Get Involved

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Holidays 2010

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Thanks for your interest. Please note that for our holiday list we post requests, but unlike Big Sunday Weekend or Monthly on Melrose events, we do not sponsor these projects. Rather, we put this out to the Big Sunday community and hope for the best. We have found, though, that this list gets forwarded, printed, posted and copied, so feel free to pass it on, too!

If you are reading this on our Website, check back here often as we update this list weekly through January 1. If you’re reading a printout, check our site at www.bigsunday.org for the latest version.

As you can imagine, because of the economic downturn, this year’s needs are greater than ever. Thanks, as always, for your help and generosity, and best wishes from everyone at Big Sunday for a happy holiday season!

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Help the Hungry at L.A. Regional Food Bank

  • November and December
  • LA Regional Foodbank, 1734 East 41st St., LA, CA 90058
  • Various shifts Monday through Saturday
  • Contact Ana Martinez at amartinez@lafoodbank.org or 323-234-3030

The food bank helps seniors, children, families and individuals. They need volunteers to assemble food boxes and bags for the hungry throughout the holiday season. Work shifts are usually two-and-half to three hours long. And if your office, school, place of worship, etc. would like to volunteer as a group, they can take from 10-to-100 volunteers at a time. Volunteers must be 14-years old. If you want to donate food for Thanksgiving or Christmas, please bring it one week before the holiday. The food bank is also collecting unwrapped toys until December 17. For a full wish list go to www.lafoodbank.org.

 Choose From Many Ways to Help our Troops

 Operation Gratitude is offering countless ways for you to help the troops during the holiday season. This is the most important time of year to express our gratitude to the courageous men and women of the United States Military. Here’s a few ideas:  Knit and crochet beautiful scarves to keep our soldiers warm; write letters to our troops; do all your holiday shopping at the Operation Gratitude website at http://www.opgratitude.com/ideas.php; recycle your cell phone to raise money for care packages postage and help the environment at the same time; donate your Beanie Babies, WebKinz and Halloween candy; donate $15/package to ship a personalized Operation Gratitude Care Package to a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine; and volunteer to assemble Holiday Care Packages! 

 Help the Asian Pacific Women’s Center

  • November and December
  • Contact Lauren Seo lseo@apwcla.org or at 213-250-2977

The Asian Pacific Women’s Center is a wonderful group that helps battered women and their children. They are planning to celebrate the holidays this year with parties at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day and the Chinese New Year. While they have not yet set the dates for each party, they know they’ll need help with food, gifts for the women, toys for children and volunteers. If you’d like to help out, please contact Ms. Seo for more details.

 Buy A “Green” Gift for the Holidays and Plant a Tree in LA

  • November and December
  • Contact TreePeople at treegifts@treepeople.org] or call 818-753-TREE

Through TreePeople's Holiday Tree Dedication program, all gifts made will support their efforts to plant more than 23,000 native seedlings in the fire-damaged Angeles National Forest this spring. Help this great organization restore this beloved forest right outside our city! Make a donation of $25 in honor of your friends or family and TreePeople will send them a special edition Tree Dedication card with a warm holiday message – for Hanukah, Christmas and New Year’s. Give a donation of $100 or more and TreePeople will send a beautiful Tree Dedication certificate announcing your gift!

 Help at the Pomona First Baptist Church Holiday Giveaway & Parties

  • November and December
  • Pomona First Baptist, 586 N. Main St., Pomona, CA 91768
  • Contact Nancy Mataritta at nancy@pfblive.tv or 909-629-5277, ext. 3014

 The nice folks at Pomona First Baptist Church will be giving away baskets of food and toys to local needy and homeless families throughout the holiday season. They need volunteers, ages 13 and older, to pack food boxes and deliver them on November 20 and 27 and December 11 and 18. They would also greatly appreciate donations of food, including cereal, canned goods, juices, rice, beans, soup and jam and donations of diapers and $10 gift cards to the local Stater Brothers Market. They would also love donations of unwrapped new toys, anytime up until December 11. The church will be hosting holiday banquets on November 27 and December 18, at 12:30 PM and they would love volunteers to help set up, serve and clean up. Volunteers are encouraged to bring holiday pies to the banquets! Indeed, to do a double good deed, see the Project Angel Food Pie project listed under Nov. 23rd)!

 Help the Salvation Army’s Operation Christmas Program

The Salvation Army Long Beach Citadel Corps is seeking volunteers, food, toys, and gift cards for its amazing Operation Christmas 2010 program, which helps very low-income people. Volunteers are needed to ring bells at kettles (donations support year-round social service programs)! Groups and carolers are welcome (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Donations are also needed: 2,500 unwrapped toys for children 0-to-14; gift cards for teenagers; canned and non-perishable food items to provide 1,500 families ingredients for Christmas dinner; plus 1,500 frozen turkeys or hams. Volunteers are needed November 19 and 20 to help with client intake; December 10 and December 23 to deliver gifts to patients; and on December 20, 21 and 22 to help distribute food and toys to some 1,500 people. These are great projects for businesses, service clubs, faith groups and others.

Help Abused Children Through Art

  • November and December
  • Free Arts for Abused Children, 12095 West Washington Blvd., Suite 104, LA, CA 90066
  • 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday-Friday
  • Contact Annie Armbrust at annie@freearts.org or 310-313-4278

Free Arts for Abused Children serves more than 500 abused, homeless and at-risk children weekly at nearly 50 sites throughout the year. They’re always adding more programs during the holiday season, which can be especially difficult for many of these kids. As such, they can use all kinds of art supplies, including crayons, markers, paper, and glue. The full list is at www.freearts.org. If you’re game  they are also “excited to have as many people as possible lead art supply drives.”

Donate to a Low-income High School’s Winter Performance

  • Throughout December
  • Animo Pat Brown Charter High School, 8255 Beach St., LA, CA 90001
  • Contact Ellie Herman at ellie.herman3@gmail.com or 213- 610-3617

Who needs “Glee” when you have Animo Pat Brown Charter High School in South Central Los Angeles?  Our theater-loving high school kids have been working for weeks to put together our winter show, “The Actor’s Nightmare and Other Scenes from the American Dream.” We’re looking for angels to donate money -- we need about $800 (though we'd be grateful for donations in any amount)! The money will go to purchase a futon, an armchair, two mattresses, a bench, a lamp and many other smaller items for the production. If you'd like to donate contact Ellie.  

Help out at 24th Street School’s Community Garden

  • Every Friday in November and December
  • 24th Street School, 2055 West 24th St., LA, CA 90018
  • 9 AM to 1 PM
  • Contact Julia Cotts at julia@gardenschoolfoundation.org or 213-434-4080

The Garden School Foundation helps the children of the 24th Street Elementary School and their families, most of whom live near or at the federal poverty level. At Big Sunday, we’ve happily worked for – and with – them for many years. They need up to 10 volunteers every Friday to help weed, clean-up, build paths, and other general garden maintenance. They also always need volunteers who are willing to donate the use of their trucks to pick up supplies and compost and vegetable seedlings. For a full wish list, go to http://gardenschoolfoundation.org/howtohelp/.

Play Games and Give to a Great Cause
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Saturday, November 13
  • North Valley Caring Services, 15453 Rayen St., North Hills, CA 91343
  • 10 AM to 5 PM (various shifts available)
  • Contact Yency Rosa at yrosa@nvcsinc.org or 818-891-0481, ext. 23

North Valley Caring Services provides family literacy, youth and workforce development and homeless support services to people in the greater San Fernando Valley. They are hosting a "play-a-thon" fundraiser for kids 5-to-18. They need about 15 volunteers (ages 15 and up, please) to help set up, clean up, register people, serve refreshments and help supervise the games  (Twister, Jenga, Connect 4, etc.). This fun event helps pay for North Valley Caring Services’ annual Thanksgiving Dinner (see November 24th below) and other programs.

