans or packs of tuna or chicken, peanut butter, strawberry or raspberry jam, whole grain crackers, soups, protein or granola bars (box), oatmeal, whole grain cereal, nuts of some type, whole grain pasta, brown rice, can of black beans, 2 cans chili/ravioli type meals, fruit cups or applesauce (6 pack)”.

Friendly Center – Orange, CA –

The Friendly Center helps keep children and their families safe, stable, and secure. In the holiday season, this means providing shelter, clothing, and gifts for the kids of families who are focusing solely on getting food on the table. Contribute to the turkey basket drive, give toys, host a craft table for kids at holiday events at the center– there are countless ways to help!

Christmas Toy Drive (Giving Children Hope Facility) – Buena Park, CA –

Giving Children Hope provides for the welfare, health and self-esteem of Orange County Unified School District students who the McKinney-Vento act identifies as homeless. Contribute toys, sponsor a child’s wishlist, or participate in the organization’s wrapping parties.

Orangewood Children’s Foundation – Santa Ana, CA –

As a 24 hour emergency shelter for children up to 18 years, the Orangewood Children’s Foundation is at work 24/7. Help them provide these children with a little holiday spirit. Sponsor their wishlist program, and pick an item or items requested specifically by a little one.

Adopt-a-Park – Santa Ana, CA –

Take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and get outdoors. Do park clean up, landscaping, greet visitors, or work in the office. Adopt-a-block can be a one time experience, or become a regular tradition in the family. Volunteers of all ages are welcome.

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The Orange County Rescue Mission

The Empire chapter of SIC Psycles Familia pose with families from Village of Hope in Tustin on Sunday, October 09, 2016.
(Photo by Ana Venegas, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The Orange County Rescue Mission developed in response to a serious need in the OC community. Sergeant Lewis Whitehead, a resident of Orange County in the 1960s, had his life changed in 1963. Passing by a bridge, he overhead a confrontation underneath the bridge. What he found there shocked him to his core. It was like the dark underside of the affluent and easygoing OC life above the bridge– children, women, and men: sick, without food and shelter. Continue Reading →

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O.C. Charities: Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation

Nearly 15,000 kids in the US are diagnosed with cancer every year. And of the $8 billion of government funding going toward cancer research, less than 4% goes toward specific studies of childhood cancer. Since its founding in 1982, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) has pledged to “focus its efforts to improve the care, quality of life and survival rate of children with malignant diseases”. Their office is located in Irvine. Continue Reading →

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Charity Spotlight: Project Hope Alliance

Orange County has a reputation for affluence. Yet despite this facade, there is an underlying problem, which runs deep: 28,000 children in the OC school district are experiencing homelessness. This is a higher percentage than the neighboring counties of San Diego and Los Angeles. One in 6 children in Orange County are living in poverty. The lack of stability and nutrition that they face distracts and inhibit from their academic and social growth. The Project Hope Alliance, founded in 1989, began as a way to support the transportation needs of children attending the Project HOPE School (now Skyview Elementary). For the last 28 years, the Project Hope Alliance has created programs which support youth from kindergarten through age 24 in committing to an education and their future. Continue Reading →

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Alzheimer’s Family Services Center

Photo courtesy of Alzheimer’s Family Services Center

More than 5 million Americans alone suffer from Alzheimer’s, all over age 65. Alongside these 5 million, are their 15 million unpaid caretakers– family members, spouses, friends, and other loved ones. Taking care of someone suffering from Alzheimer’s is a full-time job, exhausting physically and emotionally,  but many caretakers are attempting to work to support themselves and raise their families. Orange County’s Alzheimer’s Family Center is an adult day care program, which provides a community for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, where they can live “happier and healthier lives”. Continue Reading →

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OC Charity Spotlight: Breast Cancer Angels

Within the communities of San Diego, Long Beach and our own Orange County, Breast Cancer Angels are behind the scenes, acting as providers of financial and emotional support to women (and men) fighting breast cancer. Breast Cancer Angels is an independent, non profit 501(c)3 organization. Corporate sponsors pay all overhead costs, allowing 100% of donations to go directly into their programs. Continue Reading →

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Meals on Wheels Orange County

SeniorServ’s Meals on Wheels OC has a vision: “a world that honors people throughout life”. They pursue this vision through the reality of their actions– bringing meals to over 1200 housebound seniors. It is is a provision that goes beyond nutrition and wellness, introducing the social interaction so often lacking in the isolated senior sector of our population. The program is helpful in allowing seniors to remain independent for longer, and avoid a premature transition to an assisted living community. Continue Reading →

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Second Harvest Food Bank Orange County

Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County

Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County

Five of Orange County’s cities were ranked among the country’s wealthiest this spring. But if so many families and individuals are doing so well, why are there more than 335,000 people who go hungry every month in Orange County? Why are one in five of these Orange County children? Why are almost 45% of Orange County seniors unable to afford even basic necessities? Continue Reading →

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