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Tis the Season to Give Back to Our Community

December 5, 2019 9:00 AM
by Miranda Iglesias

Tis the Season to Give Back to Our Community

As you get ready to deck the halls and ring in the New Year, we want to unwrap some ways you and your family can help Santa Monicans and Angelenos in need.

While many of these opportunities focus on volunteering and giving during the holiday season, we hope you’re inspired to give back to vulnerable community members all year long. 

Give Time

Volunteer with Saint Monica Catholic Community (November 30 – December 14)

Location: St. Monica Catholic Community Auditorium, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403


  • Holiday Carnival/Party - volunteer at the holiday party for the families from St. Joseph Center (Dec. 14). They need help with hospitality, parking, running games and craft projects, and serving food. Contact Christine Gerety at (310) 566-1531 for more information.
  • Volunteer to be an Elf - Help us collect and sort donated gifts by age, gender, and specific requests. Help assemble gift packages for children in local schools on Sunday, Dec. 8, and Sunday, Dec. 15. Contact Christine Gerety at or (310) 566-1531 if you can serve on any of those days.

Connections for Children Holiday Angeles Program (December 10, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., December 11, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., December 12, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

Location: 5901 West Century Blvd., Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Description: Every year Connections for Children collects holiday gifts for children whose families are enrolled in our child care subsidy program. To volunteer, contact Charlout at (310) 452-3325 ext. 275.

Brentwood Presbyterian – The Giving Spirit (December 12 – 15)

Location: Brentwood Presbyterian Church, 12000 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, 90049

Description: Register to fill The Giving Spirit’s teams for assembly of survival kits, outreach to our homeless neighbors and learning experiences. Register here!

Project Connect (December 18, 5:30 - 8 p.m.)

Location: West Los Angeles National Guard Armory, 1300 Federal Avenue, Los Angeles, 90025

Description: Volunteers are needed to walk those coming to the shelter around to the various tables and guide them to the services and donations they ask for. This can be a perfect way for one person to help another. For more information, email or call (310) 314-0071.

One Voice 2019 Holiday Program (December 19 - 22)

Location: The Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA, 90405

Description: Holiday Food Program provides Christmas food baskets, toys and books to 2,500 families (12,500 people) living in poverty in the Los Angeles area. Click here to volunteer.

St. Joseph Center (December 19 - 22)

Location: 404 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, CA 90291

Description: Their Holiday Food Program provides Christmas food baskets, toys and books to 2,500 families (12,500 people) living in poverty in the Los Angeles area. This program needs volunteers December 12-22 to help prepare and deliver baskets. For more volunteer opportunities throughout the year, click here.

Meals on Wheels (Monday – Friday, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Location: 1823-A Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404

Description: Help deliver meals. Flexible schedule—you can deliver every day, once a week, or once a month. Call for more information: (310) 394-7558.

The People Concern (Throughout the year)

Location: Los Angeles and Santa Monica

Description: The People Concern relies on volunteers to effectively serve our most vulnerable residents. Here are ways to get involved; some require a regular commitment and can include:

  • Donate food and clothing
  • Food services
  • Case management
  • Donation sorting and distribution
  • Front desk and reception
  • Wellness activities
  • Life Skills activities

Westside Food Bank

Location: 1710 22nd St., Santa Monica, CA 90404

Description: Food sorting involves coming to our warehouse to organize and box food that we have received during food drives. Call or email Allison Griffith for more information about volunteering: (310) 828-6016. To donate food or other items, click here.

Give Goods & Donations: 

Saint Monica Catholic Community – Angel Toy Drive (November 30 – December 14)

Location: St. Monica Catholic Community Auditorium, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403

Description: Each year St. Monica collects toys for local schools—Muir, Grant, Edison, McKinley, Will Rogers, and Covenant House—a shelter for homeless young adults and their babies. For many of these youth, your gift may be the only toy they receive this year. Toy Drive Angel Ornaments with a child’s gender and age are available beginning November 30. Take an angel, purchase a toy, and place it unwrapped in toy collection bins by Sunday, Dec. 8. Contact Christine Gerety at (310) 566-1531.

Marine Toys for Tots Donations (now – December 15)

Location: Santa Monica’s Woodlawn Cemetery, 1847 Woodlawn Cemetery, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Donate: Woodlawn will be accepting toy donations through Sunday, December 15th as part of the Toys for Tots.

One Voice 2019 Holiday Program (December 19 - 22)


  • Gift Cards: One Voice has gift cards available that you can give as presents to your friends, family and business associates. In their name, each card provides one low-income family within our community with a basket of food at the holidays. Your purchase of One Voice holiday gift cards is considered a donation and is tax-deductible. Holiday gift cards are priced at $40 each, which is our cost of providing a food basket to a family. 
  • Holiday Food Program: Listed on their website are the food items we need to purchase. You can mix and match… buy one box of apples or all of the apples. Please help us! Want to give this donation as a gift? Please call us at 310-458-9961 to coordinate.

Upward Bound House (Throughout the year)

Location: Upward Bound House 1104 Washington Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403 310.458.7779

Description: Donate to move even more homeless families off the streets and into permanent housing, and connect them with the resources they need to thrive. A donation of any size makes a big difference in the lives of homeless families and their children. For opportunities to volunteer with Upward Bound House throughout the year, click here.  


From all of us at the City of Santa Monica, we wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday and we look forward to a joyous 2020.

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