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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.
Dinner – Ready to Eat | 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 shelter 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 Luke Davis at email@example.com or (949) 494-6928 ext.241.
Dinner – Prepare and Drop-Off | H.I.S. House | Transitional Living Center (Placentia):
Put your cooking talents to work or order from your favorite restaurant a healthy dinner for the 40 H.I.S. House residents who have recently experienced homelessness. Dinner drop-offs at the Placentia H.I.S. House location must be scheduled in advance and are available any day between 5 pm – 7 pm. To learn more and or schedule a dinner drop off, contact Haley at Haley@his-oc.org or (714) 993-5774 ext. 1003.
Dinner – Prepare and Drop-Off | 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate your meal drop-off.
Donation Sorting & Distribution | Family Promise of Orange County – Emergency and Transitional Housing for Families (Central Orange County):
Sort and distribute food donations in boxes for families who are housing insecure. Shifts of 4-5 people occur outdoors (shaded area) in Anaheim on Sundays at 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM, Tuesdays at 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM, and Wednesdays at 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Wearing masks and practicing social distancing are required. Please contact Malia Cary at (714) 749-0366 or email@example.com to schedule your opportunity.
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.
Exterior Painting at Fullerton Shelter – No Paint Skills Needed | Pathways of Hope (Fullerton):
Prep and paint the exterior of a shelter in Fullerton at ground level. There will be two shifts daily Monday – Friday 8:30 AM -11:30 AM or 12 PM – 3 PM. Tasks include, but are not limited to power washing, taping off trim, putting down the paper to protect from spills, painting trim, painting, touch up painting, and cleaning up. Masks are required, gloves and paint training provided, and two volunteers per shift. Please send an email to Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org stating preferred days and times to receive a confirmation and details.
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 visit www.capoc.org.
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 Distribution at Emergency Shelters | City Net (Anaheim & Santa Ana):
Volunteers are needed to support daily emergency shelter operations for Breakfast (7:30 am – 9:30 am), Lunch (11:30 am – 1:30 pm), and Dinner (4:30 pm – 6:30 pm). Duties include: Unloading To-Go Meal Boxes from food trucks, setting up serving area, passing out meal boxes, and cleaning and breaking down areas once complete. Email GetInvolved@citynet.org your interest in volunteering and a City Net representative will contact you with current volunteer needs.
Food Distribution Team | Second Harvest Food Bank (Orange County):
Text-dispatched, on-call volunteers distributing food boxes door-to-door and at pantries. Click here to sign up or click here for more details.
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 Christensonat at 949-492-8477 ext.104 or email@example.com.
Pickup Trucks Needed – Food Truck Brigade | Second Harvest Food Bank (Orange County):
Volunteers with a clean, open bed, pickup truck needed to text-dispatch and distribute food boxes throughout Orange County to food-insecure children, families, and seniors. Click here to sign up or click here for more details.
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 Christensonat at 949-492-8477 ext.104 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skills-Based Volunteers | Emergency Volunteer Center (EVC) (Orange County):
The County of Orange is making an Urgent request for the Pre-Registration of individuals who are already trained and have skilled experience in the following areas that are needed for future disaster-recovery projects: Access and Functional Needs, Animal Services, Business Resiliency, Debris Removal, Emotional and Spiritual Care, Food Insecurity, Information and Referrals, Sheltering and Mass Care. Click here to learn more and Pre-Register as a Skills-Based Volunteer (SBV).
Urgent Volunteer Needs | Emergency Volunteer Center (EVC) – (Orange County):
The EVC under the coordination of OneOC, is focused on matching volunteers to urgent needs based on skills, geography, and availability in order to maximize the COVID-19 disaster-recovery impact to the community. Click here to learn more and to register as a volunteer for Urgent Needs projects.
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
24 hr. Senior Chat Line | IDSGT Foundation – GoldenTALK (California):
Help combat social isolation within the California senior population by volunteering to take calls as part of a senior chat line called GoldenTALK here, where seniors can call to simply chat and also request basic resources. All languages needed, with an urgent need for Spanish, Korean, and Mandarin. Also, support seniors by directing them to GoldenTALK here or at 888-604-6533. The more seniors know about this chat line, the less isolation they will experience during this unprecedented time.
Children’s Book Amazon Wish List | Orange County United Way (Orange County):
With schools closed, it is vital that children from low-income families still have access to books. Orange County United Way is working with partners to distribute donated books to students in need. You can help by donating books through Orange County United Way’s Amazon Wish List. Click here and select the books you’d like to donate online. Please include your full name and email address in the message line and designate Daisy Benitez, 18012 Mitchell South Irvine, CA 92614, as the recipient. For more information, please contact Daisy Benitez at DaisyB@UnitedWayOC.org or 949.263.6124.
Therapeutic Activities Amazon Suggestion List | Illumination Foundation – Emergency Shelter (Orange County):
Help provide therapeutic activities for families and individuals experiencing homelessness during this time. Click here to donate online from the Amazon suggestion list. Please include your full name and email address in the message and designate email@example.com as the recipient.
Virtual Mock Interviews Day of Action | UpSkill OC – Orange County United Way (Orange County):
Conduct four, 25-minute virtual interviews with participants in Upskill OC, Orange County United Way’s workforce development initiative that provides underemployed, low-income individuals with job coaching and training to help them obtain living wages and middle-skilled jobs. This event is Saturday, June 27, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM, and orientation is Thursday, June 25, 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM. Click here to sign up or contact Charlie Birge at CharlieB@UnitedWayOC.org for more information.