Help Preserve a Beautiful Park at Starr Ranch
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Saturday, November 13 and 20
  • Starr Ranch, 100 Bell Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679
  • Contact Sandy DeSimone at sdesimone@audubon.org or 949-858-0309

Starr Ranch is a 4,000-acre Audubon preserve in southeast Orange County in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. They need help with their Weed Warrior Volunteer Program. All weed control on Starr Ranch Sanctuary is non-chemical to preserve unique and sensitive habitats. There is a lot of manual work and they really need your help! Volunteers must be at least 8-years old, and those 8-13 must be accompanied by an adult.

Celebrate an Interfaith Thanksgiving and Help Feed to Poor
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Sunday, November 21
  • St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 2200 San Joaquin Hills Road, Newport Beach
  • 7 PM
  • Contact jaimieday@yahoo.com

The Newport-Mesa-Irvine Interfaith Council is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family. There will be choral performances and thanksgiving scripture readings from several different faith groups. The admission is two cans of food per person, which are to be donated to Families Forward and S.O.S.

Provide Thanksgiving Dinner at Homes for Life
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • By Monday, November 22
  • Homes for Life, 13457 Van Owen St., Van Nuys, CA 91405
  • 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Nancy Anne Rubio at nrubio573@roadrunner.com or 323-206-8869

Homes for Life provides permanent housing for homeless people with mental disabilities. They’re hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for 16 residents at one of their group homes. They would greatly appreciate donations of turkeys, cakes, pies, juice, soda, coffee and tea.
They would also appreciate donations of men’s and women’s clothes, art supplies and household appliances.

Sort Toys for Children in Need
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Tuesday, November 23    
  • P.C.I. Warehouse, 13000 S. Figueroa St., LA, CA 90067 (corner of 130th and Figueroa)
  • 11:30 AM to 5 PM
  • Contact Mark Johnson at MarkJcitylites@aol.com or at 323-573-2798  

CityLites is putting together a Winter Wonderland in South Los Angeles, complete with games and entertainment, a toy giveaway, and featuring real snow! They could use your help sorting and wrapping toys in preparation for the event. For more information, please visit http://www.city-lites2004.org/.

Buy Thanksgiving Pies and Support Project Angel Food
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • By Tuesday, November 23
  • Project Angel Food, 922 Vine St. La, ca 90038
  • Pick up pies: Sunday, Nov. 21, 9 AM to 3 PM
  • Pick up pies: Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 22 and 23, 10 AM to 7 PM
  • Contact Irma Ramiriz at 845-1800, ext. 255

Project Angel Food provides delicious and nutritious meals to people fighting HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. This year, they are selling their famous pies to the public for Thanksgiving. Every pie you buy provides five free nutritious meals to Project Angel Food clients. You can choose from Angelic Apple, Perfectly Pumpkin, and Heavenly Chocolate. (Buy 10 pies or more, and they’ll deliver them to you free of charge.) Pies are $25 each and may be purchased online at angelfood.org. Something to think about: Many of the groups on this list are hoping for someone to donate pies for their Thanksgiving dinners. Buy these pies to help them, and you’ll help two great groups at once! For more information go to pies@angelfood.org.

Help Cook and Serve Thanksgiving Dinner for the Youth of Covenant House
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Tuesday, November 23
  • Covenant House, 1325 North Western Ave., LA CA 90027
  • Contact Sister Margaret Farrell at mfarrell@covca.org or 323-461-3131 ext. 237

 We always love working with our good friends at Covenant House. They provide shelter for homeless youth between the ages of 18 and 24. They also support some of their formerly homeless youth, as well as young moms with babies. They can use volunteers to help prepare, cook, set up and serve Thanksgiving dinner, and of course, to help clean up too. For more information please check out www.cov.dove.org. They can also use some basic necessities: cereal and canned soup; underwear (all sizes) and socks; hygiene products; and diapers in all sizes, plus wipes. They can also especially use jackets and sweaters with hoods.

 Help at the All Peoples Christian Center Family Thanksgiving
 Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Tuesday, November 23
  • All Peoples Christian Center, 822 East 20th St., LA, CA 90011
  • 4 PM to 9:30 PM
  • Contact Larry Gonzales at lgonzales@allpeoplescc.org or 213-747-6357, ext. 42

Our old friends at the All Peoples Christian Center are hosting Thanksgiving dinner for their nice families. Their clients include children up to 17-years-old; young adults working to change their lives by completing their GED or taking computer classes; a women’s support group; and adults who have lost their jobs. They would love ten volunteers of all ages to help set up, serve, and clean up. Per Larry: “Whatever people can do would be great!”

 Provide Thanksgiving Dinner for the Mary Magdelene Project
 Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • By Tuesday, November 23
  • The Mary Magdalene Project, 7136 Haskell Ave., Suite 125, Van Nuys, CA 91406
  • 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Friday
  • Contact Dianne Amato at Dianne.amato@mmp.org or 818-400-6707

The Mary Magdelene Project helps women who have been victims of prostitution, as well as their children. They are hosting Thanksgiving dinner for residents, their children and former residents of the program. They need donations of turkeys, hams, stuffing mix, green beans, potatoes, yams, pumpkin and sweet potato pies and anything else you can think of. They’re expecting 20-to-30 people. Also, per Dianne: “Thank you for thinking of us. We could not do what we do here without the generous help of people like you!”

Celebrate Thanksgiving Morning at the Downtown Women’s Center
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Thursday, November 25
  • Downtown Women's Center, 325 S. Los Angeles St., LA, CA, 90013
  • 6:30 AM to 2 PM (two shifts available)
  • Contact Allison Bamberg at Volunteer@DWCweb.org or at 213-680-0600

The Downtown Women’s Center is hosting a great holiday breakfast and lunch for their residents and they need your help! Volunteers are needed to help create holiday crafts, help with the raffle and other activities like karaoke and bingo. They also need help serving food, cleaning-up and just spending time with their residents. The DWC is also hosting parties on Hanukkah, December 2, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, too! To check out a full wish list of gifts, food and basic items that are needed, please visit www.DWCweb.org/holiday.htm.

Help Out at a Thanksgiving Dinner
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Wednesday, November 24
  • North Valley Caring Services, 15453 Rayen St., North Hills, CA 91343
  • 8 AM to 4 PM (various shifts available)
  • Contact Yency Rosa at yrosa@nvcsinc.org or 818-891-0481, x 23

We’ve loved working with our old friends at North Valley Caring Services for years as they work to help others – in all kinds of ways – in their low-income neighborhood in North Hills and surrounding areas. This year, they are hosting a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving dinner for the nice folks in their community. They need 30 volunteers (age 15 and up, please) to help prepare and serve the meals and, of course, to clean up, too. They also need paper plates, plastic utensils and cups; punch and lemonade; and 20 table cloths.  Hope you can help!

Provide Food for Hungry Folks in Pasadena
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Thursday, November 25
  • Pasadena Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Ave. Pasadena, CA 91105
  • 10 AM to 1 PM (for food deliveries)
  • Contact Sandy Potter at 626-240-4550 ext.116

Union Station Homeless Services operates a beautiful facility in Pasadena, providing shelter, employment assistance and childcare to families and individuals. For more than 30 years, they’ve hosted “Dinners-in-the-Park” on Thanksgiving and Christmas, providing warm holiday meals for people in the community. They would be grateful for your food donations so they can serve even more people with a hearty Thanksgiving dinner. The full current list of needed items is available at http://www.unionstationhs.org/current_needs.php. For more information, please visit the USHS website at http://www.unionstationhs.org/dinners_in the_park.html.

