7 Ways San Diegans Can Give Something Back To Those Less Fortunate This Holiday Season

caption: San Diego’s own Rob Machado with musician Jack Johnson cleaning-up at Cardiff State Beach


Living in such a beautiful city, it’s easy to overlook all the people who are far from ‘living the dream’. During this season of giving, we encourage you to take a moment out of your busy life and help someone less fortunate than yourself.

Whether it’s time, money, food or toys, there’s a plethora of easy ways you can help, these are just a few…

1) Mentor or Volunteer with Foster/At-Risk Kids

Promises2Kids is a unique, non-profit organization which looks out for abandoned children and other kids who are in foster-care here in town. There are currently over 3,000 youths in the foster-care system in San Diego County.

There are several ways you can help the next generation of San Diegans; be a mentor, volunteer your time or expertise, give to the annual Holiday Gift Drive or simply donate some spare change -it all helps.


2) Participate in a Beach Clean-up

This is an easy way to make a huge impact on our community, there are numerous organized clean-ups to get involved with or just go it alone.

In 2015, the Surfrider Foundation of S.D. and their volunteers removed over 9,000 pounds of trash from San Diego’s coastal areas. Additionally, local professional surfer Rob Machado’s foundation holds regular group clean-ups throughout the county.

Next time you head to your favorite beach, bring along an extra garbage bag and leave it better than you found it.

3) Feed the Homeless

Buddha For You is a local food redistribution organization which collects and redistributes food to the needy.

You can donate surplus foods or volunteer, helping pass out the generous gifts from other San Diego residents.

Every Thursday night volunteers meet at The Dharma Bum Temple at 5 pm & are done by 7 pm. Helpers clean and prepare food, then distribute it directly to those in need.

This is a great way to help others in our community and you actually get to see the results of your good deeds.

                                                                                                                                          photo: fox5sandiego.com


4) Help Victims of Domestic Abuse

Over 17,000 cases of domestic violence are recorded each year in San Diego County, that’s only the reported incidents. These women and children deserve to be protected and loved, reach out and do some good.

Rachael’s Women’s Center is one of several local organizations which help feed, house and empower victims.

Whether you volunteer your time or simply donate basic necessities like toothpaste, deodorant and tampons -the ‘little’ things mean a whole lot to those with nothing.

5) Help a Veteran

San Diego currently ranks fourth highest in the nation with regards to homelessness. We ranked 12th on this list back in ’07, so unfortunately we are heading in the wrong direction.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, nearly 50% of those 8,742 souls are veterans.

You can volunteer with the United Veterans Council here in San Diego or donate to the Wounded Warrior Project which helps reintegrate injured service men and women.

Another worthy option for your kindness and generosity is the Veterans Village of San Diego who supports, encourages, councils and houses veterans.


6) Contribute to Toys For Tots

This is a fantastic way to make a positive impact on underprivileged kids right here in San Diego. Of all donations received, 97% goes directly to benefit children in our community.

There are locations to donate toys (or cash) in both North County & South County for your convenience.

Team up with co-workers, surfing buddies or any of your social groups and collect as many new, unwrapped toys as possible for this worthwhile cause.

There are hundreds of worthy San Diego children hoping for a Christmas miracle, step up and be one!


7) Volunteer/Donate to the San Diego Food Bank

Hunger affects us all. Here in America’s Finest City we have more than our share of hungry people. this includes everyone from under-employed adults and impoverished seniors to homeless children & veterans.

Probably the easiest & most affordable way to help is to head over to the 99 cent store; stock up on canned food items and drop them off.

Click the link above to find a collection site near you.

You may not think of a can of chili as a desirable meal, however, to someone who hasn’t eaten in several days it can mean the world.


There are, of course, other ways you can make a difference.

Collect those old jackets, hoodies & blankets your grandma gave you and bag them. Take them over to the beaches or downtown around Broadway and hand one to every cold soul you see (for your own safety, this is best done with buddies and during day-light hours).

The best gift we can give is our compassion and kindness  -share the love this holiday season San Diego.


The Latest
The San Diego French Film Festival, presented by the Alliance Française San Diego, is back for its fourth edition! Get ready for a glamorous opening...
The NAT's 150th Anniversary
Hey San Diego! The NAT (San Diego Natural History Museum) is turning 150, and they’ve planned an epic celebration you won’t want to miss. Starting...
SeaWorld Summer Spectacular
SeaWorld San Diego has unveiled its all-new 2024 Summer Spectacular, which began this month and runs through Monday, September 2. Guests are invited to dive...
Camino Fest at Camino Riviera
Get ready for an exclusive event that celebrates the very best of Camino Riviera! We’re talking divine cuisine, tantalizing cocktails, exquisite wine, compelling art, and...
Basta Little Italy
Get ready to say “Basta!” to ordinary dining experiences and welcome in a new era of Italian-inspired cuisine as celebrated chef and television personality, Sam...
Trifecta by Golden State Ballet
In celebration of its third anniversary, the Golden State Ballet presents TRIFECTA, June 2 at San Diego Civic Theatre, and June 4 at The Irvine...