2015 Top 25 Los Angeles Holiday Drives To Participate In

'Tis the season for not just giving, but giving back.

We've compiled a list of the top 25 Los Angeles holiday drives that you can participate in this year. Whether it's to donate your time, money and more to local charities in need, we've discovered family-friendly activities perfect for both individuals and groups. There are so many ways to cherish the city of Los Angeles, from its people, beaches and museums. Start giving back to the community by choosing from our list of some of the best places to make a difference, from Downtown Los Angeles, to the San Gabriel Valley and even Santa Monica. 

PS - this post was originally published in 2015, but be sure to check out our newest list from 2017 featuring our charity advent calendar.

1. The Gift of Play Holiday Celebration
Organization: Children's Institute, Inc.
Date: December 5

Children's Institute, Inc. with help from Mattel Inc. and other partners will host a holiday celebration for more than 1,000 of Los Angeles' most vulnerable children - many are victims or witnesses to violence in their homes and communities. Event activities include toy selection, arts and crafts, cookie decorating, story time, music and more. Be a part of the holiday cheer on Saturday, December 5th at CII's Otis Booth Campus. Volunteer responsibilities range from helping with set up, helping children select a toy, a book and or handing out food and water, to helping with breakdown of the event. Register to volunteer today.

2. Magical Christmas
Organization: Boys Town California
Date: December 5

Come to Boys Town California's campus and enjoy a tour of Family Homes while visiting with the boys and girls who call Boys Town home. Refreshments, joy and merriment will be provided as the home opens for you.  RSVP here!

3. Family Shopping Day
Organization: Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House
Date: December 6

During the holidays, some families don’t have the extra time it takes to shop so, with your help, the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House is making it easy for them. Families served by the organization will be coming together to shop for each other - parents for their kids and kids for the parents. Gifts needed include gift cards, bath items, socks, a good book and so much more. More info here.

4. Threads of Change
Organization: Los Angeles LGBT Center
Date: December 6

Donate canned food items and gently-used clothing to benefit LGBT seniors and youth served by the Center. This ninth annual donation drive party is free admission and guests who donate a bag of gently used clothes and/or a bag of canned, non-perishable food items will receive a complimentary drink. More info here.

5. Holiday Art Bazaar
Organization: Theatre of Hearts Youth First
Date: December 12

Join Theatre of Hearts Youth First for wine, cheese, and a unique shopping experience with art and handmade goods by local artists and students. Admission is free. More info here.

6. The BIG Holiday Party
Organization: Catholic Big Brothers and Big Sisters
Date: December 13, 2015

Join Catholic Big Brothers and Big Sisters for a BIG holiday party at Xlanes bowling in Downtown Los Angeles. Register here.

7. Yule Caroling
Organization: One Incredible Family, Inc.
Date: December 13 & 20

Lend your voice in song and come lift the spirits of seniors as one incredible family. Two opportunities available to sing carols with glee at local Senior Centers! Register for caroling here.

8. Making A Strong Impact Toy Drive
Organization: Inspired Enrichment C. D. C. 
Date: December 19

Donate unwrapped toys, clothing and non-perishable food items OR volunteer for the toy drive! Volunteer opportunities include meal prep, toy distribution, kids zone and more. Find out where to drop off donations or to sign up as a volunteer here.

9. Food & Clothing Distribution
Organization: Food on Foot
Date: 12/20, 12/27, 01/03, 01/10

Every week, volunteers from around the city gather and help distribute food and clothing. Use the online volunteer sign-up, and show up. It’s surprisingly easy – and a few hundred people will thank you for it. Approximately 90 minutes of your time on a Sunday. No contractual agreements. Show up once. Or twice. Or every week. Sign up to volunteer today!

10. Cherishing Children
Organization: Day One
Date: December 21

Toys appropriate for ages ranging from 3-17 are needed for an annual toy drive. Information to donate toys here.

11. Dinner in the Park
Organization: Union Station Homeless Services
Date: December 25

For four decades, Union Station Homeless Services has hosted Holiday Dinner in the Park on Christmas Day. This incredible community event provides thousands of holiday meals and hope for all who attend, including homeless men, women, children, seniors, very low-income families, and those with no place to go during the holidays. Other ways to help include pie donations and Christmas wishlist purchases. The impact of this event in the community is huge! Sign up to volunteer here.