Help Out at a Thanksgiving Dinner
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  •  Thursday, November 25
  • Phoenix House, 11015 Bloomfield Ave., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
  • 3 PM to 5 PM
  • Contact Twyla Whitley at tmcnutt@phoenixhouse.org or 562-941-8042, ext. 4960

We always love working with our friends at various Phoenix House sober-living homes. In Twyla’s words: “Our goal is to provide our women and their children with the best holiday that they may ever experience.” The need volunteers to help them set-up, serve and clean-up and just help make their Thanksgiving feast a memorable one. They would also appreciate donations of turkeys, ham, stuffing, pies, cakes and other Thanksgiving fixings right up until Thanksgiving Day. (Donations can be dropped off at the address above, seven days a week during business hours.)

Sort Toys for Children in Need 
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Saturday, November 27
  • P.C.I. Warehouse, 13000 S. Figueroa St., LA, CA 90067 (corner of 130th and Figueroa)
  • 10 AM to 2 PM
  • Contact Mark Johnson at MarkJcitylites@aol.com or at 323-573-2798  

CityLites is putting together a Winter Wonderland in South Los Angeles, complete with games and entertainment, a toy giveaway, and featuring real snow! They could use your help sorting and wrapping toys in preparation for the event. For more information, please visit http://www.city-lites2004.org./

Wrangle a Balloon for Big Sunday in the Hollywood Christmas Parade 
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Sunday, November 28
  • 3 PM to 8 PM
  • Hollywood
  • Contact Dylan Gasperik at Dylan@bigsunday.org or 323-549-9944

Who doesn’t love a parade!?! Big Sunday has been offered a great opportunity to gain some free publicity on television at the Hollywood Christmas Parade. A team of volunteers will have a chance to guide one of the giant balloons down Hollywood Boulevard in the parade, and Big Sunday will be recognized by the host on-air. Volunteers 18 and up are welcome to join us.

Provide Holiday Gifts for Wounded Soldiers
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • By Wednesday, December 1
  • Saint Michael and All Angels Church, 3646 Coldwater Canyon, Studio City, CA  91602
  • 10 AM o 4 PM Monday-Thursday
  • Contact David Rosenberg at SoldiercareProject@gmail.com or at 818 984 3322

SoldierCare does humanitarian non-political outreach to young wounded soldiers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many of whom have lost limbs and are brain injured. They are putting together gift bags for Christmas to give to soldiers on hospital wards and for those who have returned home as well. They would love donations of new DVDs and gift cards from national chains. Please make sure to mark your donations for "SoldierCare Project" and thanks for helping these great and deserving vets!

Celebrate Chanukah at the Downtown Women’s Center
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Thursday, December 2
  • Downtown Women's Center, 325 S. Los Angeles St., LA, CA, 90013
  • 9 AM to 4 PM (for donation deliveries)
  • 1:30 PM to 3 PM (for the party)
  • Contact Allison Bamberg at Volunteer@DWCweb.org or at 213-680-0600

Join the folks at the Downtown Women’s Center as they celebrate the “Festival of Lights" with latkes, music, dreidels and more! They need volunteers to help celebrate the holiday by setting-up, serving, cleaning-up and just hanging out with their residents. They are also accepting donations of food, gelt, dreidels, menorahs, Hanukah candles and holiday-themed paper goods. Donations are needed by November 30th. The DWC is also hosting parties on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, too! To check out a full wish list of gifts, food and basic items that are needed, please visit www.DWCweb.org/holiday.htm.

Sing With Seniors for the Holidays

  • Friday, Saturday & Sunday, December 3, 4 & 5 (Hanukkah)
  • Anytime in December (Christmas)
  • St. John of God Retirement & Care Center, 2468 S Street Andrews Place, LA, CA 90018
  • Contact Marina Bakica at mbakica@stjohnofgodseniors.org  or 323-731-0641, ext. 2125

It’s always great fun to visit the seniors at St. John of God Retirement and Care Center in West Adams. This year, they have asked for volunteers who can play instruments and/or sing to come and perform for the seniors for Hanukkah and/or Christmas. They prefer small groups, and particularly love groups of kids. (Any glee clubs or choruses out there?)  Please contact Marina to find a date that works for you.
 

 Help Preserve a Beautiful Park at Starr Ranch
 Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Saturday, December 4 and 11
  • Starr Ranch, 100 Bell Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679
  • Contact Sandy DeSimone at sdesimone@audubon.org or 949-858-0309

Starr Ranch is a 4,000-acre Audubon preserve in southeast Orange County in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. They need help with their Weed Warrior Volunteer Program. All weed control on Starr Ranch Sanctuary is non-chemical to preserve unique and sensitive habitats. There is a lot of manual work and they really need your help! Volunteers must be at least 8-years old, and those 8-to-13 must be accompanied by an adult.

Help out at the NCJW’s Annual Clothing Giveaway, Part One
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Saturday, December 4
  • National Council of Jewish Women, 543 North Fairfax Ave. LA, CA 90036
  • 8 AM to 12 PM
  • Contact Elizabeth at 323-852-8515 or Elizabeth@ncjwla.org

Each year more than 3,000 people – most of them from shelters – come to the National Council of Jewish Women’s Annual Giveaway during the holiday season. They find thousands of free items – clothing and toys and children’s books – for women, men and children. They are looking for up to 100 volunteers (groups are welcome and encouraged) to help sort clothing, books and toys on Saturday to get ready for Sunday’s big giveaway. Volunteers must be at least 12-years-old.  A light breakfast will be provided. And this event is held rain or shine!

Sing Hanukkah Songs to the Elderly
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Sunday, December 5
  • Beverly Hills Carmel Retirement Home, 8757 Burton Way, LA, CA 90048
  • 4 PM to 6 PM
  • Contact Rabbi Yossi Mentz at ymentz@yha.org

Join the wonderful folks from the Yavneh School at the Beverley Hills Carmel Retirement Home to sing Hanukkah songs to the elderly! It will be lots of fun – all ages are welcome and encouraged. (The older people love to see little kids – it makes them happy!) And, of course, there will be delicious snacks, too.

 Help out at the NCJW’s Annual Clothing Giveaway, Part Two
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  •  Sunday, December 5
  • National Council of Jewish Women, 543 North Fairfax Ave. LA, CA 90036
  • 6:45 AM to 1 PM
  • Contact Elizabeth at 323-852-8515 or Elizabeth@ncjwla.org

 Each year more than 3,000 people – most of them from shelters – come to the National Council of Jewish Women’s Annual Giveaway during the holiday season. They find thousands of free items – clothing and toys and children’s books – for women, men and children. They are looking for up to 100 volunteers (groups are welcome and encouraged) to help distribute clothing, books and toys on Sunday. Volunteers must be at least 12-years-old.  A light breakfast will be provided. And this event is held rain or shine!

Help Out at the Annual From The Heart Book Sort and Giveaway
 Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Sunday, December 5
  • From The Heart, 919 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401
  • 10 AM to 1:30 PM
  • Contact Barri Evins at FromTheHeart345@aol.com, or call at 310-569-1772

Each year, From The Heart provides thousands and thousands of new books to kids living below the poverty line all over Los Angeles. For many it’s the first book they’ve ever owned. They need tons of volunteers to help sort books in preparation for the book giveaway. (See December 19 below for details about the Book Giveaway!) This is a family-friendly event, and children age five and up are welcome. (Dress casually – book sorting is dusty work!) New book donations for children and new and used books for adults will be accepted up until December 5.

Make a Holiday Party for Disabled Kids Great
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Sunday, December 5
  • Elysian Therapeutic Recreation Center, 929 Academy Road, LA, CA 90012
  • 10 AM to 12:30
  • Contact Leah Weiner at info@keenlosangeles.org or 310-497-5592

KEEN LA helps lower income kids with disabilities in all kinds of ways, including lots of great ways for them to play sports. They are having a holiday party and need volunteers to help set up, entertain and help clean up. They are also hoping to get toys for 50 of their athletes 3-to-18; 10 toys for kids ages 3-to-6; 10 for those 7-to-10; 10 for those 11-to- 14; and 10 for those 14-to-18. (Half boys, half girls.) They can include, basketballs, soccer balls, books, dolls, etc. (Please wrap the toys and mark age and gender on it.) They could also use healthy snacks for the party, as well as a boombox that plays CDs.

