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COVID-19 Volunteer Needs in Orange County
As the nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, help is needed to support Orange County United Way’s non-profit partners who provide essential services to those who are food and housing insecure. Volunteers are needed to assist in a number of ways to support those most vulnerable in our community.
See below for current volunteer needs and links to register and or acquire more information on how you can help.
Blood Donor & Blood Drive Volunteer | American Red Cross Southern California:
More than ever, donating blood makes a big difference in the lives of others. There are two ways you can help at this time:
- Find a Blood Drive near you and book an appointment to give blood by visiting here.
- Become a Blood Drive volunteer, who greets, helps check-in blood donors for their appointment, and takes the temperatures of blood donors as they arrive.
The American Red Cross has implemented a temperature-taking station in the interest of blood supply safety, recipients, other donors, staff, volunteers, and general public health regarding COVID-19 outbreaks.
- Must be 18+ or older
- Commit to (two), 4 or 6-hour shifts per month and have reliable transportation
Disaster Shelter Volunteer: Help Evacuated People at Red Cross Shelters | American Red Cross Southern California:
The American Red Cross responds to natural disasters by opening shelters. The Red Cross evacuates residents and needs volunteers to help serve food, communicate information, manage logistics, reception/registration, dormitory, in-kind donations, transporting supplies, talking to community partners, etc.
- Requirements: 3-hour online training, bilingual preferred but not required, and available for (4-12 hour shifts of your choice) when the shelter is open.
Food Bank Sorting – Earth Day | Pathways of Hope (North Orange County):
Help provide food to our neighbors in need. Pathways of Hope is looking for 6 volunteers (18+) who can volunteer on Wednesday, April 28 between 9 A.M. – 12 P.M. Volunteers will be prompted to assist our team with the following tasks: bagging food, checking for expiration dates, sorting/rotating food, and basic cleanup (setting up & breaking down). This event will take place mostly outside, so volunteers are asked to bring sun protection and drinking water. Restrooms will be readily available. We kindly ask that our volunteers adhere to the following guidelines: wear a mask, sign a volunteer waiver upon arrival, wear closed-toed shoes, and be able to lift 20 lbs. Volunteers are encouraged to bring work gloves, or latex gloves will be provided. Individuals who are interested may sign up by filling out an online volunteer application here. Contact Ann Stoddard at (714) 732-2092 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Food Sorting for Groups & Companies | Pathways of Hope (North Orange County):
Help organize food bags to support local neighbors in need. Teams of 4-6 volunteers are needed to bag and organize 120 food bags per session. Volunteer dates are Wednesdays once a month: 4/21, 5/5, 6/2, 7/7, 8/4, 9/8, 10/6, 11/3, and 12/8 from 9:30 A.M. – 12P.M. Location: Pathways of Hope’s The HUB of Hope food distribution center at 611 S. Ford Ave, Fullerton CA 92832. To schedule this opportunity for your group, contact Ann Stoddard at (714) 732-2092.
Food Pantry | Cypress College – Pathways of Hope (North Orange County):
Help prepare bags of food for Cypress College students in need. Two shifts are available every Tuesday from 11 A.M. – 2 P.M .or 3 P.M. – 6 P.M. All volunteers must be 18+ and are required to wear a mask, sign a volunteer waiver, wear closed-toed shoes, and bring drinking water. Sign up by filling out an online volunteer application here. Contact Ann Stoddard at (714) 732-2092 or email@example.com with any questions.
Food Pantry | North Orange Continuing Education College – Pathways of Hope (North Orange County):
Help prepare and hand out bags of food to NOCE College students in need. One shift is available every Friday from 8 A.M. – 12 P.M. All volunteers must be 18+ and are required to wear a mask, sign a volunteer waiver, wear closed-toed shoes and bring drinking water. Sign up by filling out an online volunteer application here. Contact Ann Stoddard at (714) 732-2092 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Meals Ready To Go – Dinner | American Family Housing | Permanent Supportive Housing (South Orange County):
Meet the needs of one or more single-parent families experiencing food insecurity by donating a nutritious meal. Most homes include 5 family members. Meal drop-offs happen between 9 AM – 6 PM at their Jackson location in Midway City and must be scheduled in advance. To learn more and schedule a meal drop-off, contact Manny at (657) 203-4495.
