While many of us will be sitting down to a nice dinner and exchanging gifts over the holidays, that is not the reality for countless others in Orange County and surrounding areas. Many families are wondering how they are going to put a meal on the table for the holidays, never mind buying gifts to exchange. This is why giving to those less fortunate is so important now and throughout the year.
There are many ways you can give to those in need this holiday season. Whether it’s by donating your time, talents, or money, you can have a positive impact on so many in Orange County.
How to Help Those Less Fortunate During the Holiday Season
Salvation Army Orange County
The Salvation Army helps a large number of families in Orange County during the holiday season and throughout the year. At this time of year, there are special opportunities to help families in need. You can choose to donate toys via the Angel Tree program. Angel tags are put on trees, each with a gift a child would like this season. Donors select angel tags, purchase gifts, and return them to the Salvation Army for distribution.
You can also choose to adopt a family for the season. By adopting a family, you complete a wish list for a family in need. Volunteers are also needed to wrap and distribute gifts as well as ring the kettlebell for monetary donations during the holidays.
Giving Children Hope
During the holiday season, Giving Children Hope, a faith-based non-profit group that helps children and families break out of the cycle of need, gives back to the community in a big way. The organization is looking for Christmas Wishlist Sponsors to adopt families for the holidays. Each year, about 1,500 families are adopted through the Sponsor-A-Wishlist Program. More than 3,000 children benefit from this program annually.
You can do your part by sponsoring a family, hosting a toy drive, or volunteering. This is Giving Children Hope’s busiest time of year, so every bit of help counts!
Meals on Wheels Orange County
For many people in Orange County, having a nutritious meal to eat is a large enough gift. Meals on Wheels Orange County provides meals to thousands of older adults year-round. During the holidays, these meals are especially important for those who may not have family members around.
The program is always in need of volunteers in several different areas. You can use your time to deliver meals, make visits to lonely elderly members of the community, as well as donate meals. Besides offering meals and companionship, Meals on Wheels has a holiday gift program. You can help by buying a gift on a wish list provided by a Meals on Wheels recipient or cover the cost of a special holiday meal. Either option is a way you can make a difference in someone’s life this season.
Ronald McDonald House of Orange County
The Orange County Ronald McDonald House provides a comfortable place for the families of ill children to stay while they are receiving treatments at area hospitals. While the organization helps families year-round, there are special ways you can contribute to the cause during the holiday season.
A holiday toy drive and a holiday gift card drive are both ways that you can give back to the community. Either donate an age-appropriate toy for an ill child or gift cards to help families. Throughout the year, monetary donations are accepted to help families and to keep the program running. Event volunteers and volunteers for the Ronald McDonald family rooms are also needed.
Community Action Partnership of Orange County
The Community Action Partnership of Orange County seeks to end and prevent poverty by providing people with the resources they need. During the holiday season, there are several ways you can provide hope for those less fortunate. You can adopt a family and provide clothes, gifts, and other items to make the season brighter. There are also opportunities to provide a family meal or sponsor a family to give them the basic necessities.
Individuals and corporations can do their part by organizing virtual or in-person food drives. The Community Action Partnership of Orange County offers many different ways to make a difference in the lives of many this holiday season.
Orange County Family Justice Center Foundation
The Orange County Family Justice Center Foundation is seeking volunteers this holiday season to adopt families in need. Trustees, donors, and community supporters choose a family to adopt and provide them with the necessities for the holiday season. All participating families have received services from the Family Justice Center community partners or have been participants in empowerment and prevention programs.
By choosing to help one or more of these organizations, you can do your part in making the holiday season a little brighter for those in need in Orange County.
Please contact these organizations if you have any questions about how you can serve and/or contribute this holiday season. Thank you for helping take care of our community – sending many blessings to you and your families. Sincerely, Richard Ward