Volunteer at the 18th Annual Veterans' Holiday Celebration
 Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Sunday, December 5
  • Veteran's Administration, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., LA, CA 90073 (In Lot 29, adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Stadium)
  • 1 PM to 6:30 PM
  • Contact Angelica Umali at volunteer@vhcevent.org

For the past seventeen years, this great organization has produced an amazing event at the VA facility in West Los Angeles – the Annual Veterans’ Holiday Celebration, which includes homemade meals, gifts, entertainment and a huge holiday party for veterans. This event is free and serves some 3,500 veterans and their families. And they need 700 volunteers to help out in countless ways! Website address: https://www.vhcevent.org.

Donate Gift Cards for Homeless Families
 Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • By Wednesday, December 8
  • Hooper Ave. Elementary School, 1225 E. 52nd St., LA, CA 90011
  • 8 AM to 4 PM
  • Contact Myrna Reynoso-Torres at myrna.reynosotorres@lausd.net or 323-232-5327 or 323-232-5371 

Our old pals at the Hooper Avenue Elementary School Healthy Start Program serve many nice children whose families are homeless. In their words: “We are working diligently on getting our homeless families Target or Wal-Mart gift cards to help with food and personal necessities. We are hoping to help 50 families in our homeless program with a $25 gift card.” These are families with kids in first through fifth. Note: We’re talking $1250.00. Is there an office out there that wants to take all or part of this on?

Help at a Holiday Party for Homeless Youth and Young Adults
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • By Wednesday, December 8
  • At the Crossroads, 333 Valencia St., Suite 320, San Francisco, CA 94103
  • 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Rob Gitin at robg@atthecrossroads.org or 415-517-5458 

Here’s one for our friends in Northern California: At the Crossroads is a small nonprofit in San Francisco that helps homeless youth and young adults. They are 100% privately supported. They are having two holiday parties and hope to give gifts to 300 (!) kids. For most of their clients, this is the only holiday party they will attend, and these are the only gifts they’ll get. They would especially like gift cards to popular stores. ($20 cards are preferred but, of course, cards in any amount are greatly appreciated.) If you’d prefer to buy a gift, great – just please bring it unwrapped. FYI: At the Crossroads can also really use clothes, gloves, hats, socks, underwear, blankets, sleeping bags, backpacks, umbrellas, and toiletries. For a full wish list, contact Rob.

Join the Candlelight Vigil for Homeless Youth
Project Completed (Thanks!)

 Wednesday, December 8

  • Covenant House California, 1301 N. Western Ave., Hollywood, CA 90027
  • 7 PM
  • Contact Sister Margaret Farrell at mfarrell@covca.org or 323-461-3131 ext. 237

We always love working with our good friends at Covenant House. They provide shelter for homeless youth between the ages of 18 and 24. They also support some of their formerly homeless youth, as well as young moms with babies. Join them for their annual Candlelight Vigil, an event designed to raise awareness about homeless youth.

Volunteer, Donate, Decorate, & Party at AbilityFirst
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Friday, December 10
  • AbilityFirst, 480 South Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711
  • 6 PM to 9 PM
  • Contact Jenny Valadez at jvaladez@abilityfirst.org or 909-621-4727

AbilityFirst helps many people with disabilities. This holiday season, at their Claremont Center, they are hosting a Winter Wonderland Formal for their adult participants. In their words, “Come help make this a night to remember by donating decorations, food, formal wear, volunteers and suggestions.” The need up to 20 volunteers, ages 15 and older. They also need donations of food, decorations, and fancy clothes!

Provide Gifts for Kids in Foster Care
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • By Friday, December 10
  • United Friends of the Children, 1055 Wilshire Blvd. # 1955, LA, CA 90017
  • 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Jill Freeman @ jillian@unitedfriends.org or 213-580-1851

United Friends of the Children provides many essential programs and services to current and former foster youth ages 4-to-23, including transitional housing, independent living skills, career planning, emergency assistance and college readiness and sponsorships. They would like to give new, unwrapped gifts to the kids in their programs. Here are some of the things they’d really appreciate: Gift cards to places like grocery stores, clothing stores, Best Buy, etc.; children’s toys and games; electronics like iPods and digital cameras; bath and body sets; CD’s and DVD’s. They would also love tickets to sporting events. For the full and detailed wish list, check out www.unitedfriends.org. One other thing that’s nice to buy and that they could really use: Christmas trees and decorations.

Give and/or Wrap Holiday Gifts for Abused Kids
 
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Friday, December 10
  • San Gabriel Children's Center, 2200 East Route 66, Suite 100, Glendora, CA 91740
  • 3 PM to 6 PM (for gift wrapping party)
  • Contact Amanda Gonzalez at Amanda@sangabrielchild.com or 626-859-2089, ext. 209 or 909-234-5705

The San Gabriel Children’s Center does wonderful work helping kids who’ve been abused and neglected. They are requesting unwrapped gifts for their kids. (But if you’d like to bring some wrapping paper and bows, too, that’s great.) The gifts are needed by December 3. (Drop off at the address above between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday.)They’ll be hosting a gift wrapping party on December 10 and need about 10 volunteers to help get the gifts ready to give away. Contact Amanda to learn more about their wish list and to RSVP for the gift-wrapping party.

Help at the All Peoples Christian Center Adult Christmas Party
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Saturday, December 11
  • All Peoples Christian Center, 822 East 20th St., LA, CA 90011 
  • Contact Larry Gonzales at lgonzales@allpeoplescc.org or 213-747-6357, ext. 42

Our old friends at the All Peoples Christian Center are hosting a Christmas party for the people in their Women’s Support Group Anger Management Class and their Parenting and Men’s Support Group. They are hoping for donations of gifts, food, drinks and “anything that can help us with this event, including people who can sing Christmas carols.”  They would love ten volunteers to help set up, serve, and clean up.

Give Holiday Gifts to Kids Living With HIV/AIDS
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • By Saturday, December 11
  • Project New Hope, 1004 Echo Park Ave., LA, CA 90026 
  • 8 Am to 5 PM, Monday-Friday
  • Contact Anthony Garcia at agarcia@projectnewhopw.org or 213-250-9481, ext. 22 

Project New Hope provides housing to individuals and families of low income living with HIV/AIDS, as well as seniors and those with other special needs. They are looking for sponsors to give gifts to kids in their low-income housing programs. The kids have written wish lists and Santa will give them the gifts at their annual holiday party.  Gifts can be wrapped or unwrapped.

Provide Holiday Gifts for Hearing-impaired Kids
Project Completed (Thanks!)

NO LIMITS for Deaf Children is an awesome group that helps deaf and hard-of-hearing children from all backgrounds develop self-esteem while having a great time performing. (You should see their shows! Amazing!) They are having a holiday party for their kids, many of whom are from low-income families and rarely get gifts. They need 100 unwrapped holiday gifts for kids ages 4-to-15. They also need 7-to-10 volunteers to help make this party especially wonderful.

Volunteer at Holiday Cheer Party
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Saturday, December 11
  • St, Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 3646 Coldwater Canyon Ave., Studio City, CA
  • 10 AM to 2 PM (for party)
  • 9 AM to 3 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Jane Wilson at 818-267-4058, or  superqueerjane@yahoo.com

St Michael and All Angels church is hosting 140 kids and their moms from local nonprofits Good Shepherd and MEND for their annual holiday party, Holiday Cheer. There will be cookies and crafts, sports and knitting and singing, too. They need 15 to 20 volunteers to help at the event, and would also appreciate all kinds of donations, from individualized gifts for the children to lunch food and craft supplies, and goodie bags for the moms. Volunteers of all ages are welcome at Holiday Cheer 2010!

