Live in Orange County, CA and need free Christmas toys and food for the holidays? From Garden Grove to Costa Mesa, here’s where to go to get what you need.
Because the organizations below rely on donations and volunteers to keep their doors open, their hours and selection may vary. They may also provide services not listed, especially during the holidays. Please contact them beforehand for details and eligibility. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, talk to churches or charities in your neighborhood. Some will make referrals while others have programs not listed here.
Free Toys and Gifts in Orange County, CA
Anaheim Indoor Marketplace gives away free toys each year while supplies last. Days and hours vary, and guests must have coupons to receive gifts. Get details about special events or call (714) 999-0888.
Assistance League Christmas Is for Sharing has locations in cities throughout Orange County. In addition to thrift shops and ongoing programs, they provide age-appropriate gifts for all members of needy families during the holidays. Sign up for sales, promotions, and special events. Call (714) 532-5800.
Boys and Girls Club’s Family and Outreach Program in Garden Grove wants disadvantaged children to be successful in school and life. In addition to ongoing counseling and community programs, they may also provide holiday help to local youth up to the age of 18.
Christian Life Fellowship runs a food pantry on Saturday mornings. An application is required. Call (714) 771 9850.
Costa Mesa Community Center may offer free toys and food to local families with young children and babies. Other community centers throughout Orange County offer similar services. Check city websites for information about your neighborhood.
Friendly Center, Inc. in Orange gives gifts and food baskets to unaccompanied adults, senior citizens, and parents with young children. The center may also have free toys, presents, or other items for low-income families with children as well as ongoing programs throughout the year. Call (714) 771- 5300.
Garden Grove 7th Day Adventist sponsors an adopt-a-family program for children up to 13 years in Garden Grove and surrounding areas. Parents, including single moms, may receive food and Christmas trees while kids get gifts that range from free toys and clothing to games and electronics. The church also offers food, clothing, and personal hygiene items at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Call (714) 534-1987.
Grateful Hearts in Los Alamitos is a nonprofit funded by private and corporate donors. Their goal is to provide for the needs of those who are hurting. See their calendar for a list of holiday and ongoing events. Call (562) 431- 0880.
Mariners Church in Irvine serves a hot Thanksgiving meal and gives small toys or articles of clothing to children at Christmas. The church focuses on families who are low-income, homeless, or poor. Although this church does not serve a Christmas dinner, it does provide arts and crafts for low-income families during the holidays. Email [email protected]
Orange Hills Assembly runs a food bank on Tuesdays from 10 – 2. Call 714-974-7333.
Saint Joachim Catholic Church in Costa Mesa and its partners serve Thanksgiving meals to the needy. They may also make referrals or provide information about other holiday or Christmas events in Orange County as well as offer services through their St Vincent de Paul and outreach programs. Call (949) 574-7400.
Salvation Army of Southern California and Orange County has locations that provide vouchers for free toys and food as well as other gifts. Holiday programs include Adopt a Family and Angel Tree, but other services and referrals may also be available. Call (714) 832-7100 or email [email protected]
Share Our Selves (SOS) is a nonprofit that accepts referrals from Costa Mesa and Santa Ana schools and organizations. SOS links donors with families who need holiday help with a Thanksgiving dinner as well as Christmas gifts and food. Ongoing services include help with dental, mental, and physical healthcare, medications, and social services. Email [email protected]
Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa offers a hot Christmas meal with trimmings to city residents, free toys and visits with Santa Claus, tutoring and a food pantry throughout the year.
South County Outreach Adopt-a-Family has helped families through the holidays since 1997 by offering free toys and food as well as clothing to brighten their Christmas. From November 1 to November 31, they match donors with families. For information, email [email protected] or call the Holiday Hotline at (949) 380-8144 ext. 207.
Trinity Guild at Purisima Catholic Church runs a food pantry. They also distribute holiday meals on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Call (714) 633-5800 for details.
United Way Orange County partners with businesses and nonprofits to provide a wide range of services to those in crisis. In addition to offering toys, clothing, and other gifts directly to the people who need them, the United Way also makes referrals. For help 24 hours a day, dial 211.
