5 Ways To Give Back in Los Angeles This Holiday Season

5 ways to give back this holiday season in Los Angeles

At JohnHart, we are, and always have been, about giving back. Although we aren’t throwing our own fundraiser this holiday season, each of us is still giving back in our own way. If you are a Greater Los Angeles Area resident, here are some ways you too can give back to the community this holiday season.

1) Union Station Homeless Services Holiday Gift Drive

Ways to give back in Los Angeles. Participating in the Union Station Homeless Services Holiday Gift Drive

If you are considering buying gifts for those in need, then time is of the essence. Closing out on December 20th, this Holiday Gift drive hosted by Union Station is all about giving gifts to the underaged and underprivileged who otherwise would have nothing to open come Christmas Day. Union Station Homeless Services are widely trusted within the Los Angeles community as they are consistent with their mission year-round by, “helping individuals and families rebuild their lives and end homelessness.” For this specific toy drive in 2021 they are collecting gifts for 400 different children of all ages ranging from newborn to 18-years-old. According to their website, the theme this year is, “something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.” 

There are three ways you can give back to their cause:

– By donating gifts to children in need. 

Donations can be dropped off at their Admin Center at 825 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena, CA Monday – Friday between 9 am and 4 pm. You can even send gifts directly from Amazon! They have Amazon Wish Lists for each of their donation categories:

Something They…

– Contributing a cash donation

– By spreading the word. 

For more details on how to help out, please visit their website

2) Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: Holidays From the Heart

Children's Hospital Los Angeles The Holidays from the Heart Program

The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles hosts “The Holidays from the Heart Program” in order to support financially vulnerable families with children in distress. These families were identified and nominated by staff at the hospital whom are well-versed in the familys’ needs and pain points. This program is annual and has been up and running since 1993. For this program, there are also three different ways to give. Listed below.

Make a Financial Donation

You can click here to donate. Or, you can donate by check payable to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles with “Holidays From the Heart” noted in the memo section. You can mail to:

Holidays From the Heart
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
4650 Sunset Blvd, #64
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Donate Items

At this time they are only accepting gift cards. Some suggestions cited include local grocery store gift cards, local gas station gift cards, as well as Target, Walmart, and Amazon gift cards. To mail them, use the same exact address as listed above in the Financial Donation section. However, addressed to the “Volunteer Resources Department”.

Sponsor a Family

The last way to give back to the Holidays From the Heart program by the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles is to sponsor a family. If you’re interested, you can submit a “family request form” available here. By submitting a form you are agreeing to support a family by purchasing gifts for them which will go in a Holiday Tote. This tote can be filled with both new and unused age-specific gifts. If accepted, you will be matched with a family and receive an email with next steps which will include a family bio and information on each of the family members to help guide your purchases. 

To learn more about the Heart From the Heart program by the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, visit their website by clicking here

3) The Department of Public Social Services Adopt-A-Family Program

The Department of Public Social Services Adopt-A-Family Program
Kids Technology Communication Social Media Graphic Concept

Same concept, different program. The Department of Public Social Services, known as DPSS carries out their annual Adopt-A-Family Program. This program aims to provide gifts, holiday cheer, and basic necessities to families served by the DPSS that are in need. Items provided include groceries, toys, clothing, and gift cards. There are two ways to help out. 

Become A Family Sponsor

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a sponsor for this program then you can fill out an online sponsor application by clicking here. Please note this application is NOT compatible with Explorer Browser. 

Donate Through An Amazon Smile Wishlist

Another way to donate is to order directly from the programs’ Amazon Wish List. Items can be sent to the address below:

Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services
Volunteer and Special Programs
2615 South Grand Ave., 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 9007-2608

Items will be received and distributed to DPSS families in need. For any further questions on how to participate in the DPSS Adopt-A-Family-Program please reach out to them directly by phone (213) 744-4344 or by email: adoptafamily@dpss.lacounty.gov

4) Downtown Women’s Center: Help From Home Kits

Another way to give back this holiday season in Los Angeles is by contributing to those in need at the Downtown Women’s Center. The Center is “the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women,” according to their website. Help out this holiday season by contributing a “Help From Home Kit” that will be distributed to women throughout Los Angeles in need.   

There are three different kinds of kits you can put together to make a difference:

Snack Pack

These include a main course, a fruit serving, a beverage, and another snack such as nuts, raisins, Jello, or other options listed on the site. For full instructions visit here. For inspiration, you can also visit their YouTube Page where they give you easy recipes with step-by-step instructions. 

Toiletry Kit

These kits all include (at the very least) shampoo, conditioner, lotion, body wipes, fresh socks, and toothpaste. Other encouraged items include toothbrushes, deodorant, combs, sunscreen, chapsticks, and more. Visit their website for more suggestions, along with packing instructions. 

Clean Home Kit

Clean Home Kits provide the Downtown Womens’ Center (DWC) residents with essential cleaning supplies as they move from homelessness into housing. Help them take pride in their new living quarters by helping out with these kits. There are three different options for this kit, so be sure and read the website thoroughly. Each option includes must-haves in order to complete the kit. You cannot contribute individual items. 

Once you’ve completed your kit for any of the above kit-types, you must schedule a contactless dropoff by clicking here. Or, you can ship all items to the below address:

Attn: Day Center — Ms. Shirley
Downtown Women’s Center
442 S. San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

5) YWCA Glendale & Pasadena: Adopt-a-Family

Donation box for Los Angeles Adopt-a-Family program.

Brighten up the holiday for survivors of domestic violence and their respective families this holiday season. Young Women’s Christian Association matches donors with families in need throughout Glendale and Pasadena. There were 89 domestic violence survivor families enrolled in the program this year. Although they were able to successfully match all families with a donor already, they are still accepting gift card donations to make a further impact. For more information on donating gift cards please contact achavez@ywcagp.org. For more information on YWCA, or their Adopt-a-Family program, please click here

Know of other ways to locally give back this holiday season in Los Angeles? Please let us know. 

Want to know our past recommendations? Check out these local toy drives from 2020: click here.

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