The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is now collecting new unwrapped toys for this holiday season, with plans to distribute toys collected as Christmas gifts to needy children. Toys for tots wants to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to those less fortunate. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.
Orange County United Way is looking for volunteers to join the 2019 OC Free Tax Preparation Campaign. This campaign offers free tax preparation services through the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, known as VITA. Volunteers will be trained to become VITA certified. Different roles for volunteers include greeter, tax preparer, Spanish-English interpreters, and American Sign Language interpreters. Training sessions are now under way and will continue through January 2019. More info: https://www.unitedwayoc.org/vita
South County Outreach will be collecting new toys and gifts for distribution to families in need in Orange County until December 12th. Items needed include shoes & socks, arts & craft sets, soccer balls, and much more. For more information, call the holiday hotline at 949-380-8144 x208, or go to http://www.sco-oc.org/annual-toy-drive/
The City of Irvine and the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee are holding a toy drive that benefits families of Irvine’s Adopted 2/11 Marine Battalion. Donations of new, unwrapped gifts for infants or children ages 12 and younger can be dropped off through December 14 at the following locations:
Irvine Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday
Irvine Police Department, 1 Civic Center Plaza: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday
Orange County Great Park Visitors Center, 8000 Great Park Blvd., Irvine: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, call 949-724-6606, or visit http://www.cityofirvine.org/military-veterans/irvine-211-marine-adoption-committee
The City of Laguna Niguel is collecting new and lightly used coats for men, women and children this holiday season. The collection bin will be located in city hall and items may be dropped off Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be collection bins at the four info booths at Laguna Niguel’s Holiday Parade. Volunteers are needed on December 10 from 6 to 8:00 p.m. at city hall to sort collected coats that will then be distributed by South County Outreach and Family Assistance Ministries. Light refreshments will be served. To volunteer, please email Amanda Hughes at email@example.com.
2-1-1 in Orange County is a simple toll free, three digit phone number that is accessible 24 hours a day to those in need of social services. 2-1-1 connects individuals and families to needed programs, including health care, food, homeless shelters, legal services and other resources offered by nonprofits and government agencies. Just dial 2-1-1. More info can be found at https://www.211oc.org/
2-1-1 in Los Angeles County is a simple toll free, three digit phone number that is accessible 24 hours a day to those in need of social services, especially those affected by the recent fires. 2-1-1 connects individuals and families to needed programs, including health care, food, homeless shelters, legal services and other resources offered by nonprofits and government agencies. Just dial 2-1-1. More info can be found at https://www.211la.org/
The Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles is in need of volunteers to help out with the homeless during the holiday season. One can help serve meals, or one can work with the many children and teenagers on skid row by providing a listening ear, or by participating in an activity with them, such as playing games, reading books, or doing crafts. One can bring a group to volunteer, or one can join one of the mission’s teams as an individual. More information can be found at https://urm.org/
As part of an ongoing effort to inform and engage the community, Mission Viejo Police Services will host a Public Safety Town Hall meeting on Thursday, December 13. The meeting will cover current crime trends in Mission Viejo, which is continually ranked one of the safest cities in the nation, statistics and comparisons to other cities; and legal updates along with essential information about Neighborhood Watch, crime prevention and more. The meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 200 Civic Center. For more information, call 949-470-8433. https://cityofmissionviejo.org/news/public-safety-town-hall-meeting-dec-13
The Jessie Rees Foundation will hold its annual Santa Stroll on Sunday, December 9th, from 5:00 p.m. To 7 p.m., at Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita. People will walk for 46 minutes to honor the number of kids that each day, on average, will be told that they have cancer. Families in attendance that are fighting cancer will also be recognized. The mission of the Jessie Rees Foundation is to encourage every kid fighting cancer to never ever give up. For more information, visit https://www.teamnegu.org/santastroll.
