An Orange County summer beckons residents and visitors to get out and enjoy the splendor that abounds in Southern California. In conjunction with the fine weather and thrilling attractions are opportunities to contribute to this glorious community and to your neighbors in need. Tailor one or a number of your outdoor activities to include an hour, day or ongoing opportunity to assist a local charity. The whole family may participate in any or all of the following worthwhile volunteer options.
Fish For Life
34675 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629
Want to make a genuine, long-lasting difference? Contact Fish For Life at the Dana Wharf and see how you can turn a simple summer day into a life-affirming adventure for your family and a group of incredible children. This Southern California nonprofit organization invites special-needs individuals to enjoy complimentary half-day fishing expeditions. You and the young adults in your family can assist with fishing trips, refreshments, supporting and encouraging participants and simply getting to know one other. Join the “army of angels” and see if your life isn’t irrevocably changed forever.
Orange County Coastkeeper
3151 Airway Ave.,Suite F110
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Established in 1999, Orange County Coastkeepers identifies and works to solve local water quality and pollution issues. Join the cause, make a difference and learn how to contribute to long-term preservation efforts. Enlist the entire family for a regular beach cleanup on the second Saturday of every month. Participate in a variety of wildlife and ecological restoration projects. Also explore educational, outdoor enjoyment opportunities at the Coastkeeper Garden.
Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend
1313 S. Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
The Anaheim Community Foundation invites local and visiting families to support area charities by joining “The Happiest Race On Earth” volunteers. A wide range and number of opportunities span multiple events for concerned and fun-loving families throughout the Disneyland and Anaheim Resorts on Labor Day Weekend. Hand out bibs, shirts, water and direct and assist runners in the half marathon, 10K, 5K and family fun races. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old and can receive Disneyland admission passes by assisting with multiple events. Aid the community and have fun in this one-of-a-kind opportunity.
The Harvest Club
1505 E. 17th St.,Suite 219
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Commune with nature and contribute to the health and well-being of those in need right in your own community. The Harvest Club, a program of the Orange County Food Access Coalition, gathers excess produce from local growers willing to donate and distributes it throughout the community. “Harvest Teams” are made up of interested volunteer families just like yours and travel among orange farms in Placentia and Fountain Valley to a Tangelo Grove in Huntington Beach. Volunteers may also help sort and distribute donations and scout prospective donors.
333 W. Santa Ana Blvd.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
“Volunteers are the heartbeat of OC Parks.” You and your family can help keep the blood flowing this summer by adopting an OC park or becoming a one-time volunteer in your area. A variety of tasks are available and just waiting for you and your special skills. Park volunteers aren’t simple trail fixers, though you can do that too if you want. You can take photographs, plant trees, greet visitors, provide education or even guide a nature walk. Enjoy the beautiful resource that is the OC Park system even as you work to keep it healthy.
Christopher Schmidt is a freelance writer experiencing and espousing the glory that is Orange County. Driven to travel, drawn to sports, spirits and celebrity, Chris’ work can be found on