Provide Holiday Cheer & Gifts for Foster Kids and Their Families
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Sunday, December 12
  • Inner Circle Foster Care & Adoption, 7120 Hayvenhurst Ave., Suite 204, Van Nuys, CA 91406
  • 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Beth Lucas at 818-988-6300, ext. 215

Inner Circle Foster Care & Adoption works to strengthen families by providing community based services to children and families. They’re hosting a wonderful holiday party and need gift cards in all denominations to stores like Target, WalMart and K-Mart. They are also looking for organizations or individuals willing to adopt a family. And they need water, soda, juice and coffee and tea for the party, where they’re expecting 100 people.

Give Gift Baskets for Low-income Families
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • By Monday, December 13
  • Westside Family Health Center, 1711 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405
  • 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM, Monday-Thursday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Michelle Horejs at 310-450-4773, ext. 246

The Westside Family Health Center helps nearly 9000 low-income men, women and children who are uninsured in Santa Monica, Venice, Mar Vista, Palms and the surrounding areas. This holiday season they are looking for people to adopt 25 families and provide gift items so they can assemble gift baskets for the holidays. Here are some items they would especially like: diapers, new toys (ages 0-to-12), books (ages 5-to-12), sporting goods, non-perishable food, baby clothes, as well as gifts for their hardworking parents, such as movie tickets, gift cards, and bath and beauty products.

Help Out at a Holiday Party 

  • By Monday December 13 (for donations)
  • Saturday, December 18 (for the party)
  • The Foundation for Second Chances, 453 S. Spring St., # 839, LA, CA 90013
  • 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries)
  • 8 AM to 4 PM (for the party/shifts are available)
  • Contact Tiffany Ferrara at tiffany@ffscinc.org or 213-627-1745 or 818-419-3214

The Foundation for Second Chances helps underprivileged youth and their families in South Los Angeles. Each year at the holidays, they host more than 150 people for a special celebration that includes a holiday feast, arts and crafts, games, cookie making, and, probably best of all, a visit from Santa who brings gifts for all the kids. They need donations of toys and food for these kids. Here are some of the things they need: 600 unwrapped gifts for kids ages 4-to-14; 100 Santa hats; face painting supplies for 150 kids; 500 plates; 800 napkins; 500 water bottles; hand sanitizer; sports equipment like balls or Frisbees (to play with on the day of the party); canned and packaged food. They can also use the services of a volunteer DJ or Santa. Plus, they need 20 volunteers to help set up, clean up, and everything in between. All ages welcome, but those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Donate and/or Volunteer at the Saban Free Clinic Holiday Party

  • Tuesday, December 14
  • Hollywood Presbyterian Church, 1760 N. Gower Street, Hollywood, CA 90028
  • 9 AM to 4 PM (Shifts are available throughout the day)
  • Contact Ilana Sochaczewski at events@thesabanclinic.org or 323-330-1653

The Saban Free Clinic (formerly the LA Free Clinic) serves poor and low-income people who would otherwise not get medical care. They are hosting their 21st Annual Holiday Party for the some 400 patients. They need up to 25 volunteers to set-up, serve food, give out gifts and clean up, too! They can use donations of new toys and books, baby items, toiletries, toothbrushes and hairbrushes. They also need new and gently-used clothes of all sizes for men, women and children. Clothes for toddlers are especially needed.
Website address: http://www.thesabanfreeclinic.org.\

Decorate and Donate at Three Different Homeless Shelters

  • By Wednesday December 15
  • Contact Ruth Devine at rdevine@lafh.org or 818-982-4091, ext. 109

Our longtime friends at L.A. Family Housing operate three homeless shelters and 18 low-income properties. They are looking for Christmas decorations for all of their facilities, and up to eight live Christmas trees with bases. They are also looking for new unwrapped toys for kids of all ages and, especially, items that could be used as gifts for the teens in the residences. (The teens often get short-changed with gifts. If there’s anything you can do, it’s greatly appreciated.) One more thing: They’d welcome leftover food from holiday parties. After all, they serve more than 500 people three meals a day! If you can drop off food, please contact Mike Bouhadana at 818-521-6749.

Attend a Jazz Holiday Concert to Benefit the Homeless

  • Thursday, December 16
  • Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 West Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA
  • 7 PM
  • Contact Emily at emilyr@pathventures.org or 310-996-1171

 PATH Ventures helps provide long-term housing solutions for people “graduating” from shelters and transitional programs by offering supportive services with permanent housing for people in need. They are hosting a “Jazz for the Holidays” benefit concert to support PATH Ventures and its programs. There will be delicious food and beautiful music featuring the George Kahn All-Star Jazz & Blues Revue and guest vocalists Dianne Wright (The Jubilee Singers), Courtney Lemmon and Kelsea Cire. Tickets are $100 per person ($500 for six tickets), including dinner and the show. Please RSVP on or before Friday, December 3rd.

 Help at the All Peoples Christian Center Youth Christmas Party

  • Friday, December 17
  • All Peoples Christian Center, 822 East 20th St., LA, CA 90011
  • Contact Larry Gonzales at lgonzales@allpeoplescc.org or 213-747-6357, ext. 42

Our old friends at the All Peoples Christian Center are having a Christmas party for the youth in their wonderful programs, ages 0-to-17. They are hoping for donations of gifts, food, drink and, if at all possible, a Santa Claus to come to deliver gifts and spread some cheer. (Note: Santa can usually come by for $250 and that includes tip. (Hey, Santa’s gotta eat, too.) If you’d like to donate the money for Santa, please contact david@bigsunday.org. The APCC folks would love ten volunteers to help set up, serve and clean up. Per Larry: “Whatever people can do would be great!”

Help Heart of Los Angeles’ Toy Drive

  • By Friday, December 17
  • HOLA, 2701 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100, L.A CA 90057
  • Contact Anna Martin at amartin@heartofla.org or 213-389-1148 ext. 245

Every holiday season, HOLA hosts a holiday party, which consists of a potluck meal, holiday performances by its students and a gift give-away for students and their families. They also would like to host a food bank for our families. They need non-perishable food, unwrapped toys, gift cards from national chains, books and clothes for boys and girls ages 1-to-19.

 Help Out at a Winter Wonderland 

  • Saturday, December 18 
  • Jesse Owens Park, 9651 S. Western Ave., LA, CA 90047
  • 9 AM to 3 PM
  • Contact Mark Johnson at MarkJcitylites@aol.com or at 323-573-2798

CityLites is putting together their annual Inner City Winter Wonderland in South Los Angeles, complete with games and entertainment, a toy giveaway, and featuring real snow! Volunteers are needed to help with all aspects of hosting the festivities. For more information, please visit http://www.city-lites2004.org/.

Help Out at a Holiday Party for Homeless Kids
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • By Friday, December 17 (donations)
  • Saturday, December 18 (party)
  • 426 S. Alexandria Ave., LA, CA 90020
  • 8 AM to 6 PM, Monday-Friday (for donations)
  • 12 PM to 5 PM (for the party/shifts available)
  • Contact Michele Richards at Michele@alexandriahouse.org or 213-381-2649 

Alexandria House is a wonderful transitional facility for homeless women and children. Their annual neighborhood holiday party (for more than 300 kids) will have all kinds of fun and games, plus a visit from Mrs. Claus, who will have a gift for every single child! They can use 20 volunteers – of all ages – to help make this event great. If you’d like to donate, their wish list includes: non-perishable food, diapers (all sizes – always expensive, always a drag to have to buy, but great to give or receive), new children’s clothes, and new toys for kids (unwrapped, please). Gift cards are also very much appreciated. The full wish list is online at www.alexandriahouse.org. If you would like to donate food, feel free to bring it to the party.