Meals Ready To Go – Dinner | HomeAid’s Family CareCenter | Emergency Shelter (Orange):
Provide dinner for housing insecure families at the HomeAid’s Family CareCenter. Meals must be from a restaurant or a catering company (for food safety purposes) and delivered between 5:30 and 6:00 P.M. Contact Emily at Emily@homeaidoc.org to make meal arrangements.
Meals Ready To Go – Breakfast or Dinner | WISEPlace | Women Transitional and Emergency Shelter (Santa Ana):
Provide breakfast or dinner for up to 100 unaccompanied homeless women who are currently staying at WISEPlace. Meals need to be from a restaurant or a catering company and scheduled for drop-off in time for set up at either 8:00 AM (breakfast) or 5:30 PM (dinner). Email email@example.com to request more information and meal drop-off date options.
Meals Ready To Go – Dinner | Friendship Shelter | Emergency Shelter and Transitional Living Center (Laguna Beach):
Be a part of the Guest Chefs program at Friendship Shelter by providing a ready-to-eat dinner (homemade or from a restaurant) for 30 emergency shelters and or the 30 Bridge Housing residents. Guest Chef dinner drop-offs must be scheduled in advance and are available any day between 5 pm – 6 pm. To learn more or to reserve a Guest Chef date, contact Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meals Ready To Go – Dinner | Homeless Intervention Services of Orange County (North County):
Put your cooking talents to work or order from your favorite restaurant a healthy dinner for the Transitional Housing program residents or CHESS program young men who have recently experienced homelessness. Dinner drop-offs at the Placentia or Fullerton location must be scheduled in advance and are available any day between 5 P.M. – 7 P.M. To learn more and/or schedule a dinner drop-off, contact Lisa at email@example.com or (714) 993-5774 ext. 1008 or LeAnne at firstname.lastname@example.org or (714) 993-5774 x1003.
Meals Ready – Dinner | Precious Life Shelter (Los Alamitos):
Prepare and deliver dinner to women currently enrolled in an emergency, transitional, and single parent program in Los Alamitos. Email Tammy at email@example.com to coordinate your meal drop-off.
Meals Ready To Go – Lunch | Orangewood Foundation – Housing Support for Foster Youth (Central Orange County):
Provide ordered or homemade lunch for up to 30 current and former foster youth. Drop-off time should be between 11:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M. To schedule your drop-off and for more information, please contact Humberto Roja at firstname.lastname@example.org or 714-619-0220.
Emergency Shelter Volunteers | Mercy House (Orange County):
Volunteers and food donations are needed to support daily emergency shelter operations. 3-hour volunteer blocks available morning, afternoon, and evening, 7 days per week. Email Volunteer@MercyHouse.net to let them know you’re interested in volunteering. A Mercy House representative will contact you with current volunteer needs. Click here to start the registration process.
Food Box Packing | Orange County Food Bank (Garden Grove):
Located at 11870 Monarch St, Garden Grove, CA 92841. M – F with various shifts between 9 am and 4 pm. For more details to sign up, please click here.
Food Distribution | Operation #MovingForwardTogether (Fountain Valley):
Come out and be part of an engaging team of volunteers helping to distribute prepared meals and fresh produce to seniors, individuals, and families impacted by COVID-19. Volunteers are needed every other Sunday from 10:30 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. to assist with onsite food drive-up setup and distribution, and/or local delivery program. Click here for more information or to register as a volunteer.
Food Delivery to Seniors | Age Well Senior Services – Meals on Wheels Volunteers (South Orange County):
Help with delivering meals to the thousands of older adults that rely on us each and every day. Volunteers deliver meals Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM. Click here for more details or call 949-855-8033. Or, click here to register as a volunteer.
Food Delivery to Seniors | Meals on Wheels Orange County (Central and North Orange County):
Help with delivering meals to the thousands of older adults that rely on us each and every day. Meal deliveries are made Monday through Friday between 9 am to 12 pm. Must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid California driver’s license, driver’s insurance, and reliable vehicle. Visit MealsOnWheelsOC.org for more details.
