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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 & Temperature Screening 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 Temperature Screening volunteer, who greets 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.
- Screeners must be 18+ or older
- Commit to two 6-hour shifts per month and have reliable transportation
Meals Ready – Breakfast or Dinner | HomeAid’s Family CareCenter | Emergency Shelter (Orange):
Provide 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 6:00 AM (breakfast) or between 5:00 pm – 5:30 PM (dinner). Email Emily at Emily@homeaidoc.org to make meal arrangements.
Meals Ready – 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 – 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (949) 494-6928 ext.241.
Meals Ready – Dinner | 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.
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 – 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 11:30 AM – 12 PM. 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 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 Delivery to the Vulnerable | Delivering with Dignity Orange County (Central and North Orange County):
Help with meal pick up from designated local restaurants, then delivery 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 at 2 pm to be delivered up until 4:30 pm. 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 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.
Census 2020 Phone Banking Volunteer | OCCounts (Orange County):
Help get the word out about the upcoming 2020 Census by volunteering to call Orange County residents in low-responding Census tracts. As a phone banking volunteer, you will promote and assure residents that the Census is safe, confidential, and remind residents of the ways in which they can respond to the Census. Calls are made from a personal cell phone using Google Voice, with a provided call script and Zoom assistance if questions arise. Languages needed: English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. Volunteers are needed between July 28 – 31, 2:30 pm – 5 pm. Zoom orientation/training will be provided July 21 -23, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM. To learn more and register to volunteer, visit bit.ly/occounts.
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.
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.
Help Host a Virtual Lunch or Dinner Session for Youth & Young Adults | StandUp for Kids – Services for Homeless & At-Risk Youth (Orange County):
Help host a virtual lunch or dinner with at-risk and homeless youth and young adults. During a 1-hour session, you will fund a lunch (or early dinner) to be delivered to the youth’s residences in advance by StandUp for Kids. You and your team will then join the group (5-15 attendees generally) virtually (via Zoom) for a meal hangout. During the virtual session, you would take part in icebreakers and interactive opportunities. Offering career advice pathways, quick skills sessions, or some time of continuing education component during this time would be preferred. To schedule your opportunity and to learn more, call 714-356-5437 or email Justine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
School Supply Drive Amazon Wish List | Orange County United Way (Orange County):
Help provide essential materials for students to be ready to receive a quality education. School supplies are needed for students in elementary school, high school, and home/remote learning. Click here to access the Orange County United Way Amazon Wish List and 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.
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 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.
Welcome Home OC Baskets | 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 Atty McLellan at AttyM@UnitedWayOC.org or call 949.263.6162.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate a donation. We ask that you please purchase all gift cards in $25 increments.
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 email@example.com. Or purchase a $25 online Walmart gift card to be donated to a family in need with firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com or call 714-558-8600 / 714-458-4172.
Grocery & Hygiene Supply Donations | Orangewood Foundation – Housing Support for Foster Youth (Central Orange County):
Donate grocery supplies 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.
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 and Essentials) | WISEPlace – Transitional Housing for Women (Central Orange County):
Demonstrate your support by collecting items here or products such as shampoo, conditioners, and brushes to assemble a hygiene or essentials kit. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
School Supply Drive | Orange County United Way (Orange County):
Help provide essential materials for students to be ready to receive a quality education. Current supply needs include:
- Elementary School: Backpacks, Pencil Boxes, #2 Pencils, Colored Pencils, Erasers, Highlighters, Glue Sticks, Crayons
- High School: Backpacks, #2 Pencils, Colored Pencils, Erasers, Highlighters, Glue Sticks, Rulers, Protractors, Two-Pocket Folders, 1.5” binders, College-Rule Spiral Notebooks, College-Rule Filler Paper, Graph Paper, Index Cards, 7-Tab Subject Dividers (No Pockets), Pencil Cases, Calculators, USB Drives
- Home/Remote Learning: Headsets or Earbuds with Mics, Wireless Mouse, Mouse Pads, Blue Light Blocking Glasses, Lap Desks, White Boards, Chromebooks, Writing Tablets
There are two ways to donate:
- Click here to access our Amazon Wish List and 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.
- Contact Daisy Benitez to schedule a safe and direct donation drop off at DaisyB@unitedwayoc.org or 949.263.6124.
Welcome Home OC Baskets | 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! Click here for a list of items to be included or visit our Amazon Wish List for online options. For more information or to coordinate completed Welcome Home Basket(s) drop off, contact Atty McLellan at AttyM@UnitedWayOC.org or call 949.263.6162.
Write Encouragement Notes | Miracles for KIDS | Support of Families with a Critically Ill Child (Irvine):
Support low-income families with a critically ill child in need by writing encouragement notes during this difficult time. For more information visit here or contact Terri Benedict at 714-730-3040 or firstname.lastname@example.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.