While most families will celebrate this holiday season, thousands of families are struggling to find shelter and to fulfill their basic needs. Los Angeles County’s local agencies and organizations, in efforts to aid the less fortunate, have established programs to raise funds and collect gifts for these families. Be a part of this experience, affect society in a positive way, and donate to these charities that are known for evangelizing on behalf of their communities.
Search to Involve Pilipino Americans
3200 W. Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA
www.esipa.orgSearch to Involve Pilipino Americans is a community center that offers services such as utility assistance and housing to aid underprivileged populations. In addition, it works to provide the public information on local agencies that offer similar services. S.I.P.A. also runs programs such as entrepreneur workshop, hosts activities and offers volunteer opportunities. It also heads an after-school program for elementary children and high school youth. This holiday season, S.I.P.A. is collecting gifts, toys, gift cards, food and new clothing items to donate to low-income families.
Catholic Charities-Long Beach
123 E. 14th St.
Long Beach, CA 90813
www.catholiccharitiesusa.orgCatholic Charities has been helping the Long Beach area for many years by providing resources to families. It also advocates on behalf of them, and empowers communities through education. Catholic Charities throughout the year collects food and clothing items to donate to families that are facing financial hardships. This year, Catholic Charities is partnering with St. Mary’s Medical Center for a holiday toy and gift drive. It is accepting toys, gift cards, clothes and food for families. Donations will go to 125 adopted families, and gifts will be distributed to families based on their needs.
As One Charity
11135 Weddington St. 132
North Hollywood, CA 91601
www.onechurchla.orgOne Church International’s outreach ministry group, As One Charity, visits L.A.’s skid row and Hollywood on a weekly basis to provide food, water, clothes, hygiene products and reading materials to the homeless. As One Charity also coordinates the Blankets of Love Give Away. It collects blanket donations and warm clothing articles, and then distributes them to poverty-stricken populations. For the holidays, As One Charity will accept clothing, food donations, blankets, gift cards, water and toys, along with gift boxes for adopted families. All of One Church International’s ministries include prayer for the communities they serve.
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
5631 Rickenbacker Road
Bell, CA 90201
toysfortotsbell.orgThe Toys for Tots program has worked to provide gifts to needy children during the holiday season for more than four decades. This year, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program Los Angeles-South is working with the Southern California Division of The Salvation Army. The plan is to continue the tradition of gathering generous donations from the county of Los Angeles and seeing to it that impoverished families do not go without a gift for the holidays. The program is accepting monetary donations and new, unwrapped toys. The gifts will then be distributed to select Salvation Army-registered families.
Downtown Women’s Center
442 S. San Pedro St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
dwcweb.orgThe Downtown Women’s Center was first created in 1978. It is the only organization in Los Angeles that provides resources specifically for women in downtown Los Angeles’ skid row. The organization provides comfort, resources, shelter and tools for women that face obstacles such as mental illness, homelessness, domestic abuse and physical disability. Downtown Women’s Center is asking for donations to make its facility cozy for the holidays. Some of the requests are for financial contributions, gift cards for groceries and other household necessities. Some other gift suggestions are for backpacks, purses, bath towels, flashlights, tooth brushes, pans to cook with and utility carts.
Cassandra Bautista is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.