Food Delivery to the Vulnerable | Delivering with Dignity Orange County (Orange County):
Help with meal pick up from designated local restaurants, then deliver to individuals and families who are unable to leave their home and are food insecure. Shifts are available Monday through Friday, with meal pick-ups between 12 P.M. to 2:30 P.M. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid California driver’s license, driver’s insurance, and a reliable vehicle. For more details, email DWD@dragonkimfoundation.org or call 714-623-7289. Click here to register as a volunteer.
Food Pickup Driver and Driver Assistant | Family Assistance Ministries (South Orange County):
Help with picking up vital food which is then made available to individuals, families, and seniors who are food insecure. Drive to pick up food at local grocery stores around San Clemente in Family Assistance Ministries truck/van (no special license required). Drivers are needed Monday-Saturday from 7:30 am-10:30 am. Must be 18 or older, have a valid California driver’s license, and be able to lift up to 30 – 50 lbs. To sign up or obtain more details, contact Rachael Christenson at 949-492-8477 ext.104 or email@example.com.
Food Pickup Driver | H.O.P.E (Garden Grove):
Help by driving to pick up donated food from local grocery stores and other food providers, which is then made available at H.O.P.E. to families and individuals who are food insecure. Food pickups are needed Monday-Friday from 8:00 am-12:00 pm. Must be 18 or older, have a valid California driver’s license, and be able to lift up to 30 – 50 lbs. Drivers with a truck or large vehicle are preferable. To sign up or obtain more details, contact Gayle Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org or 714-264-4235.
Food Warehouse and Pantry Volunteers | Family Assistance Ministries (San Clemente):
Be a key part of the food organization and distribution team at the Family Assistance Ministries San Clemente location. Help unload food trucks and stock freezers and refrigerators. Pack food boxes to be food distribution ready and participate in a new drive-thru food distribution system. Volunteers are needed Monday – Friday, 9 am – 12 pm and 12 pm – 4 pm. Must be 18 or older and be able to lift up to 30 lbs. To sign up or obtain more details, contact Rachael Christenson at 949-492-8477 ext.104 or email@example.com.
Meal Pick Up and Drop Off – Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner | WISEPlace | Women Transitional and Emergency Shelter (Santa Ana):
Pick up sealed bins of cooked lunch or dinner (around 11:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. respectively) from our meal provider and drop off at the shelter in Santa Ana. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information on the opportunity.
Note: The health and safety of volunteers, non-profit team members, and the community are a top priority at all volunteer locations and is addressed by each participating non-profit organization.
Virtual Volunteer Opportunities
Amazon Wish List | WISEPlace – Transitional Housing for Women (Central Orange County):
Help women in need by purchasing essential items from an Amazon Wish List here. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Virtual Disaster Preparedness Presenter | American Red Cross Southern California:
As a Disaster Preparedness Presenter, prepare kids, seniors, and the community for a natural disaster. Conduct virtual presentations to youths (K-12), seniors, and in community settings ranging from 30-45 minutes to 1 hour sessions.
- Requirements: 3 online training courses, familiarity working with youths (K-12), and knowledge of Zoom & Microsoft Teams to present.
Virtual Housing Champions Needed | United to End Homelessness – Orange County United Way (Orange County):
Join us in advocating for permanent supportive and affordable housing for the homeless, and city planning for housing needs. Virtual training (1-2 hours) will be provided, with a minimum volunteer commitment of 1-2 hours per month. Please contact Kimberly Adams at KimberlyA@UnitedWayOC.org or visit here to learn more and sign up today!
Technology Kits (Amazon Wish List) | Orange County United Way (Orange County):
You can support local Orange County students in need with technology kits for distance learning. Technology kits give students key resources to promote equitable learning during this difficult time. These technology kits truly make a difference in students’ lives, increasing their success in learning from afar, so thank you for your efforts. All items must be new. Visit here for a full list of items or visit our Technology Kits Amazon Wish List. For instructions on kit assembly and to coordinate your drop-off, please contact Donna Burkland at DonnaB@UnitedWayOC.org.
