As the holiday season nears, many of us look for ways to give to our community, as well as our loved ones. Toy drives, food drives and special events give myriad opportunities for San Diegans to contribute to those in need. We’ve assembled a convenient list of some of these charitable events and ongoing drives. Help make everyone’s holidays happy with our gift-giving guide below!
Gift and Toy Drives
“Giving Tree” at The Head-quarters: For the second year, the USO San Diego is joining with The Headquarters at Seaport District for a three-week drive. The effort launched in November with a lighting of the 25-foot “Giving Tree” which stands in the retail center’s courtyard (789 W. Harbor Drive, Marina District).
Donate: The USO is looking for gifts, toys for all ages, gift cards and monetary donations.
Benefitting: Military families
San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Teddy Bear Drive: Now in its 24th year this drive’s drop-off locations include eight San Diego SmileCare locations, any Sheriff’s station or substation and the county courthouse through Dec. 5.
Donate: New teddy bears and other stuffed animals with tags attached
Benefitting: Children under-going treatment at Rady Children’s Hospital
Toys for Tots Program: The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve an-nual program collects toys and distributes them as Christmas Gifts. Drop-off locations are all over San Diego including their headquarters at the Marine Corps Reserve Center (9955 Pomerado Rd., Miramar).
Donate: New, unwrapped toys or make a monetary donation online
Benefitting: children of low- income families in San Diego
Feeding America San Diego Holiday Campaign: The organization is asking for support during the holiday season noting that 1 in 6 people, including 1 in 4 children, struggle with hunger in San Diego County.
Donate: One-time and monthly monetary gifts, volunteer at distribution centers, or organize a food drive
Benefitting: Children, families and seniors facing hunger throughout the holidays
The Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank Holiday Food Drive: Support for this drive comes in a number of ways and events.
Donate: A $10 pre-filled bag of food at San Diego Vons locations, monetary donations can be made online on behalf of a loved one or yourself, or you can host a virtual or actual food drive.
Benefitting: Individuals and families in need
San Diego Run for the Hungry: This Thanksgiving Day race starts and ends at Westfield Horton Plaza on Broadway Circle. Participants can choose to run or walk in the 5K start-ing at 8:15 a.m. or the 10K starting at 7:10 a.m. Pets can join for $10.
Donate: Proceeds from race registration will benefit food banks and food mobiles. Nonperishable food items will be collected on the morning of the race also.
Benefitting: Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank and Jewish Family Service of San Diego
“Make Change Count” Holiday Fundraising Drive: For the second year this fundraising effort asks individuals to make donations of coins (or by credit card) at stations throughout Downtown and online through Classy.org
Donate: Monetary donations of coins or through credit card payments.
Benefitting: Downtown Partnership’s Clean and Safe homeless outreach efforts.
YWCA of San Diego Special Donation Drive: One of several annual YWCA drives, this year’s recommended drop off date is Thursday, Dec. 11 at their main building (1012 C Street, Downtown).
Donate: Gift cards, new toys and gifts for children of all ages, new gifts for women and men, holiday decorations and holiday stockings
Benefitting: YWCA clients and families through Becky’s House, Passages and the Cortez Hill Family Center programs