Ways To Give This Holiday Season

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The holidays are not only a time to spend with family and friends, they’re at time of reflection. We have all had our fair share of hardships this year; some more than others. If you are in a place to do so, why not take some time to give back? There are plenty of charities and volunteer opportunities to keep you busy throughout San Diego.


Picture via Flickr (Waldo Jaquith)

Picture via Flickr (Waldo Jaquith)

This program is not just for the homeless anymore, as the recession has hit many San Diegans extremely hard. Many families who did donate to the food drive last year may now find themselves in need.  Food bank officials are predicting they will need over 1 million pounds of food to feed San Diego this holiday. Cash donations are welcome and there are collection barrels throughout the community, including at every Vons and Wells Fargo location.  For more information on the San Diego Food Bank, visit


Help start off the holiday season on November 21, 2009 by supporting the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.  Drop off new, unwrapped toys at U.S.S. Midway Kick-Off or any of their other drop off locations to help less fortunate children experience the joy of the holidays.


The Salvation Army in San Diego has numerous programs, including the Door of Hope (helps house women and children, pregnant teens and “aged-out” foster children), Adult Rehabilitation Centers, countless meals for the homeless (particularly for Thanksgiving and Christmas), and Bikes for Kids program that grants bicycles to underprivileged youth for Christmas.  Financial donations are in greatest need, as well as food donations that provide meals for the holiday time. Volunteers are also needed. You can visit their website for more information.


Picture Via Flickr ()

Picture Via Flickr

Operation Christmas Child is an annual project put on by an international relief group, Samaritan’s Purse, in which individuals provide toys and necessities to be filled into shoeboxes to be sent around the world to children living in poverty. Samaritan’s Purse has helped people around the world for over 35 years. In 2008 alone, more than 8 million shoeboxes were sent to children living in poverty in more than 100 countries.

The women of the Theta Rho Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta for Operation Christmas Child at California State University San Marcos are hosting a fund-raising event November 21 at 6:00 to help raise money for Operation Christmas Child. Tickets will be sold for $5 and will include a mouth-watering spaghetti dinner along with a live raffle auction.

By purchasing a ticket, you help pay for the shipping costs of their 100 filled shoeboxes. For more information, to purchase a ticket, or to donate, contact Michelle or Christina at mvogel8 AT or christinaa.cole AT


The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego is to provide a home away from home for children and their families while their child is being treated for serious, life-threatening illnesses at San Diego Hospitals.  Because of the overwhelming need for housing, the foundation is in the process of adding of 47 new rooms for families.  They need your help to reach their goal.  Donations and volunteer opportunities are always welcomed.


ARTS is dedicated to healing and inspiring children facing life challenges by providing new arts-based programs and educational opportunities. A healthy way for young children facing difficult times is to communicate their sadness through artistic expression. Volunteers and donations are always needed to help make ARTS programs a success.


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