Nine Important Orange County Charities That Need Your Help All Year-Round

Volunteering and giving back is one of the easiest things to truly make a difference in your community or for humanity in general. With so many people in need across the world, every donation or charitable support matters. Right now, there are hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of charities to pick from. If you are from Orange County, California, then these ones can use your help.

You Are Special

You Are Special is a nonprofit organization aimed at financially educating widows. Because so many widows are affected by the loss of their spouse, and oftentimes they lose 100% of their income after he passes, this organization helps these grieving women restart their lives with a better financial viewpoint. 

You Are Special does not view widows as victims, but rather, as survivors who need to be guided towards independence. The grant is easy to apply for, and there is a mandatory business coaching class beforehand to help those who need it even further. 

Website: www.youarespecial.org

Current Needs:

  • Financial resources
  • Volunteering time
  • Advocacy

Casa Teresa, Inc.

Casa Teresa, Inc. is a special nonprofit, as it serves single pregnant women over 18. It provides residence and support for these struggling mothers. The nonprofit has been around since 1976, providing several programs and services to help these women in need. Some of these services even include adoption options for the baby. 

For years, they have helped countless pregnant women against homelessness, financial crises, abuse, lack of education, and more. With them, both the mother and the child are in safe hands, and a brighter future is ensured. 

“When they come through the door, we accept them unconditionally. We become their family; we’re restoring them, healing them. But none of that can start without love.” — Lisa Wood, CEO

Website: casateresa.org

Current Needs:

  • Financial resources
  • Volunteering time
  • Advocacy

Thompson Policy Institute on Disability

The Thompson Policy Institute on Disability, created by the Thompson Family Foundation, directly serves families and individuals with disabilities. Their mission is research-based, relying on research to find new ways to impact current, existing policies. 

The Thompson Policy Institute on Disability (TPI) proposes real-world solutions to barriers in the way of educating and bettering the lives of people with disabilities. In turn, these policies help change the lives of millions, and their implementation is what causes real change to institutions. The TPI strives to have a say in this, encouraging and promoting a positive change. 

Website: www.chapman.edu/education/centers-and-partnerships/thompson-policy-institute/index.aspx

Current Needs:

  • Financial resources
  • Volunteering time
  • Advocacy

Orange County Ronald McDonald House

Since 1989, The Ronald McDonald House of Orange County (RMHOC) has provided care and support to families with children suffering from serious illnesses in hospitals. The RMHOC is a big home that serves thousands of families and provides lodging, food, and fellowship.

The RMHOC creates a friendly and hopeful environment for families and children. In 2021, over 300 families in need stayed at the house, and over 7,000 hours of volunteer work were provided. Currently, the RMHOC is looking to expand further and increase its capacity, amenities, and improve its service. 

Website: rmhcsc.org/orangecounty

Current Needs:

  • Financial resources
  • Volunteering time
  • Foodstuffs (Non-perishables)
  • School supplies
  • Clothing and toys
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Towels and linens

MaxLove Project, Inc.

MaxLove Project, Inc. benefits children undergoing cancer treatment and empowers their families through several projects and resources available, such as culinary medicine. MLP ensures that the children’s patients receive the best possible treatment, while their families benefit from several factors such as nutrition, sleep, and stress-relieving activities. 

Even when the odds are not always in the patients’ favor, MaxLove Project believes that the patients should never give up and that there is always hope. For them, the statistics are never set in stone and even in critical conditions, the patient and their family deserve the best environment and resources. The organization has helped raise over 2 million dollars and served over 20,000 children battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses across 5 countries.

Website: www.maxloveproject.org

Current Needs:

  • Financial resources
  • Volunteering time

St. Jeanne de Lestonnac Free Clinic

St. Jeanne de Lestonnac Free Clinic is a free clinic providing medical and dental care free of charge for low-income residents and residents without insurance. With such a massive shortage of healthcare, this free clinic stands out and shines a light on the darkness of increased healthcare and medical insurance costs. 

With the support of volunteers and donors, the Lestonnac Free Clinic has managed to help over 10,000 patients with over 35,000 total visits. The clinic helps residents across Southern California get the healthcare they deserve.

Website: www.lestonnacfreeclinic.org

Current Needs:

  • Financial resources
  • Volunteer time
  • PPE

Illumination Foundation

The Illumination Foundation aims to combat homelessness through practical and long-term solutions. The nonprofit provides shelter, housing, healthcare, counseling, and more to vulnerable adults and children. They believe that everyone has a right to home, health, and dignity. 

In 2021, over 300,000 beds were provided, and more than 4,000 people were served. The nonprofit achieves this through detailed services, such as connecting those in need to permanent housing instead of just a temporary solution. 

Website: ifhomeless.org/home

Current Needs:

  • Financial resources
  • Volunteering time
  • Vehicle donations

Second Harvest Food Bank

Food banks are among the most important nonprofit organizations out there, as hunger is one of the most painful things the less fortunate have to battle. Fortunately, Orange County has several food banks such as the Second Harvest Food Bank. The SHFB provides consistent access to not only just basic food, but more importantly, nutritious food. 

The food bank directs its focus towards the most vulnerable, such as children, seniors, college students, and working families. They even grow some of their own food, in addition to the donations and store-bought food with a long shelf life. 

The SHFB provides food to over 250 locations such as schools, places of worship, college pantries, and more. In 2021 alone, the food bank managed to provide over 59,000,000 pounds of food to over 400,000 people per month. 

Website: feedoc.org

Current Needs:

  • Financial resources
  • Food donations
  • Volunteering time

Hub for Integration, Reentry & Employment (H.I.R.E.)

The Hub for Integration, Reentry, and Employment has one goal: a better, crime-free community. If someone has committed a crime or was imprisoned for any reason, their chances of returning to the world and finding life easy and smooth are low. This is why formerly-incarcerated people make up high rates of unemployment. 

H.I.R.E provides assistance to formerly incarcerated people in the form of shelter, housing, and employment opportunities. The support of H.I.R.E reduces recidivism rates, as the formerly incarcerated people go on to lead satisfactory, dignified lives where they do not need to return to crime to make ends meet. 

H.I.R.E works as a kind of link between service providers and employers for a better community. In 2021, over 120 unique individuals were given employment opportunities and over 53,000 dollars in support were given through volunteering.

Website: www.hireoc.org

Current Needs:

  • Financial resources
  • Volunteering time
  • Vehicle donations

If you happen to know of any deserving charities that can use a little extra help, please feel free to leave a note in the comments. Every little bit helps, and the more we help our neighbors, the better outcome we can see for everyone in need. Thank you for caring!

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