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December 3, 2020

Holiday Giving

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that 2020 has been a tough year. But we’ve been so encouraged to see how people have rallied together to support our community. The same goes for our staff who have found comfort in donating their time, money and talent to make San Diego better. Looking for opportunities to help? Check out our staff recommendations for inspiration:

1. The Karen Organization of San Diego

Not the “Karen” you’re used to hearing about these days, the Karen (pronounced kuh-REN) Organization of San Diego supports refugees from Burma. They train community members in case management and support them to meet needs within their own community. The model is sustainable and super cool!

–Daniel Enemark, Lead Economist

2. City of Angels

Located in Tijuana, the City of Angels orphanage provides children with a stable home. My husband and I have been volunteering there for almost two years. It’s been really incredible to meet the children and to show them love and nurture. Whether it internationally or locally, we have the desire to help a child in need.

–Laura Felix, Case Manager

3. Toys for Joy

Toys for Joy supports local families through more than just holiday gifts; they also give clothing, food, school supplies and more. Personally, I’ve been volunteering at this event for at least eight years. The Rock Church happens to be my home church, and serving the community is foundational to our mission of bringing pervasive hope to all.

–Melinda Jackson, Data Analyst

4. San Diego Pride

San Diego Pride has been serving the San Diego LGBTQ+ community for more than forty years. Their youth programs are a lifeline for so many queer and trans youth who are navigating growing up in a world that doesn’t always celebrate them for who they are.

–Stephen Colón, Manager of Integrated Services

5. SanDiego350

SanDiego350 is an environmental justice organization that’s working to fight climate change in our communities. They work through education and outreach, public policy advocacy and mobilizing people to take action. It’s been incredible to see how they’ve been able to create real change!

–Allison Tester, Marketing and Communications Specialist 

6. Wounded Warrior Project

The Wounded Warrior Project, of which I am an Alumni member, serves post-9/11 veterans with a wide variety of services. Some of those services include helping veterans develop skills, find work and apply for VA benefits. They also provide many mental health resources.

–Matt Roman, Income Share Agreement Analyst 

7. Angel Tree

Angel Tree helps provide holiday gifts for children on behalf of incarcerated parents. Children of incarcerated parents are often forgotten, specially if the incarcerated parent is a mother. They often lose their home, usually they have to change schools, and they have to move in with other family members. Having children receive a present from their incarcerated parent makes them feel remembered, seen and not forgotten.

–Yadira Ocon, Case Manager

8. Voices for Children

I volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) through Voices for Children. CASAs are volunteers of all backgrounds who make a commitment to advocate for the needs of the child, or sibling group, with whom they are matched who are navigating the foster care system. We support the children in many ways, including recommending vital services, participating in education planning and writing reports and attending hearings to help the Court understand and implement what is best for the child.

–Kelly Wilkinson, Program Supervisor 

9. Dreams for Change

Dreams for Change provides safe parking lots for people that are living in their cars. While at the parking lot, participants receive financial education, job coaching and general support for the families. They’re an incredible organization and doing great work to help people who are on the brink of homelessness. They give them opportunities to develop the skills they can use to step back from that ledge.

–Shaina Gross, Director of Programs 

10. Father Joe’s Village

Father Joe’s Village is a San Diego institution. They’re working to prevent and end homelessness by providing food, clothes, cars and resources to community members in need. I’ve volunteered with them in the past to serve meals during the holidays and they can always use more support.

–Laurie Ganz, Marketing and Communications Specialist

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