toy drive header A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs

(credit: Walsh Group)

At this time of year we see real evidence of how hard some families have it…and how generous others can be. This holiday season, how about extending your cheer to the families in our area who are scraping by so narrowly that they can’t afford even the smallest gift or a nutritious meal for their children to celebrate the Holidays?

Los Angeles

holiday family dpss A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs

The Los Angeles Department of Social Services runs an Adopt-a-Family program every year. They invite families on public assistance to apply to be adopted for one reason or another – this year reasons include terminal illness, eviction, lost job. They have one or more children, and they include a wish list for the kids in their application. Sign up to choose a family before December 9.

beyond shelter courtesy of homegrownculvercity A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs


Beyond Shelter will match the families with the perfect family to adopt this holiday season. All of the donations need to be collected by December 11th. The majority of the families that this charity focuses on helping are single Mothers living with young children in LA County.

a place called home photo courtesy of a place called home A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs


A Place Called Home offers adopt-a-family opportunities during the holiday season, and year round. After volunteering to adopt a family, A Place Called Home will match sponsored families with the perfect family to adopt.

cathedral of angels wikipedia A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs


Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels has been helping families on Skid Row in Los Angeles for many years. Families can help support this adopt-a-family program with cash donations or gift card donations. This organization will use the donations to put together gift boxes to suit each family’s needs.

Orange County

salvation army courtesy of salvation army1 A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs


Families, businesses or school groups can volunteer to adopt-a-family through the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army will help match your company with the perfect family. The Salvation Army will provide a list of needs to match the families.

share our selves courtesy of guidestar org A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs


The Share Our Selves annual adopt-a-family program is planning to help 1,100 families in Costa Mesa and Santa Ana this year. Volunteers can donate toys, food or gift certificates at the scheduled drop-off site at the OC Fair and Events Center from December 19th though December 22nd.

families forward courtesy of gatekeepersystems A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs

(credit: gatekeepersystems)

Families can support adopt-a-family anytime before the end of the first week in December. This organization is also looking for volunteers, to help build holiday gift baskets together. Volunteers can contact the organization by email to inquire about scheduling at

San Bernardino

sb childrens fund A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs


Until December 16, the Children’s Fund accepts wrapped gifts at the distribution center for children in need. You can adopt a child or several or you can give a cash donation that will go toward purchasing Christmas gifts for the kids in the program.

Toy Drives

toys for tots courtesy of toys for tots A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs

(credit: Toys For Tots)

Marine Toys for Tots

More Info

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program needs unwrapped gifts to give to children in need. There are drop-off locations available at all Toys R’ Us and Babies R’ Us Store locations. Look for the Toys for Tots drop-off location near the cash registers in your closest store. There are also other locations available that can be found on the Marine Toys for Tots website.

spark of love courtesy of gatproducts com A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs


Spark of Love Toy Drive

More Info

The Spark of Love toy drive has been helping to give children gifts for the past 19 years during the holiday season. Spark of Love toy drive needs unwrapped gifts and sports equipment for young children. Toys can be dropped off at any local fire station in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura County. The firefighters will help to distribute them to children within the community.

art institute courtesy of art institute A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs


The Art Institute of California Toy Drive

Restaurant 5250
5250 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood CA
More Info

Members of the community are welcome to donate an unwrapped toy anytime until December 16th at Restaurant 5250 in North Hollywood. The student run restaurant will be offering $10 3-course meals for every toy donation. The holiday dinner special will be available on December 8-9 from 11:30am-1:30pm. Guest can also enjoy a collection of art displayed in the restaurant by the artists who attend The Art Institute of California.

knotts courtesy of amtrak A Guide to Holiday Toy Drives and Adopt a Family Programs

(credit: Amtrak)

Knott’s Berry Farm Toy Drive

8039 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA
More Info

Guests can get a complimentary admission to Knott’s Berry Farm with the purchase of a $20 item from one of the many stores located within the Knott’s Marketplace. The $20 item will be donated to Toys for Tots to benefit young children during the holiday. If guests choose to bring their own toy (valued at $20 or more) to donate, they will be given a voucher to purchase an admission ticket for only $20 to Knott’s Berry Farm.

Shelby Barone is a local freelance writer in Orange County. She is a mom to three young children and spends her free time doing volunteer work in her community. She is passionate about health, nutrition and helping people to live with food allergies. She currently writes daily at Glitterful Felt Stories.

Comments (18)
  1. starr miranda says:

    i am trying to find out how to sign up for gift for my 6 children this Christmas.