Virtual Youth Mentors and Homework Tutors | 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 yrs. old, Monday – Friday, 9 am – 2 pm.
- Youth Mentors – Provide leadership in setting goals, creating accountability, and providing real-world perspective.
- Homework Tutors – Help with daily homework in Math, English, Science, and Social Studies.
Online mentors and tutors must be able to meet a minimum of 1x weekly for 1-2 hours and pass a background check. Virtual orientation and online training provided. For more information or to sign up to be an online mentor or tutor, please call 714-356-5437 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remote and Other Ways to Help in Orange County During COVID-19 Crisis
Clothing and Daily Donation Needs | City Net – Emergency Shelter (Central Orange County):
City Net in partnership with KWVE Radio and Calvary Church of Costa Mesa has created a “touchless” donation drop-off center for clothing and other needed items. Donated items will be distributed by City Net to those in need.
- Clothing needs: Men and Women – New or gently used (washed if used). Request for clothing to be organized by size and type in different bags. High need for men’s pants sizes 32-39 and comfortable closed-toed shoes for men and women of all sizes.
- Operational Supply needs: Click here to see other donation needs at this time.
- Donation drop-offs: Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 3 pm, until May 30th at 3232 West MacArthur Blvd. Santa Ana, CA. 92704. To learn more about the “touchless” donation drop-off center, email GetInvolved@citynet.org.
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.
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.
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 a collection drive each Monday throughout Central Orange County for extra groceries, baby diaper wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies. Contact Malia Cary at 714-749-0366 or firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate an onsite pickup. Purchase an online $25 gift card to be donated to a family in need at either Amazon or Walmart with email@example.com designated as the recipient.
Food and Hygiene Donation Needs | Miracles for KIDS | Support of Families with a Critically Ill Child (Irvine):
Support low-income families with a critically ill child in need. Click here for a list of currently needed items. For more information or to schedule a donation drop off at their Irvine location, contact Terri Benedict at 714-730-3040 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or purchase a $25 online Walmart gift card to be donated to a family in need with email@example.com designated as the recipient.
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.
Handmade Cloth Face Masks | Orange County United Way – Nailing It for HealthCare Workers (NIT) (Orange County):
Help support the safety of HealthCare and other front-line service providers by providing them with a handmade cloth face mask. No specific pattern required. Basic CDC instructions on how to sew and wear a cloth face coverings can be found here. Completed face masks should be grouped 10 to 12 in a secured plastic zip lock bag and sent by either mail or courier (attention NIT) or made in person, Monday – Friday, 9 am – 3 pm at Advance Beauty College, 10121 Westminster Ave, Garden Grove, 92843. For general questions regarding Handmade Mask and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations, call 949-419-7859.
Hygiene and Food Donation Needs | H.I.S. House – Transitional Living Center (North Orange County):
Help provide for daily food, hygiene, and basic needs for H.I.S. House residents and outreach clients experiencing homelessness. Click here to see a list of urgent needed items. Donation drop-offs at Placentia location must be scheduled in advance and are available Monday – Thursday between 5 pm – 7 pm. To learn more and or schedule your drop off, contact Haley at email@example.com or (714) 993-5774 ext. 1003.
Kit Assembly (Hygiene & Family Activity Kits) | H.I.S. House – Transitional Living Center (North Orange County):
Help families transitioning from shelters to independent living by creating hygiene kits using this list here. Also, assembling a Family Fun Kit of simple board games, gift cards, baking mixes, or other fun activities for families. For more information and drop-off details, contact Haley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (714) 993-5774 ext. 1003.
Kit Assembly (Hygiene and Family Activity Kits) & Craft Making Opportunity | Pathways of Hope (Fullerton):
Support homeless and low-income families and individuals by creating desired kits and no-sew reusable grocery bags. Click on the links to learn more: hygiene kits, family activity kits, and no-sew grocery bags. Donation drop off at The HUB of Hope at 611 S. Ford Ave., Fullerton, CA 92832, Thursday or Friday 9 am – 11 am.
Prepared Meals and Diapers Donation Needs | HomeAid’s Family CareCenter | Emergency Shelter (Orange County):
Provide for breakfast and or dinner for housing insecure families at the HomeAid’s Family CareCenter. Meals need to be from a restaurant or a catering company (for liability purposes) and set up for delivery before 6 am (Breakfast) or between 5:00 pm and 5:30 pm (Dinner). Email Emily at email@example.com to make meal arrangements. Click here to support the 2020 Essentials Diaper Drive for families with small children in need.
Prepared Meals & Hygiene Supply Donations | Orangewood Foundation – Housing Support for Foster Youth (Central Orange County):
Provide ordered or homemade lunch for up to 30 current and former foster youth. Donate needed groceries and other items (via Amazon or onsite drive-thru drop-off). Click here to learn more or contact Humberto Roja at firstname.lastname@example.org or 714-619-0220.
Protective Medical Supplies for Healthcare Provider Needs | OC Health Care Agency (HCA) (Orange County):
Request to corporations and businesses to help fulfill the need for protective medical supplies for OC Healthcare Providers in need. The following types of supplies are needed in new and unopened containers and boxes: N-95, surgical masks and face shields (all sizes), Disposable gloves (all sizes), Eye Protection (Goggles), Medical gowns: Disposable gowns and isolation gowns, Antibacterial and disinfectant wipes. Click here to learn more or contact the Orange County Public Information Hotline at (714) 628-7085.
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.