8 Orange County Charities that Need Volunteers for the Holidays

1. Someone Cares Kitchen

Someone Cares Kitchen is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that aims to feed daily nutritious meals to the working poor, unemployed, physically and mentally challenged, and homeless. Their Soup Kitchen serves over 300 guests every day of the week and has helped thousands of people in Orange County go to bed less hungry. 

Volunteers are the heartbeat of their mission, and they are looking for more during the holidays. As a volunteer, you would help prep, cook, serve, set up, sort, clean, and stock items so that the food serving runs smoothly. Someone Cares Kitchen wants to spread the holiday joy by ensuring low-income families enjoy delicious holiday meals that they otherwise may not have.

[Someone Cares Kitchen]

2. Project Hope Alliance

Homelessness is a major problem in Orange County. To help remedy the situation, Project Hope Alliance focuses on one child at a time in its mission to end homelessness. Their organization specializes in homeless children because they believe in the potential of each child. Project Hope Alliance is looking for volunteers for seasonal projects. As a volunteer, you’d be tasked with wrapping presents, stuffing backpacks with school supplies, and much more. They even offer each child a Box of Hope, where children receive seasonal candy and snacks, toys and games, crafts, and hygiene items. Volunteers will help to assemble and decorate the boxes as well.

[Project Hope Alliance]

3. Friendly Center

The cost of living in Orange County is one of the highest in the country, and many working families may still end up homeless or living below the poverty line. The Friendly Center is an organization that provides stability, hope, and opportunities to families and children in poverty.  Volunteer opportunities are available to the Orange County community to help with their Turkey Basket Collections and Distributions and their Christmas Toy Setup and Distributions. On November 22nd and 23rd, volunteers will help collect, drop off and distribute these turkey baskets to families. From December 14th through 16th, volunteers can help unload, sort, and organize toys for families. In addition, they will also distribute toys and food for these families in need. 

[Friendly Center]

4. Orange County Rescue Mission

The Orange County Rescue Mission is a faith-based transitional living facility and homeless shelter for women, men, and children. Their facility, the Village of Hope, is the most comprehensive facility for homelessness in the country. The organization offers basic necessities like meals, clothing, and shelter. In addition, they also provide other services to help them get back on their feet, like counseling, faith programs, vocational training, education, financial literacy, and outreach programs. Volunteers are needed for their annual TurkeyTrot OC event, where they raise funds to provide over 30,000 meals for the homeless in Orange County. You can take part in greeting the community, organizing the event, setting up booths, and registering the guests. 

[Orange County Rescue Mission]

5. Operation Warm Wishes

Operation Warm Wishes is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping troubled youth, homeless people, senior citizens, veterans, and families in need. They collect toiletries, clothing, and food to distribute to these people. Operation Warm Wishes needs volunteers for holiday events such as the 14th Annual Community Thanksgiving Spectacular and the Gift of Giving Celebration. The Thanksgiving event allows guests to enjoy the day with a three-course Thanksgiving meal, unlimited beverages and desserts, live music, a kid’s craft area, and a wide range of amenities. These activities include free clothing, haircuts, doggy grooming, food bags, and more. The Gift of Giving Celebration is an event that features toy giveaways, a pancake breakfast, clothing giveaways, grocery food bag giveaways, and even free laundry services on Christmas morning.

[Operation Warm Wishes]

6. Orange County Social Services Agency

Created by the Orange County Social Services Agency, Operation Santa Claus is a program designed to provide new toys and gifts to children in foster care. Many of these disadvantaged families may not be fortunate enough to provide gifts for their foster children. Last year, Operation Santa Claus distributed over 3,900 gifts and toys to vulnerable children in Orange County. The mission is to spread the holiday spirit and joy so that these children can still enjoy a normal life. Volunteers can inquire about Operation Santa Claus by calling 714-679-2438 or sending an email to [email protected]

In addition, the Orange County Social Services Agency and Orange County Health Care Agency are partnering to put on their Senior Santa and Friends event. This program helps provide gifts to disabled individuals and the elderly. These individuals are typically isolated from their community and families. Furthermore, they would benefit from various household appliances, clothing, nutritional supplements, and special medical equipment. Volunteers can help sort, distribute and greet these individuals during the event. If you’re interested, you may call 714-825-3111 or send an email to [email protected].

[Orange County Social Services]

7. We Give Thanks

We Give Thanks is a charity on a mission to help the less fortunate in Southern California through service activities. They bring the community together on Thanksgiving Day by providing them with a special holiday meal, a meeting place, and entertainment. Last year, the charity was able to provide close to 20,000 meals to members of the community. They’ve been serving the community for 33 years and have served 230,000 meals in total. During the Covid outbreak, the organization also served 1,500 hot meals to various health care facilities in Orange County. Volunteers can sign up to help package, sort, and deliver meals for Thanksgiving.

[We Give Thanks]

8. Charity on Wheels

Charity on Wheels isn’t just about feeding the hungry. Their mission is to restore people and get them back onto the road of self-reliance. They are always in need of volunteers, but especially for the holidays. Volunteers do more than simply prep and serve meals. They sit down with the guests to enjoy the meal together and build relationships. The events also have dessert, music, and teachings. Charity on Wheels accepts all types of volunteers to help with food preparation, meal serving, greeting guests, and more. If you have special talents such as singing, playing music, cutting hair, writing resumes, you’re welcome to help out as well. Corporate sponsors like restaurants and volunteer groups can join to help the homeless people of Orange County.

[Charity on Wheels]

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