United States Postal Service and Operation Santa depend on volunteers to meet the special needs of children who write to Santa through local post offices. Any child, family member, or interested party can write a letter on behalf of a child. While there are no guarantees, volunteers try to spot and respond to requests of those in need.
Yorba Linda Coast to Coast Foundation offers SACK lunches to hungry students every month in addition to serving the homeless twice a month. Children under age 16 can register for a holiday adopt a family program that provides toys, games, and other gifts to Orange County families in need. Call (888) 275-5160.
Free Toys and Food for Special Groups
Crime Survivors, Inc. of Irvine sponsors an event known as Gift Baskets and Holiday Party or Elf’s Holly Day. Aid is only for victims or survivors of crime and their families.
Make A Wish Orange County provides special requests for children who face life-threatening illnesses, but sick children may also request Christmas toys or gifts as a wish. Parents, legal guardians, family members, or medical professionals can recommend any child who has a critical illness and is at least two-and-a-half years old but not yet 18. Call (714) 573-9474 for more information.
Operation Santa Claus offers free toys and other gifts to Orange County children who have been neglected, abused, abandoned, or placed in foster care. They also give holiday gifts to children of needy families who receive services from the county. If you qualify, ask your social worker for a referral. Call (714) 679-2438 or email [email protected]
Senior Santa & Friends provides gifts and requested items to low-income senior citizens or severely disabled adults who are clients of the Orange County Social Services or Orange County Health Care Agency. Qualified items include medical equipment, household appliances, clothing, and nutritional supplements. For more information, call (714) 825-3111 or e-mail [email protected]
Free Food and Holiday Meals in Orange County, CA
American Family Housing in Westminster offers a free community dinner every Thanksgiving. They also run an ongoing program for the homeless. Call (714) 897-3221.
Bridge Community Church Food Pantry is open the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. They also have a Kidz Kloset for children ages 0 to 12 on the same days. For emergency food distribution or information, call (714) 997-8881.
Calvary Temple of Orange County runs a food pantry on Fridays. Call (714) 538-1064 for details.
First Presbyterian Church of Orange provides two bags of food per month to each needy family. Call (714) 583-2341 for more information.
Friendly Center provides ongoing and emergency food for those in need. Items include fresh produce, dry goods, dairy, bread, and food that comes from local stores. For help, call (714) 771-5300 Monday through Friday. Holiday assistance includes an adopt a family program, Thanksgiving baskets, and holiday outreach.
God Provides Native American Food Bank in South El Monte provides direct support and food for the needy in Southern California. They offer fresh produce, dairy products, dry goods, meats, and fruits as well as meals. Call (626) 442-4273 for more information.
Grace Food Bank offers fresh and nonperishable items for members of the Fountain Valley community. The organization focuses on helping immigrants start new lives. Contact them online or call (714) 983-4370.
Laguna Food Pantry offers free, fresh groceries in a retail-style setting five mornings per week. Guests need only to sign in at their front desk. Receive help here or call 855-2-FeedOC (855-233-3362).
Mary’s Kitchen in Orange offers a free hot meal to anyone in need on Thanksgiving and Christmas. They also serve around 200 people daily throughout the year. Call (714) 633-0444.
Orange County Food Bank sponsors a variety of programs that feed the hungry, including meals for seniors, fresh foods from Farm 2 Family, donated food, emergency assistance, and Food Stamp Assistance. To apply for help, call (562) 400-3548, or email [email protected]
Praise Chapel in Orange runs a food bank. For more info, call (714) 588-1577.
Rivers 47 runs a food pantry on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 2. Call (714) 633-6464 ext 10 for a monthly appointment.
Second Harvest Food Bank in Orange County provides a mobile pantry, a program for seniors, and one for students after-school or in the summer. They can also help with referrals and may offer holiday assistance. Request help on their helpline.
South County Outreach in Irvine offers food, clothing, transitional housing, and computer training to Orange County residents who are homeless or in crisis. Get details here or call (949) 380-8144. For the holidays, see listing above.
St John’s Lutheran Church runs a food pantry on every Saturday of the month except the last Saturday. Contact them for more information.