Provide Food, Gifts and Necessities for Runaway Youth

  • By Friday, December 17
  • Angel's Flight, 357 S. Westlake Ave., LA, CA 90057
  • 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Peggy Guevera at resourceguevera@yahoo.com or 213-413-2311, x22

Angel’s Flight helps at-risk runaway children ages 10-to-17. They’d love to be able to give gifts to all the kids in their program for the holidays. Here is what they’ve asked for: art supplies, athletic equipment and gift cards to music stores, athletic stores, Old Navy, The Gap, etc. They’d love movie passes, too. (Please wrap gifts if possible and mark them with the appropriate age and gender.) They’re expecting 100 people at the party and need cakes, cookies, pies, soda, chicken, enchiladas and anything else you think these kids would like. They would also love someone to come to play Santa Claus. (Editor’s note: You can hire Santa for $250. Contact david@bigsunday.org for details.) By the way, they can also use sheets and towels for twin beds, and a few laptops!

Volunteer, Donate, Decorate, & Party at AbilityFirst

  • Friday, December 17
  • AbilityFirst, 8090 Crenshaw Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90305
  • 2 PM to 6 PM
  • Contact Monique DeMarino Watts at 323-753-3101 or mwatts@abilityfirst.org

AbilityFirst helps many people with disabilities. This holiday season, at their Harry A. Mier Center, they are hosting a holiday party for about 15 kids and 30 adults. They need holiday decorations as well as gifts to give to everyone. (Requests include a Lego set, a couple of art sets and, my favorite, “dolls with hair.”) They also need volunteers ages 16 and up to help at the party. Please deliver donated toys and decorations by December 14.

Buy, Buy and Buy Some More at the No Limits Holiday Online Auction

No Limits aims to meet the auditory, speech and language needs of deaf children and enhance their confidence through the theatrical arts and individual therapy. The No Limits Holiday silent auction site – Biddingforgood.com/NoLimits is open! There are great items to choose from: A five day, four night espcape to Cancun; an autographed Kobe Bryant jersey; two round-trip airline tickets to anywhere from American Airlines; gift cards to Best Buys and Westfield Malls; season tickets to the Geffen Playhouse; games from Leapfrog and much much more. Proceeds from this auction will benefit econmically disadvantaged deaf children. Website: http://kidswithnolimits.org/about_us/.

Help Kids Pick Out a Gift for their Parents

  • Saturday, December 18
  • North Valley Caring Services, 15435 Rayen St., North Hills, CA 91343
  • 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Contact Yency Rosa at yrosa@nvcsinc.org or 818-891-0481, x 23 

We’ve loved worked with our old friends at North Valley Caring Services for years as they work to help out folks in their low-income neighborhood in North Hills and surrounding areas. This year, they are hosting a special holiday boutique where kids in their program get to pick out a holiday gift for their hardworking parents. Fifteen friendly volunteers (ages 15 and up, please) are needed to help guide these children to pick out the perfect gift.

Help out at a Holiday Party for Children and Teens in South L.A.

  • Saturday, December 18
  • Florence &Western Medical Clinic, 7301 S. Western Ave., LA, CA 90017
  • 11 AM to 1 PM
  • Contact Sarah Stern at sarah@realmedicinefoundation.org or 818-793-123

The Real Medicine Foundation helps poor and needy people. This year they’ll be hosting a holiday party to help underprivileged families in South L.A. They need unwrapped toys by December 17. They also need 10-to-15 volunteers of all ages to wrap the gifts, help with arts and crafts and cookie decoration and to make the party great! They’d also love to be able to raffle off a Christmas dinner for a family or two. (And if you want to donate that dinner, fantastic!) Per Sarah: “We love our Big Sunday volunteers as they really go the extra mile and have been instrumental in making our holiday parties a success!”

Donate Toys & Clothes for the Holidays

  • Saturday, December 18
  • CC's Barbershop, 2266 29th Place, LA, CA 90018
  • 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Marcia McDonald at 323-273-0495 or Clifford at 213-926-3324

The Ruby May Stain Foundation works to provide a safe environment for the elderly, under privileged children and abuse victims. This holiday season they will be giving out toys, clothes, coats, shoes, and “whatever we can give to the children just to help put a smile on their faces.” They will be giving the toys away at CC’s Barbershop – where all the kids will get a haircut, lunch and choose a gift. Any donations (unwrapped, please) are greatly appreciated. For more info, please check out www.rubymaystainefoundation.org.

Help Out at the Justice for Murdered Children Holiday Party

  • Saturday, December 18
  • Ports-O- Call Village, Berth 77 San Pedro, CA 90731
  • 12 PM to 3 PM (for the party)
  • Contact Lawanda Hawkins at victimvoices@yahoo.com or 310-738-4218

Justice for Murdered Children helps grieving families who have lost a loved one to violent crimes. This holiday season they’ll be hosting a nice holiday party and they would greatly appreciate unwrapped gifts for both children and adults by December 11.They need four or five volunteers the week before the party to help wrap the gifts. They’ll be accepting donations at 24564 Hawthorn Blvd., Suite 201, Torrance, CA 90505, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 pm until December 17. And, of course, they’d love another four or five volunteers on December 18 to help make the party great!

Give Gifts for Special-needs and Low-income Children

  • Saturday, December 18
  • The Jeffrey Foundation, 5470 West Washington Blvd., LA, CA 90016
  • 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Lorraine McCall at lmccall@thejeffreyfoundation.com or 323-965-7536

The Jeffrey Foundation has been helping special children for more than 30 years. This year they are hosting a fantastic holiday party for children and their families. There will be good food and live music, and every child will get a gift from Santa. They’re expecting more than 150 people and would love unwrapped gifts for kids 0-to-21, as well as wrapping paper, ribbon, gift bags and tape. And, if you’d like to help provide any of the refreshments, that would be greatly appreciated, too. Per Lorraine, they could really use copy paper, construction paper, colored pens and pencils and other art supplies, and especially volunteers with computer experience to help throughout the year.

Provide Holiday Gifts for Disabled Kids at AbilityFirst

  • Saturday, December 18
  • Lawrence L. Frank Center, 201 South Kinneloa Ave., Pasadena, CA 91107
  • 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Arsho Garlanian at Agarlanian@abilityfirst.org or 626-449-5661.

AbilityFirst helps many people with disabilities. This holiday season, at their Lawrence L. Frank Center, they are hosting a party for about 45 kids. Their request: “The children look forward to the party and enjoy the visit from Santa and the various activities we organize.” They would love to be able to give each child a gift from Santa.

Help at the 14th (Yikes) Annual Umoja Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa Party

  • Sunday, December 19
  • Umoja, 103 West 74th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90003
  • 2 PM to 4 PM
  • Contact Ofer Raveh at o.raveh@att.net or at 323-445-7322

Beyond Shelter is a nonprofit founded to combat poverty and homelessness among families with children. Families in Need and the Wonderland PTA are pitching in together to sponsor their annual holiday party. If you would like to celebrate the holidays with these wonderful families at the Umoja apartment complex, please join us! There will be live music, arts and crafts, face painting and, hopefully, Santa Claus!  Cash donations are needed to buy gift cards for family members, or to underwrite Santa Claus ($300: Hey, Santa has to feed his family, too). Don’t miss this special holiday gathering! 

 Help Out at the Annual From The Heart Book Sort and Giveaway

  • Sunday, December 19
  • TBA (there will be eight different locations)
  • 9 AM to 2:30 PM
  • Contact Barri Evins at FromTheHeart345@aol.com, or call at 310-569-1772

The Big Book Giveaway needs volunteers to put brand new books into the hands of children at Christmas time. They need drivers, schleppers, and hander-outers to deliver these books to Head Start Centers across Los Angeles. This is an incredibly festive and inspiring family-friendly event, but best for kids ages ten and up. (Dress casually – and warmly.) Those who volunteer need to stay for the entire time specified. Unable to volunteer? Consider a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to From The Heart’s partnership with First Book, just $25 puts books into the hands of a dozen delighted children! Check out www.firstbook.org/fromtheheart.

Help at a Free Holiday Shopping Day for Low-Income Moms
Project Completed (Thanks!)

