The holiday season is around the corner and there is no better time to give back and volunteer. There are many opportunities for members of the Orange County community to volunteer or donate this season.
Habitat For Humanity of Orange County
2200 S. Ritchey St.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
After 25 years in Orange County, Habitat for Humanity has built 174 homes and has helped transform the lives of many families. Contribute your time and effort to help out this holiday season. For first-time volunteers, there is a simple four-step process. First, check out all of the volunteer opportunities in your area because there are 15 ways you can be involved with Habitat. Next, attend an orientation date that can be scheduled online here to get more information. The third step is to complete your paperwork. Finally, sign up to volunteer by scheduling your work date. If you have any questions about the process or want to speak with someone, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the volunteer services manager at (714) 434-6200 ext. 237.
American Red Cross of Orange County
601 N. Golden Circle Drive
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Provide help, comfort and care for those in need this holiday season by volunteering with the local American Red Cross. The process of volunteering is different for adults and youth. To become an adult volunteer, you will need to fill out the online application available here. This is where you will create your volunteer profile account. The next step is to attend an orientation where the history of the organization is highlighted and the values and principles of Red Cross are reviewed. In order to volunteer for the blood services, visit here. Volunteer with a schedule that is ideal for you.
Orange County Ronald McDonald House
383 S. Batavia St.
Orange, CA 92868
The Ronald McDonald House has a mission to provide comfort, care and support to children and families in Southern California. When a child is in need of being treated at a hospital away from home, the Ronald McDonald House provides a “home away from home.” When families need to travel long distances to get medical attention, the option of having affordable accommodations helps ease the burden already set for these families. For the holiday season, a toy drive is held with drop-off dates scheduled: Friday, December 13 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Coast to Coast Foundation
18340 Yorba Linda Blvd., Suite 107-222
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
This organization is run entirely on volunteers and donations with the goal of feeding and clothing the poor. There are many ways to give back to this organization by donating goods that are needed and by donating services that can help advertise the organization and its mission. During the holidays, Coast to Coast holds a special initiative through its S.A.C.K program. The organization aims to provide 400 hot meals for the homeless during the holiday season and also care kits that include tooth brushes, shampoo, soap and many more items.
Operation Santa Claus
1505 E. Warner Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Operation Santa Claus is an official county holiday toy drive that distributes more than 45,000 gifts with the help of Orange County employees, Firefighters’ Spark of Love and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots. One of the initiatives that members of the community can be involved in is through Angel Tag. Operation Santa Claus provides toys for children in foster care and group homes. Some children are even among the homeless in Orange County. If you would like to give back to the organization by volunteering as a Santa, visit www.ssa.ocgov.com. Other opportunities include gift donations which can be dropped off at the Operation Santa Claus store or the public libraries and courts.
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Elle Toussi is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.