As the holiday season begins and we share our homes with friends and loved ones, thoughts turn to those less fortunate — folks who don’t have access to the simple things we take for granted. Making a donation to an organization that dedicates its time to helping people in need is a beautiful way to spread the good will of the season.
Here are some Downtown and near Downtown-based charitable organizations for you to consider. Your donation will add comfort and wellbeing to someone’s holiday season, and you may make a connection for giving that lasts throughout the year!
CHRISTIAN OUTREACH IN ACTION
Thanks to donations, Christian Outreach in Action (COA) provides thousands of hot meals to unhoused folks each year. The ENTIRE community is invited to a post-Thanksgiving community meal on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 11:30 AM. Guests who have been pre-approved will receive bagged meals to take home to their loved ones. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience first-hand what COA does for our community! To learn all about COA, the post-Thanksgiving feast, and to make a donation, click here.
DOWNTOWN RUNNERS LB TOY DRIVE FUN RUN
Whether you love to run or just want to bring an unwrapped toy for the benefit of The Guidance Center and Miller Children’s Hospital, please join Downtown Runners LB at Grey LB, 237 Long Beach Blvd Ste.B, on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 6:30 PM for a special edition of their Wednesday Night Fun Run. Entry is FREE. Donate as many toys as you want! You’ll get a raffle ticket for each one. Hang out after the run, get a bite to eat, and win a gift card! For more details, click here.
PURPOSE CENTERED COACHING & CONSULTING
Purpose Centered Coaching & Consulting, a gender equity coaching nonprofit for women, is hosting its annual Holiday Mixer & Toy/Jacket Drive on Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at The Ordinarie, 210 The Promenade North. Guests are requested to bring new toys and new or gently-used jackets for children of preschool age. To learn more details about the event and to purchase tickets, click here.
ST. LUKE’S CHURCH
Every Saturday from 7:30 AM to noon, St. Luke’s at 525 E. 7th Street provides showers, clothing, and food for our unhoused neighbors. Clothing donations can be brought to the shower area on Thursdays from 9 to 11 AM, or on Sunday morning to a donation box at the entrance of the church. (Do not leave donations outside or in hallways.) To learn about clothing donation details and other ways to help St. Luke’s — including volunteering — click here.
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
The beautiful brick church at the corner of 3rd & Cedar partners with Urban Community Outreach every Sunday afternoon to host a Drop-in Center for individuals experiencing homelessness and others in need. Guests meet in the church’s Patterson Hall for a nutritious and balanced meal. The church’s 16-station computer lab is open for internet access, allowing free long-distance phone calls and email. The Drop-In Center also provides free health screenings and first aid on three Sundays each month. Click here to learn about and donate to the church’s many outreach programs. Volunteer opportunities are plentiful!
MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA OF LOS ANGELES
Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHALA) has 24 locations across Southern California, including Long Beach. MHALA ‘s multi-disciplinary teams meet people where they are to provide comprehensive services, including mental and medical healthcare, housing, wellness services, employment, educational and financial services, and more. To learn about MHALA’s many outreach programs along with volunteer opportunities and ways to donate, click here.
U.S. Vets works year ’round to provide programs and services for homeless and at-risk veterans, including temporary and permanent housing solutions. To learn about U.S. Vets programs, establish contact with the Long Beach office, and to make a donation, click here.
LONG BEACH FORWARD
Long Beach Forward is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to create a healthy Long Beach with low-income communities of color by building community knowledge, leadership, and power. The organization is involved in many community collaborations that align with their mission. Click here to learn all about Long Beach Forward and to make a donation. Help create a positive future for ALL of Long Beach’s children!
LONG BEACH RESCUE MISSION
The Long Beach Rescue Mission (LBRM), just up the road at 1335 Pacific Avenue, helps men, women, and children who are overcoming obstacles on their way to becoming integrated with the community. LBRM has just wrapped up its annual Thanksgiving Food Drive but is seeking financial and material support throughout the year. Just $2.20 will provide a homeless individual with a hot meal! To learn about LBRM’s work and to make a donation, click here.