  • Sunday, December 19
  • Alexandria House, 426 S. Alexandria Ave., LA, CA 90020 
  • 11 AM to 5 PM
  •  Contact Michele Richards at Michele@alexandriahouse.org or 213-381-2649 

Alexandria House is a wonderful transitional facility for homeless women and children. They host an annual day of free holiday shopping for residents and past residents – hardworking moms go “shopping” so that they can give a Christmas gift to their kids. (And between all the women, there are 140 kids!) They need 20 volunteers – of all ages – to help make this event great. They need new children’ clothes, and new toys for kids (unwrapped, please). Gift cards are also very much appreciated. The full wish list is online at www.alexandriahouse.org 

 Adopt a Family for the Holidays

 The Salvation Army helps families who are in crisis as a result of medical issues, unemployment, homelessness or other difficult circumstances. Their East Los Angeles Temple is holding its annual “Salvation Army Angel Tree” toy drive for children ages of 0-to-12. They also need generous people to adopt families during the holiday season by providing food, clothing, and/or toys. (These families have children up to 14-years-old.) To learn more about each family and to adopt a family that is a good fit for you, go to http://familyserviceseastlosangeles.blogspot.com.

Donate Toys, Food & Necessities for Disabled Kids

  • By Monday, December 20
  • The Exceptional Children's Foundation, 8740 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
  • 8 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries, please call first)
  • Contact Karen Gilman at gilperson2@gmail.com or 323-466-1541 or Gabriella Kayacan at gkayacan@ecf.net or 323-735-1424 

The Exceptional Children’s Foundation Early Start Program helps families whose young children have developmental disabilities or conditions such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy. They work with families in L.A., the San Fernando Valley and the South Bay. This holiday season they have asked for help restocking the shelves of their Big Sunday Food, Diaper and Toy Pantry with size four and five baby diapers, baby wipes, canned or boxed food staples and toys appropriate for children 0-to-3 years old. If you like, you can sponsor an entire family with toys and clothing (very gratifying and less expensive than you’d think)! Two other things: New underwear, socks and pajamas are also appreciated. Or, if you’d like to donate a platter of appetizers or desserts for one of their holiday parties, that’s great, too!

Help a Homeless Family for the Holidays

  • By Monday, December 20
  • Family Promise of East San Fernando Valley, 10153-1/2 Riverside Drive, #470, Toluca Lake, CA 91602
  • 9:30 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Jacqueline White at jwhite@familypromiseesfv.org or 818-599-4090

Family Promise of East San Fernando Valley is a small nonprofit that strives to end homelessness by providing shelter, food and supportive services so families can regain their financial independence. They always need volunteers, but this is especially so during the holiday season. They would also love to give their families gift cards from stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, TJ Maxx, Ross Dress for Less, Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens. Gas stations, too. For more info, please check out www.familypromiseesfv.org.

Help Out at the Teen Club Christmas Toy Giveaway

  • Tuesday, December 21
  • 109th Street Teen Center, 1464 E. 109th St., LA, CA 90059
  • 5 PM to 7 PM
  • Contact Deshonna Jones at deshonna.jones@lacity.org 323-872-4614

The 109th Street Teen Center needs volunteers to help with its holiday party, which is given for an incredibly impoverished community. They need toys, gifts and gift cards for boys and girls ages1-to-16, help with arts and crafts and the party. They can also use donations of food and drink to help make the party festive and fun, and a Santa would be great, too! (Because this is an official LA City event, the “Santa” volunteer would need to do a free fingerprint check a month before the event.) Editor’s note: You can hire Santa for $250. Contact david@bigsunday.org for details.

Donate Time & Toys for Low-income Kids

  • Wednesday, December 22
  • Mar Vista Family Center, 5075 S. Slauson Ave., Culver City, CA 90230
  • 8 AM to 7 PM, Monday-Friday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Sandy Sirirat at ssirirat@marvistaafc.org or 310-390-9607

The Mar Vista Family Center helps children from low-income families in and around Culver City. This year they’ll be hosting a wonderful holiday party for more than 200 children ages 0-to-12. They would love to be able to give gifts and toys to these nice kids for the holidays. (Unwrapped please, but if you want to donate wrapping paper, that’s great, too!) Toys need to be delivered by Dec.10. Volunteers are needed the week of Dec. 13 to organize and wrap the toys; and on Dec. 22 to help give them out at the party. Volunteers of all ages are welcome and encouraged! Contact Sandy to see their full wish list.

Give a Gift to a Victim of Domestic Violence

  • Until Thursday, December 23 
  • Multiple Los Angeles drop-off locations
  • Flexible hours   
  • Contact jembadv@gmail.com or call Colette at 323-572-0122

Jemba, an Oakwood high school student is organizing a holiday gift drive to benefit the Jenesse, the oldest domestic violence shelter in South Central, L.A, plus several other shelters. This year he hopes to donate to 500 families affected by domestic violence. Here is what they need: new, unwrapped toys for younger kids, gifts for moms and their ba bies and gifts for teenagers, who are often forgotten. For older kids, gift cards from national chains, hand-held games, new or used cell phones and sports related toys are welcome. Gifts can be dropped off at Nederlander Concerts/Pantages Theater, The Larchmont Larder, The Ebell Women’s Club of Los Angeles, Oakwood Secondary School, ABetterChance Southwest Region, Wagon Wheel Preschool and Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society. For more details, please check the website at https://www.jemba.org.

Help Wrap Holiday Gifts

  • Thursday, December 23
  • Children of the Night, 14530 Sylvan St. Van Nuys, CA 91411
  • 6 PM to 8 PM
  • Contact Beth Park at bpark@childrenofthenight.org or 818-908-4474, ext. 111

Children of the Night is a wonderful organization that rescues children between the ages of 11 and 17 from pornography and prostitution. For many, this will be the first year they’ve even had a Christmas tree. Per their request: “Come out for a night of holiday gift-wrapping! All supplies will be provided. We just need your helping hands!” And, if all that weren’t enough, they’ll also provide snacks and beverages.Volunteers must be high school age or older. They need ten volunteers. Also, check out their whole wish list at http://www.childrenofthenight.org/wishlist.html.

Provide Christmas Dinner for the Mary Magdelene Project 

  • By Thursday, December 23
  • The Mary Magdalene Project, 7136 Haskell Ave., Suite 125, Van Nuys, CA 91406
  • 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Contact Dianne Amato at Dianne.amato@mmp.org or 818-400-6707

The Mary Magdelene Project helps women who have been victims of prostitution, as well as their children. They are hosting Christmas dinner for residents, their children and former residents of the program. They need donations of turkeys, hams, stuffing mix, green beans, potatoes, yams, pumpkin and sweet potato pies and anything else you can think of. They’re expecting 20-to-30 people. Also, per Dianne: “Thank you for thinking of us. We could not do what we do here without the generous help of people like you!”

Provide Gifts for Homeless Kids from Covenant House

  • By Thursday, December 24
  • Covenant House, 1325 North Western Ave., LA CA 90027
  • Contact Sister Margaret Farrell at mfarrell@covca.org or 323-461-3131 ext. 237

We always love working with our good friends at Covenant House. They provide shelter for about 100 homeless youth between the ages of 18 and 24. They also support about 50 of their formerly homeless youth, as well as young moms with babies. For the teenagers they need socks, underwear for women and men (medium and large boxers), hats, scarves gloves, sweaters and sweatshirts with hoods and jackets and gift cards to national chains. They also would love unwrapped toys for boys and girls 0-to-10 years old.

Give a Toy to a Homeless Child in Pasadena

  • By Christmas Eve, Friday, December 24
  • Union Station Homeless Services, 412 S. Raymond Ave. Pasadena, CA 91104
  • 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Friday (for toy deliveries) 
  • Contact Sandy Potter at 626-240-4550, ext.116

Union Station Homeless Services operates a beautiful facility in Pasadena, providing shelter, employment assistance and childcare to families and individuals. For more than 30 years, they’ve hosted “Dinners-in-the-Park” on Thanksgiving and Christmas, providing warm holiday meals for people in the community and thousands of toys for children in their Santa’s Village. Please bring new and unwrapped toys suitable for children ages 12 and under to the USHS Adult Center by Christmas Eve. For more information about the dinners in the park, please visit the USHS website at http://www.unionstationhs.org/dinners_in_the_park.html.

