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Best Holiday Volunteer Opportunities For The Family In Orange County

giving children hope header
(credit: Giving Children Hope)

Every day, in every community, your family can make a difference. Orange County is certainly no exception. This holiday season you and your family can engage in anything from toy drives to family counseling and support to landscaping projects. Take your pick, and lend a hand at the best holiday volunteer opportunities for the family in Orange County.

Friendly Center
(credit: Friendly Center)

Friendly Center Holiday Volunteering
Friendly Center
147 W. Rose Ave.
Orange, CA 92867
(714) 769-8869

Orange County's own Friendly Center offers several seasonal volunteer and giving opportunities for O.C. families to help those in need. Host a craft table for kids, distribute food or toys, take part in their turkey basket drive for Thanksgiving, give to struggling families on a personal level by adopting one for the holidays and more. In addition, you can also volunteer and directly serve the families they help through their holiday outreach program which helps distribute toys and food to 1,000 families. For more information in their volunteering programs for the holidays, visit Holiday Events.

Giving Children Hope
(credit: Giving Children Hope)

Christmas Toy Drive
Giving Children Hope Facility
8332 Commonwealth Ave.
Buena Park, CA 90621
(714) 523-4454

Giving Children Hope provides for the welfare, health and self-esteem of Orange County Unified School District students who the McKinney-Vento act identifies as homeless. The organization's Christmas Toy Drive will benefit children in the We've Got Your Back program with new toys for the holidays. Volunteers may participate in the collection of new, unwrapped toys, or can sponsor a child's wish list, containing items of $25. Don't miss out on the chance to participate in one of the organization's wrapping parties as well. Organizers will announce the dates of the parties as the holiday season draws nearer. For more information or to sign up, visit

YMCA of Orange County
(credit: YMCA of Orange County)

Community Services Foster Youth Fun Day
YMCA of Orange County
13821 Newport Ave. Suite 200
Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 549-9622

Have fun and make a difference: Be a mentor. Volunteers will be matched with a foster child for a day for activities such as arts and crafts, cookie decorating, playing games and other holiday fun activities. While the kids relax with you, their foster parents get a much-needed day off. The mission is fun, so come casually dressed and bring your holiday cheer to help the fostered youth of Orange County kick off the holiday season.

Related: Guardian Angels Help Kids Spread Their Own Wings

child gift
(credit: Shutterstock)

Holiday Wish List
Orangewood Children & Family Center
Orangewood Children's Foundation
1575 E. 17th St.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 619-0200

Orangewood Children & Family Center is a 24-hour emergency shelter care facility for infants to 18 year olds who have been abused, abandoned or neglected. You and your family can lift a little one's spirits when you pick an item — or several — from the OCFC Holiday Wish List. Purchase toys, games, sports equipment, even clothing and personal items; your family will literally be playing Santa Claus as the children served by Orangewood and the List are allowed to keep their gifts.

OC Parks
(credit: OC Parks Department)

OC Parks Department
1501 E. St. Andrew Place, First Floor
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 566-3067

Adopt-A-Park offers flexibility and variety in volunteering. Participate in a one-time project, or serve over several months, seasons or year-round. A variety of jobs are available, from greeting visitors to vigorous, outdoor physical labor as well as traditional office positions. OC Parks accepts volunteers of all ages all year long.

Related: The Community Gardens of Orange County

Christopher Schmidt is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on


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