Donate and Volunteer to Give Back this Holiday Season

November 11, 2020 11:37 AM
by Elizabeth Scharetg

As we settle into our new normal with COVID-19, the holiday season will look very different than in the past. While we are unable to attend large family dinners and holiday parties, there are plenty of opportunities to give back to the community we are so thankful for through donations and volunteer service.   

If you have limited time to volunteer or are at risk for COVID-19, consider donating to provide meals to Santa Monica families this holiday season. If you are looking to get involved by giving your time, consider volunteering with one of Santa Monica’s non-profit partners to help continue their valuable programming to those they serve 

Explore opportunities below and thank you for helping make the Santa Monica community stronger through this challenging time.  

Donation Opportunities 


Donate to help provide a Thanksgiving feast for Santa Monica families struggling with food insecurity. Each $50 donated, provides one Thanksgiving meal for one family.  


Holiday Food Pantry  

The City is working to raise $30,000 to support Santa Monica families experiencing food insecurity. Every $30 donation feeds a family of four for one-holiday meal and a $100 donation supports a family of four with a nutritious food box for the holiday month of December.  

DONATE HERE and select Holiday Food Pantry  

Gently Loved Business Clothing Drive 

Donate gently loved business attire now through December 31 to benefit Chrysalis. Help someone build their confidence going into a job interview with a new set of clothes.  Curbside service is available for clothing drop-offs, text 15 minutes ahead of arrival time to 424-443-8830 and a staff member will pick up the donation curbside at 2427 Main Street. 

The Giving Tree With Loews Hotel 

Beginning November 25, the Giving Tree is an opportunity for businesses and residents to sponsor a personalized holiday tree to share their brand, a message of hope, a dedication or for just plain fun, and to be displayed in the Loews Hotel lobby. Each decorated tree will be showcased in Loew’s “A Miracle on Ocean Avenue” holiday light and decor display. The best Giving Tree winner will receive $1,000 to donate to a local participating nonprofit.  

Contact: or 

Volunteer Opportunities  

Adult Literacy Volunteer with the Santa Monica Public Library  
Volunteer as a literacy tutor to work one-on-one with adult learners in a library setting. Training hours and a minimum six-month commitment are required. Tutors meet with learners once or twice per week for 1 to 2-hour sessions.  

Contact: (310) 458-8603,, VolunteerMatch. 

American Red Cross: Volunteering opportunities include serving as a disaster services worker, donating blood, and other volunteer roles. For more information about how to volunteer, visit: 

CLARE/Matrix:Volunteers Needed—The Inspiration Series 

Volunteers are needed to facilitate the Inspiration Series, an online program providing participants the opportunity to learn a skill, meditate, paint, and engage in other activities from a skilled volunteer in an effort to reduce anxiety and depression due to isolation. Workshops are broadcast via Zoom and each session can be up to 90 minutes. Workshop ideas can be but are not limited to, financial literacy, meditation and breath work, yoga, creative writing, drawing.  

Contact: Jen Maduko at   

Holiday Toy Giveaway 

Every year at Children’s Holiday Movie, Venice Family Clinic distributes thousands of toys to our pediatric patients. For the safety and well-being of our patients, we have restructured the event this year. We will distribute toys during our free food market Tuesdays. Beginning Tuesday, November 10, 2020, at our Simms/Mann location and we need your support! (Volunteer requirement: age 15 or older) Sign up here! 

Equal Play: Volunteers needed to coach and supervise beach volleyball, lacrosse and strength training/yoga for Santa Monica’s youth. All activities follow LA County health and safety guidelines of physical distancing and appropriate use of PPE.   

Contact:, email, call or text 312-399-0857. 

Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library Volunteer 
Visit the Friends of the Library website or call (310) 458-8608 for information about volunteering with this nonprofit Library support group. 

Meals on Wheels West  

Opportunity: Needs volunteers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 11am-2pm to help with meal delivery to homebound community members.  

Contact: Meal Delivery Volunteer Coordinator at or (310)394-5133x2.  

Saint Monica Catholic Community Thanksgiving Dinner & Boutique 

For those wishing to support the 2020 Dinner, we're asking you to Volunteer to Donate here. And know, we'll be excited to have you back in person in 2021! 


Salvation Army  

Opportunity: Needs food donation pickup volunteers for the Food not Bombs Thursday night meal service. Volunteers pick up food donations at three Santa Monica stores on Wednesday and Thursday mornings between 7:45am and 9:30am. 

Contact: Christopher Wikle at to  

Salvation Army Rehab on 11th and Olympic  

Opportunity: Need Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or other inspirational speakers to provide counseling sessions via Zoom or in person. Registered nursing volunteers are needed to provide TB testing on-site. Other volunteers are needed to help with separating donations in the warehouse. 

Contact: to volunteer.   

 Santa Monica CARES & Perry’s Café Blanket Drive 

Donate new and used blankets to be given out to homeless individuals and families around Santa Monica. If you are interested in being part of a blanket distribution day, please email 

For more information about how and where to donate, click here. 

St. Joseph Center 

Opportunity: Needs grocery delivery drivers.  

Contact: Shelly Aydin, Volunteer Relations Manager, 310-396-6468 x326 | c: 310-367-0058   

Venice Family Clinic:  

Opportunity: Food Distribution  

Help tackle food insecurity that affects our community and patients through various food program initiatives taking place throughout all of Venice Family Clinic’s clinical sites. There is an opportunity for you to become involved every day of the week! Please see below for details: 

New volunteers to Venice Family Clinic click here.   

Returning volunteers click here. 


There are other opportunities to give back and support a resilient Santa Monica. For more information about ways to give back, visit  To make a donation to the We Are Santa Monica Fund, visit  If you are a local non-profit and are in need of volunteers please contact 

Authored By

Elizabeth Scharetg
Senior Administrative Analyst