Virtual Tutoring & Mentoring | StandUp for Kids – Services for Homeless & At-Risk Youth (Orange County):
Provide consistent and personal online support for homeless and at-risk youth 12 – 18 years old by choosing one of the service opportunities here. Opportunities range from mentoring & tutoring students to navigating housing, employment, and county systems. To learn more, call 714-356-5437 or apply online here.
Virtual Capstone Interviewers needed for Graduating High School Seniors | Savanna High School (Anaheim):
Bring your leadership, listening skills, and enthusiasm as you conduct virtual interviews with soon-to-be graduating High School Seniors. Students will present the transferable skills they have been working on as part of their school-wide Capstone Program and will discuss with you how they can best apply them as they move forward. Virtual Senior Capstone Program interviews will take place on Tuesday 5/4 and Wednesday 5/5 from 7:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Register for one or both days. Volunteers will interview 1 to 4 students, one at a time. No formal interview experience necessary. Video orientation and training will be sent to all volunteers in advance. Volunteer registrations will be accepted up until 4/23. Contact Rick Parmenter at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to sign up.
Virtual Mock Interviews of High School Students | Orange County United Way (Orange County):
Provide leadership and real-world perspective by means of virtual mock interviews with local high school students who are participating in Orange County United Way’s Youth Career Connections (YCC) program in the Garden Grove School District. Help students refine their interview presentation skills while giving them confidence for future success. The date of this opportunity is April 24th, 9 A.M. – 12 P.M., and the deadline to register is April 19th. Click here to register as a volunteer mock interviewer. For more information, contact Yahaira Ortiz at YahairaO@UnitedWayOC.org or 949.263.6142.
Welcome Home Baskets (Amazon Wish List) | United to End Homelessness – Orange County United Way (Orange County):
Help recently homeless individuals and families celebrate moving into a place to call home, with a Welcome Home Basket. Baskets include necessities and other items that help turn a new place to live into a home. You can make one or more! Visit our Amazon Wish List for an online list of items needed. For more information or to coordinate completed Welcome Home Basket(s) drop off, contact Donna Burkland at DonnaB@UnitedWayOC.org or call 949.477.4503.
Remote and Other Ways to Help in Orange County During COVID-19 Crisis
Daily Operational Supply Donation Needs | Pathways of Hope | Housing Insecure Support (North Orange County):
Provide needed supplies to help support housing insecure individuals and families. Click here to view a list of supplies needed and information about donation drop-offs.
Daily Operational Supply Donation Needs | WISEPlace – Transitional Housing for Women (Central Orange County):
Donations needed to assist with housing and support for women in crisis. To learn more about scheduling these opportunities, please email email@example.com.
Educate Families about Fire Safety | American Red Cross Southern California:
Educate local residents requesting fire safety education. This spring, the American Red Cross will Sound the Alarm by educating 100,000 people nationwide about home fire safety. We’ll help residents create an escape plan to practice their 2-minute drill, so they can safely escape a home fire. Residents have scheduled an appointment to learn about fire safety and create a fire escape plan. Volunteers will have access to an online calendar to select a 20-minute phone call to educate a family (Mon-Sat 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. or 4:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.)
- Requirements: Training material/phone script will be provided. A quiet place to call residents over the phone.
Emergency Care Package Supply Donation Needs | Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation (VACF) – Cancer Prevention and Patient Care (Central Orange County):
Help provide essential items for the creation of emergency care packages that will be distributed to cancer patients and elders within the Vietnamese community. Click here to see an example of needed items. Donation drop-offs at Fountain Valley VACF office must be scheduled in advance and are available Monday – Thursday between 10 am – 3 pm. To learn more or schedule a drop-off appointment, contact VACF at 714-751-5805.