Celebrate Christmas Eve Lunch at the Downtown Women’s Center

  • Friday, December 24
  • Downtown Women's Center, 325 S. Los Angeles St., LA, CA, 90013
  • 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM (two shifts available for the party)
  • 9 AM to 4 PM (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Allison Bamberg at Volunteer@DWCweb.org or at 213-680-0600

Help make the holidays festive by joining the folks at the Downtown Women’s Center for their Christmas Eve lunch. They need all kinds of help with setting up, serving, decorating, cleaning up and just hanging out with the wonderful women who live there. They need all kinds of donations, too. Everything from Christmas trees to poinsettia plants, holiday lights, gift-wrapping paper, candy, tons of food, gifts, gift cards and more. Food donations must be received by December 22. The DWC is also hosting parties on Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve, too! To check out a full wish list of gifts, food and basic items that are needed, please visit www.DWCweb.org/holiday.htm.

Help Out at Temple Israel of Hollywood’s Christmas Dinner, Part One

  • Friday, December 24
  • Hollywood United Methodist Church, 6817 Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028
  • 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Contact dinnerproject@tioh.org or call323-876-8330, ext. 3100 or Stephanie Bressler at stephanieb@tioh.org or 323-876-8330, x 1007

For 25 years Temple Israel of Hollywood has fed, entertained and given much-needed toiletries to some 1,000 homeless and needy people. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to the family-friendly set up on Christmas Eve. It’s a fun day of decorating the Christmas tree and dining hall, helping in the kitchen, preparing the toy room and more! Especially needed are volunteers with trucks or large SUVs the day before and after to schlep. In addition, the Christmas Dinner folks will gratefully accept your donations of toiletries, disposable razors, toothbrushes, blankets and batteries, and 300-to-400 toys for children ages 2-to-13. Monetary donations can be made to TIOH - The Christmas Dinner Project, and delivered or mailed to 7300 Hollywood Blvd., LA, CA 90046.

Help Out at Temple Israel of Hollywood’s Christmas Dinner, Part Two

  • Saturday, December 25
  • Hollywood United Methodist Church, 6817 Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028
  • 8 AM to 4 PM
  • Contact dinnerproject@tioh.org or call323-876-8330, ext. 3100 or Stephanie Bressler at stephanieb@tioh.org or 323-876-8330, x 1007

For 25 years Temple Israel of Hollywood has fed, entertained and given much-needed toiletries to some 1,000 homeless and needy people. On Christmas day volunteers age 13 and up (no exceptions to the age requirement, please!) are needed to help cook, serve food, give out gifts and help clean up. Especially needed are volunteers with trucks or large SUVs the day before and after to schlep. In addition, the Christmas Dinner folks will gratefully accept your donations of toiletries, disposable razors, toothbrushes, blankets and batteries, and 3-400 toys for kids ages 2-to-13. Monetary donations can be made to TIOH - The Christmas Dinner Project, and delivered or mailed to 7300 Hollywood Blvd., LA, CA 90046.

 Help Out at a Christmas Dinner

  • By Saturday, December 25
  • Phoenix House, 11015 Bloomfield Ave., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
  • 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday-Sunday (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Twyla Whitley at tmcnutt@phoenixhouse.org or 562-941-8042, ext. 4960 

We always love working with our friends at various Phoenix House sober-living homes. In Twyla’s words: “Our goal is to provide our women and their children with the best holiday that they may ever experience. We often struggle with providing adequate gifts to our women and their children due to a shortage of donations and funds.” Here are a few of the things they need for adult women: journals, pens, hygiene products, warm clothing, career clothing. For kids, 0-to-13, they would love school supplies, books, G-rated DVDs, warm clothes and learning toys. And everyone can use umbrellas! They can also use at least three volunteers to help wrap all the gifts. For more info, check out www.phoenixhouse.org.

Celebrate Christmas Brunch at the Downtown Women’s Center

  • Saturday, December 25
  • Downtown Women's Center, 325 S. Los Angeles St., LA, CA, 90013
  • 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM (two shifts available for the party)
  • 9 AM to 4 PM (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Allison Bamberg at Volunteer@DWCweb.org or at 213-680-0600

Help make the holidays festive by joining the folks at the Downtown Women’s Center for their Christmas Day brunch. They need all kinds of help setting up, serving, decorating, cleaning up, and just hanging out with the wonderful women who live there. They need all kinds of donations, too. Everything from Christmas trees to poinsettia plants, holiday lights, gift-wrapping paper, candy, food, gifts, gift cards and more. Food donations must be received by December 22. The DWC is also hosting parties on Christmas, during Kwanzaa and on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, too! To check out a full wish list of gifts, food and basic items that are needed, please visit www.DWCweb.org/holiday.htm.

Help the Downtown Women’s Center Celebrate Kwanzaa

  • Tuesday, December 26
  • Downtown Women's Center, 325 S. Los Angeles St., LA, CA, 90013
  • 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
  • Contact Allison Bamberg at Volunteer@DWCweb.org or at 213-680-0600

The folks at the Downtown Women’s Center will be celebrating the seven principles of African culture all week – from December 26 through December 31. They need your help to create   Kwanzaa mats for this unique celebration. The DWC is also hosting parties on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! To check out a full wish list of gifts, food and basic items that are needed, please visit www.DWCweb.org/holiday.htm.

 Donate Food, Toiletries & other Necessities

  • By Friday, December 31
  • 8063 Redlands St., Playa del Rey, CA 90293
  • Contact Loren Franck at loren@wshola.org or 310-570-9065 to schedule a donation delivery or pick-up

West Side Homeless Outreach will be collecting clothes, nonperishable food (flip-top cans, please), blankets, sleeping bags, towels, socks, sweatshirts, and personal hygiene items. Bottled water and individually wrapped bread and pastries are welcome, too (so long as they don’t expire before December 31). These will donated weekly to unsheltered homeless men, women and children throughout West LA.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Downtown Women’s Center

  • Friday, December 31
  • Downtown Women's Center, 325 S. Los Angeles St., LA, CA, 90013
  • 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM (two shifts available for the party)
  • 9 AM to 4 PM (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Allison Bamberg at Volunteer@DWCweb.org or at 213-680-0600

Help make the holidays festive by joining the folks at the Downtown Women’s Center for their New Year’s Eve celebration. They need all kinds of help setting up, serving, decorating, cleaning up and just hanging out with the wonderful women who live there. They need all kinds of donations, too. Everything from party hats to noisemakers, to confetti to holiday themed paper goods. They’d also loved new DVDs and cheese, caramel and kettle popcorn. Food donations must be received by December 29. To check out a full wish list of food, gifts and basic items that are needed, please visit www.DWCweb.org/holiday.htm.

Celebrate New Year’s Day at the Downtown Women’s Center

  • Saturday, January 1
  • Downtown Women's Center, 325 S. Los Angeles St., LA, CA, 90013
  • 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM (two shifts available for the party)
  • 9 AM to 4 PM (for donation deliveries)
  • Contact Allison Bamberg at Volunteer@DWCweb.org or at 213-680-0600

Help make the holidays festive by joining the folks at the Downtown Women’s Center for their New Year’s Day celebration. They need all kinds of help setting up, serving, decorating, cleaning up, and just hanging out with the wonderful women who live there. They need all kinds of donations, too. Everything from party hats to noisemakers, to confetti to holiday themed paper goods. They’d also love new DVDs, cheese, caramel and kettle popcorn. Food donations must be received by December 29. To check out a full wish list of food, gifts and basic items that are needed, please visit www.DWCweb.org/holiday.htm.