The City of Irvine Animal Care Center will host its 12th Annual Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair, happening on Sunday, December 9th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More than 30 pet rescue groups and animal shelters will bring over 600 homeless dogs, cats, rabbits, and other small animals for adoption. Each animal available for adoption is spayed or neutered, microchipped, and evaluated by a veterinarian. More information available at http://www.cityofirvine.org/irvine-animal-care-center/home-holidays
The Tustin Community Foundation will be collecting new pajamas for hundreds of children and seniors in the Tustin area that are unable to afford new pajamas. They will be collected during the Old Town Tustin’s Holiday Walk on Friday, December 7th, from 4 to 9 pm. During this event, all proceeds will support the Tustin Community Foundation's Project Pajamas. The pajamas will be passed on to Tustin Police Department's Santa Cop Program for families living in Tustin with limited means; Families Forward for Tustin families at risk of homelessness; all of the teen residents of Laurel House at the OC Rescue Mission; every Little Brother and Little Sister in the Tustin High School District through Big Brother/Big Sister; Tustin Area Senior Center for Tustin area seniors in need; and for the Tustin Family & Youth Center's Holiday Basket Program. More information can be found at http://tustincommunityfoundation.org/
The non-profit group “We Give Thanks” will be serving free meals on Thanksgiving Day, from 11 am to 3 pm in the parking lot of the Honda Center in Anaheim. This will be the 32nd year of serving meals to those that are homeless, less fortunate, and alone. For info on how to sign up to help serve meals, make a donation, or become a sponsor, go to http://www.wegivethanksinc.org/
The Orange County Rescue Mission will be hosting its 5th Annual Turkey Trot OC 5K Run/Walk at the Village of Hope in Tustin, taking place on Thanksgiving morning, November 22nd. The Rescue Mission’s goal is to raise enough support to provide over 30,000 meals for the hungry and homeless of Orange County. The walk/run course starts and ends at the Village of Hope, and includes passing along the Tustin Marine Base with up-close views of the hangars. For registration information go to http://turkeytrotoc.org/
The 41st Annual Dana Point Turkey Trot will take place at the Dana Point Harbor on Thanksgiving morning, November 22nd. This event features 10k and 5k runs, a kids gobble wobble run, and a health & wellness expo that starts on Wednesday November 21st. More information is available at https://turkeytrot.com
The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team will host the annual Charity Softball Classic at Saddleback College’s Fritz Field in Mission Viejo on Saturday, November 10th. The wounded warrior amputee softball team will play against the California Highway Patrol Capistrano Area Softball Team, and the Local All-Star Team. There will also be a silent auction, raffle board, barbeque, and a kids zone. Gates open at noon and opening ceremonies begin at 1pm. For more info go to: http://woundedwarrioramputeesoftballteam.org/
Veterans and the general public are invited to the free celebration, “Salute The Veterans”, that will take place on Saturday, November 10th, from 10 a.m. To 2 p.m. At the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. There will be a Marine Corps Birthday Ceremony, live music, health screenings, food and blood drive for veterans, kid’s activities, and much more. The Heroes Hall Veterans Museum will showcase how virtual reality technology can combat PTSD, and veterans will get to record and share their tales of service at the Veterans Story Booth. More info: www.ocfair.com
The 2nd Annual Saddleback College Veterans 5k Run/Walk And Kids Ruck Run will be held on Saturday, November 10th at Saddleback College, with the first race starting at 7:30 a.m.. Registration for this family friendly event will include a run t-shirt, medals, awards, music and food. Registration is $25 for veterans, Saddleback students, and kids, and $35 for the general public. All proceeds go towards student veteran grants. To register, go to https://runsignup.com/scvets
The non-profit group Shatterproof will host the event “Rise Up Against Addiction 5k Walk/Run” on Saturday morning, November 10th, at Irvine Spectrum. In addition to the 5K Walk/Run, there will be a village which will showcase substance use disorder resources from local organizations, a memorial gallery, and a presentation by local families dealing with addiction. Funds raised will support Shatterproof’s advocacy efforts for changes in policies towards those with addictions, as well as focusing on saving lives. More info can be found at https://www.shatterproof5k.org/orangecounty
The Orange County Chapter of the ALS Association will hold its annual Walk to Defeat ALS on Saturday, November 10th. The walk will take place at the OC Great Park in Irvine, with check-in starting at 7:30 in the morning. All funds raised will help people living with ALS gain access to care and advocacy, as well as help fund the association’s educational efforts and support groups. More info can be found by clicking here.
The non-profit group CREER Communidad y Familia will present “Songs and Stories”, an evening of music featuring singer Melanie Taylor and guitarist Terry Wollman. The concert will take place on Thursday, November 8th, starting at 6 pm at the San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano. All proceeds benefit CREER’s afterschool programs for the disadvantaged youth of South Orange County. For ticket info, go to eventbrite.com and enter the word CREER, or click on the link here.
The City of Aliso Viejo will hold its annual Health Fair & Flu Shot Clinic on Saturday, November 3rd, from 10 a.m. To 2 p.m., at the Aliso Viejo Library. This year's fair includes free flu shots for those 18 and over, health screenings, and information from local organizations regarding social services, Covered California programs, senior programs, housing, and medical resources. For more information, go to cityofalisoviejo.com.
South County Outreach is now accepting applications for sponsors for its annual adopt-a-family program for the December holidays. Sponsors are paired with families in need, and once matched, sponsors shop for groceries and children’s gifts and deliver them to their assigned families. Matching sponsors with families will begin on November 1 and conclude on November 30. Apply at http://www.sco-oc.org/events/holiday-adopt-a-family/ or call the Holiday Hotline at 949-380-8144 ext. 207.
The San Clemente Exchange Club will be hosting the 13th annual Semper Fi Charity Golf Classic, “Play Golf with an American Hero”, on Monday, October 29th, starting at 10:30 in the morning. This event will take place at the San Clemente Municipal Golf Course. Proceeds will benefit the Camp Pendleton Marine Corp Family Services and the New 5th Marines Regiment Vietnam War Memorial. For information, call Allan Dahle at 801-503-2044, or go to the San Clemente Exchange Club Web Site here.