Facilities Assistance | Pathways of Hope – Housing Insecure Support (North Orange County):
Do you have construction skills in repairing baths, kitchens, flooring, and drywall? Are you an expert house painter or have a lot of knowledge on how to upkeep a yard? We are looking for volunteers who can come once a week to help our facilities team with any one of these tasks. Slots for volunteering are Tuesday – Friday, 7:30 A.M .- 3:00 P.M. All volunteers must be 18+ and are required to wear a mask, sign a volunteer waiver, wear closed-toed shoes, and bring drinking water. Sign up by filling out an online volunteer application here. Contact Ann Stoddard at (714) 732-2092 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Food Pantry and Daily Donation Needs | StandUp for Kids | Services for Homeless & At-Risk Youth (Costa Mesa):
Support homeless and at-risk youth by donating food, hygiene, and cleaning supplies to their Costa Mesa location. For a list of food items needed, click here. Call (714) 356-5437 for more information and to coordinate your donation drop-off.
Food and Household Supply Donation Needs | Family Promise of Orange County – Emergency and Transitional Housing for Families (Central Orange County):
Support homeless families with children in need with donations of grocery gift cards, gas gift cards, baby diaper wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies. Contact Malia Cary at 714-749-0366 or email@example.com to coordinate a donation. We ask that you please purchase all gift cards in $25 increments.
Food Donation Needs | The Salvation Army (Tustin):
Serve families experiencing economic hardships during this time by donating non-perishable food items at 10200 Pioneer Road, Tustin, CA 92782. Call the main office at (714) 832-7100 for more information on drop-off time slots.
Food Supplies Needed | Grandma’s House of Hope – Nana’s Kidz Hunger Relief Program (Central and North Orange County):
Help meet the GREATLY increased need of providing healthy and easy-to-consume weekend meal bags for children who are living in housing insecure or homeless conditions in Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana, and Tustin. To learn more about Nana’s Kidz Program current food needs and how you can help, click here or contact Virginia De Paola at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 714-558-8600 / 714-458-4172.
Home Kits | HomeAid’s Family CareCenter | Emergency Shelter (Orange):
Provide Home Kits to support families as they transition into affordable housing. Home Kits are medium-sized baskets or storage bins filled with new items that one would need when moving into a new home. Items include silverware, cups, plates, laundry detergent, batteries, drapes, etc. Contact Emily at Emily@homeaidoc.org for more details and to arrange a Home Kit drop-off.
Donate Needed Items for Residents | Homeless Intervention Services of Orange County (North County):
Help provide items to meet the needs of residents. Homeless Intervention Services of Orange County support families in our 4-6 month Transitional Housing program and young men in our CHESS program (Combining Housing, Education & Skills for Students). Click here to see a list of urgent items. There are always opportunities to get involved with our programs designed to Help Them Home for Good – getting back to self-sufficiency and never becoming homeless again. Donation drop-offs at the Placentia location must be scheduled in advance and are available Monday – Thursday between 9 A.M. – 3 P.M. To learn more and or schedule your drop-off, contact Lisa at email@example.com -or (714) 993-5774 ext. 1008 or LeAnne at firstname.lastname@example.org or (714) 993-5774 x1003.
Kit Assembly (Hygiene and First Aid Kits) | Pathways of Hope (Fullerton):
Support homeless and low-income families and individuals by creating desired care kits. Pathways of Hope does not provide any items. Click on links to learn more: hygiene kits and first aid kits. Donation drop off at The HUB of Hope at 611 S. Ford Ave., Fullerton, CA 92832, Tuesday – Friday 9:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
Kit Assembly (Service-2-Go Opportunities) | Orange County United Way (Orange County):
Help in providing daily essentials and supportive items for those most in need. Services-2-Go Kits provide for a safe, fun, and impactful remote volunteer opportunity that can be assembled individually or collectively as a group, and/or in coordination with Orange County United Way as a Day of Service activity. Kit 0ptions include COVID-19 Emergency Kits, Hygiene Kits, Literacy Kits, Technology Kits, and WelcomeHomeOC Baskets. For more information and/or to arrange for a delivery or drop off of completed kits, please contact Donna Burkland at DonnaB@UnitedWayOC.org or Doug McKay at DougM@UnitedWayOC.org.
If you would like to help financially, please consider donating to our Pandemic Relief Fund
Orange County United Way Raising Money to Establish Emergency Relief Fund to Support OC’s Most Vulnerable During COVID-19 Response
Please visit Orange County United Way’s Pandemic Relief Fund GoFundMe page for more information or to make a donation.