Places to serve in Orange County


POVERTY IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK. The Friendly Center’s mission is to provide stability, opportunity, and hope to impoverished children and families. Twenty-five percent of Orange County households live in poverty. For some, poverty is just one layoff, medical bill, divorce, or accident away; this is SITUATIONAL POVERTY. For others, poverty is a cyclical reality that generations of families struggle to escape; this is GENERATIONAL POVERTY. Those caught in this cycle are forced to focus solely on survival: getting enough food & paying rent. These children rarely see a family member advance at a job or benefit from education. Friendly Center offers family support, including counseling and job development, food programs and distribution, education, after-school classes, parenting classes, and financial literacy. IF you are interested in volunteering for after-school tutoring or to help in the administrative office please call the number below. 

Food distribution SERVE OPPORTUNITY is on Fridays from 10:30-1:30. They have an Orange and a Buena park location. Second Harvest Food Bank supplies the food.  To sign up to serve call (714) 771-5300.

Joshua House Logo

Restoration and La Tienda thrift stores in San Clemente generate income for the JOSHUA HOUSE program, including recovery, housing, and food costs. The men work at the stores while in the program, which helps to build their resumes by the time they graduate. The stores need donations as well as helping hands. While working there, you will be involved in sorting, organizing, cleaning, pricing, working the register, and more. Please call if you are interested in giving your time or want to donate items. Winston Wardwell (949) 350-1367

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Nearly 300,000 of OC residents don’t know where their next meal is coming from. SOUTH COUNTY OUTREACH's mission is to prevent hunger and homelessness by helping people help themselves. Their food market distributes emergency non-perishable and fresh food daily to 1,500 Orange County residents monthly. Activities will include food sorting, shelving, quality and date scrutiny, cleaning, and more.

Please call Xitaly (Lolly) Luna (949) 687-2408  Monday-Thursday 3-5

Friendship Shelter

Friendship Shelter is a non-profit homeless services agency founded in 1988 and dedicated to ending homelessness in South Orange County, one person at a time. Friendship Shelter operates a full spectrum of services to end homelessness, including street outreach, emergency shelter, housing navigation, financial assistance, and permanent housing with supportive services.  They believe in a housing-first and harm reduction approach and value the unique experience of each client we serve.  All of their programs employ trauma-informed principles and are housing-focused, low-barrier and client-centered.

“Guest Chef” serve opportunity involves preparing a meal for 30 people, serving them, eating with them, and enjoying conversation. This has a six-person limit and requires scheduling.

The second opportunity is to donate much-needed supplies: razors, cleaning products (Windex, sponges, antibacterial wipes, etc.), deodorant, adult diapers, feminine hygiene products, backpacks, gift cards (Amazon, Costco, grocery stores, fast food restaurants, Starbucks, etc.), bicycles, laptops or tablets in working condition.

Please call Megan Tambio (949) 549-1875