As we approach the season of giving in new ways, we’re conscious of how the COVID-19 pandemic affects those without access to basic needs and resources. Below are opportunities to safely support them.

  • Adopt-a-Family, North County Lifeline (NCL): For many low-income families, the holidays bring stress as they’re forced to choose rent and bills over purchasing gifts for their loved-ones. You can help NCL alleviate the worry by “adopting a family” and fulfilling a family wish list that holds the family’s story, sizing for clothes, and other wishes, then dropping it off at the NCL Vista Campus. Learn more here.
  • 14th Annual Spirit of Giving, Women’s Resource Center (WRC): This annual event usually includes a party for families, but in light of the pandemic they are instead solely dedicating themselves to providing toys for children and gift cards for teens and groceries. You can help by organizing a toy drive, donating toys and gift cards to WRC’s office, or donating online. Learn more here.
  • Holiday Baskets, Community Resource Center (CRC): For their 38th Annual Holiday Basket event, the CRC is hosting a drive-thru and contactless distribution. You can donate in numerous ways, including hosting a drive, organizing donation drop-offs, or donating online. Drop-offs are in Encinitas and have to be scheduled. Learn more here.
  • Children’s Book Distribution, Words Alive: Words Alive recently received many new, beautiful children’s books and they need help sorting them to prepare for community distribution! Their goal is to give 5,000 books to children by the end of the year and they’re seeking volunteers to meet the goal. They’ll be incorporating CDC guidelines for social distancing and attire. Learn more here.
  • Feed Families, San Diego Food Bank: There are multiple opportunities to join the San Diego Food Bank by donating pre-filled “hunger bags” at the checkout lines of any San Diego County Albertsons or Vons, or attend the “Day to Donate” event in accordance with CDC and social distancing guidelines. Learn more here.
  • Holiday Angels, ElderHelp: ElderHelp is partnering with UPS volunteers to deliver personalized gifts to over 400 seniors! Each will receive a special poinsettia plant, a gift card, and a handmade greeting card. You can support this effort by donating, purchasing gift cards, or organizing a company match. Learn more here.
  • Operation Holiday Joy, Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA): The ASYMCA’s annual “Operation Holiday Joy” program supports military families by providing toys for the families, particularly those of junior enlisted personnel. You can contribute to their program by donating or helping during their drive-thru event. Learn more here.
  • Embrace-a-Family, Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS): JFS’s annual program provides gifts and holiday magic for individuals and families, with help from the community.. While clients usually receive gifts, this year JFS will provide families with holiday meals, care packages, and direct financial assistance. All donations are matched dollar-for-dollar up to $360,000 by a JFS donor. Learn more here.
  • Adopt a Family, Support the Enlisted Project (STEP): In Secret Santa spirit, individuals or groups can apply to “adopt” military families through their Amazon wish lists. All gifts ordered will be delivered directly to STEP and then delivered to the families. Learn more here.
  • Thanksgiving Food Drive, STEP: STEP’s Thanksgiving online portal allows you to virtually shop for holiday food basics that will help families have a delicious and meaningful holiday meal. You can also host a canned food drive! Learn more here.
  • Holiday Blanket Drive, People Assisting the Homeless (PATH): With the holidays approaching quickly PATH San Diego is hosting a blanket drive to support the clients moving into the organization’s new East Village permanent supportive housing site. Learn more here. 
  • Mama’s Pies, Mama’s Kitchen: Supporting families, individuals, and children living with HIV, Mama’s Kitchen is looking for donations to help them create “Holiday Feast” meals to deliver. Learn more here.

We wish you a wonderful holiday season!