    1. Donna Taylor says:

      I want to help you, how do I get it touch with you

      1. leeann says:

        Hi I just wanted to write you to tell you thanks for having such a big heart have a blessed day merry Christmas.

      2. HolidayHope says:

        Happy Holidays,
        I am 39 yrs old and a single mother of 5 children reaching out for help for the Christmas holiday. Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated. I am available to volunteer my services to give back to the community. This is my first time asking for help and a very emotional experience. I am greatful and appreciative for those who can make a difference to the holiday season. Thank you.

  2. temmie says:

    I have 2 children and this year due to several financial hardships i cannot get them anything for christmas can someone direct me to some help for them so they don’t feel bad they are children

  3. Leeann says:

    hi my name is Leeann and i’m having it really had this year i have 4 boy’s and i lost my job i have been going threw a lot this year my kids ain’t going to nothing for christmas my husband walked out on us and i dont have any one to help so if someone know’s of any place that can help please let me know thank you so much.

  4. David Kaplan says:

    I like to make a comment on the toy drive.
    A thumbs up ! CBS 2/KCAL 9 and the California Highway Patrol make a great team.

  5. jessica says:

    hi my name is jessica and i am a single mom of 3 and i am struggling to make ends meet this year so much so that i cant afford a tree or gifts for my kids. i cant work due to complications of a csection this past october. Christmas was what i lived for as a child. To not be able to provide for my children is breaking my heart they are so amazing and they are what keep me going each day. Please some one find it in ur heart to adopt my family. Call anytime 424 246 5906 we live in the south gate area.

  6. kasandra says:

    Hey I was wondering if any one can give me any info on any programs that helps give Christmas to kids I live in Lancaster ca and I have a little boy and a little girl their twins and their only four this year I’m having it really hard I can’t get them anything I could even get a tree I feel so bad and don’t no what to do if anyone knows of any where I can try to get some help from can you please contact me at thank you have a blessed day marry Christmas.

  7. magaly munoz says:

    how can i get gift for my 3 children

    1. leeann coburn says:

      my name is leeann, a year ago i lost my job to a work injury three months later i was at a traffic sign when a car slamed into the back of me totalling out my truck wound up with a clunker. stopped my disability ive been fightin for my unemployment i take care of my handy cap brother inlaw together we barely make the rent if we pay rent cant pay bills its one or the outher.which will be rent of course. i have an 11 yr old boy 17 yr old boy a 19 yr old boy and my nine year old grandson and twin grand babies 4 years boy and girl i cant afford to do anything for them for christmas my 23 year lod daughter has had two sergerys for cancer she also lives with me as you can see weve had a pretty bad year if someone could please help to put smiles on my childres face i would apprecicate it . i have no one to turn to in my times of struggles prayers will work to thank you and god bless even if you cant help hope you have many blessings.and a wonderful new year.

  8. Terry C says:

    Hi My name is Terry from San Bernardino and I am a mother of a 6 year old boy and 13 year old daughter. My husband has been out of work, bills are piling, and my car just broke down …again. We had a very bad year and was hoping to get put on a list for help this holiday season?? After 2 close deaths in the family, my kids need a little more cheer and less worry’s this year. Any help would help this year especially for the holidays/ My kids don’t even ask for toys they just ask for me to be happy and healthy. What kids ask for things like that? They both get awards and good grades and it breaks my heart to put things in a cart then have to put them back come check out. I don’t have a lot of family to help me and my kids are all we have. Please help me make Christmas a little more special for them.
    My email is
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  9. lanitha wilson says:

    Some one please help i have four children three girls one boy 14, 10, 3, and 2 my name is Lanitha and i am married but my husband doesnt celebrate or support christmas i have always did it every year by myself and i just cant this year or we will be homeless and unfourtunitly my kids dont understand its christmas presents or roof over head please help us so my children can have the christmas they really deserve my email is , i have never had to ask for help for christmas but it is loooking bad so anything would be a blessing to my family…Thank You.

  10. brenda lopez says:

    hello ,,,im trying to find out where they have any toy drives for my 7 children ,,ages 2months-11 years old,,,ive been in a financial hardship & i cannot get any gifts for my kids if u can please give me info i would really appriciate it,,,can u please make this a miracle christmas,,,thank you…

  11. Corinne Anderson says:

    Help the animals in the pounds, save their lives, that’s the best present of all.

  12. Shante Thomas- Carter says:

    I’m really in need of gifts, a tree, and food for my children for Christmas. I do know Jesus is the reason for the Season and GOD I TRULY NEED YOUR HELP FOR MY KIDS. WE NEED JOY, PEACE, AND HAPPINESS THANK YOU

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