12. Adopt A Family
Organization: Mother's Club Family Learning Center
Date: December 2015

Experience the true spirit of giving this holiday season through the Mother's Club Family Learning Center Adopt-A-Family Program.  You'll be linked with a family in need, and you will have the opportunity to provide the makings of a wonderful holiday. Bring a smile to a child's face with a new toy or book…bring joy to a mother with some comfy slippers or a photo album for her keepsakes…and bring joy to a whole family with all the fixings for a delicious holiday meal. The process is simple and the rewards are priceless for both those who receive and those who give. Adopt a family here.

13. Help Fill A Holiday Stocking For A Child Or Family In Need
Organization: Aviva
Date: December 2015

Help bring a moment of holiday cheer into the lives of children and families.  Please consider hosting a holiday gift and toy drive for Aviva.  If you want to “adopt”  an individual child or a family who will not have a Christmas without our help, Aviva can provide personalized wish lists from these children and families, many of whom need almost anything you can think of – from blankets to food gift cards. Click here to download the general wish list and learn how to “adopt” a child or family for the holidays.

14. Divine Chocolate Supports Women Cocoa Farmers
Organization: Whole Planet Foundation
Date: December 2015

This holiday season, Divine Chocolate is supporting Whole Planet Foundation with a portion of sales from their Advent Calendar at Whole Foods Market stores. Divine Chocoalte will be supporting the Foundation’s microcredit programs by making a $0.05 donation for each Divine Chocolate Advent Calendar sold in Whole Foods Market locations nationwide. More info here.

15. No Dinner “Dinner” Fundraiser
Organization: Reading Opens Minds
Date: December 2015

A dinner with zero calories guaranteed to make you feel good! Help build a culture of literacy and community by providing books and book clubs to local jails, prisons, low-income schools and senior centers. One of the organization’s favorite independent bookstores, Chevalier’s Books, is graciously offering a 15% discount on in-store or call-in orders to all who donate in the fundraiser! Check out the dinner menu and book pairings.

16. Holiday Cards On Sale
Organization: The Pablove Foundation
Date: December 2015

Look no further for your stack of holiday cards! The Pablove Foundation is selling an exclusive holiday cards collection, perfect to send to your loved ones and colleagues. Purchase holiday art here

17. All-Star Charity Rock-N-Roll Christmas Show 
Organization: MusiCares® Foundation (CSUN)
Date: December 13

Presented by the Get Together Foundation, Rock Cellar Magazine & KCSN… 2 sets of Rock 'n' Roll and soulful Christmas & holiday tunes with an AllStar cast hosted by KCSN's on air personality, Jim Nelson. This special holiday show will feature an incredibly talented musical cast & several well-known musical stars to sing, celebrate & raise money for a great cause: MusiCares®, founded by The Recording Academy (GRAMMY's), helps music people in need. Get your tickets here.

18. Holiday Giving with Exceptional Children's Foundation
Organization: Exceptional Children's Foundation
Date: December 2015

Caring for a family member with special needs can create significant financial and emotional strain, especially in families where parents already struggle to meet basic needs. They can’t afford “extras” like holiday gifts and special meals. Help provide some relief to families in three easy ways: conduct a toy or food drive at your office, school or other organization, adopt a family or make a personal donation to allow ECF to purchase holiday gifts! Click here for gift ideas, information on online giving and more.

19. Holiday Gift Cards and Program
Organization: Voice LA
Date: December 2015

Help package and provide Christmas food baskets, toys and books to 2,500 families (12,500 people) living in poverty in the Los Angeles area. Each child receives books and toys given personally by Santa and every family takes home a basket overflowing with all the makings of a wonderful holiday meal: a turkey, rolls, carrots, squash, potatoes, yams, onions, rice, beans, bags of apples and oranges, candy, a fresh apple pie and canned goods. Gift cards are also available. In the name of the gifted, each card provides one low-income family within our community with a basket of food for Christmas. Scholarship gift cards available that help low income high school students realize their dreams of attending first-rate colleges. Purchase a gift card or sign up to volunteer here.

20. Vons Bag Hunger Food Drive
Organization: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
Date: December 2015

Vons and Pavilions stores will run the Help Us End Hunger Holiday Food Drive. Store customers can purchase $7 pre-packed food bags filled with essential items that will then be given to an individual in need. This year’s items will be: Tuna, Pasta, Canned Tomatoes, Canned Vegetables, Peanut Butter and Soup. Search for your nearest Vons and Pavillions location.

21. Christmas Dinner at CBS
Organization: Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition
Date: December 2015

Join a broad-based grass-roots organization to plan and prepare an elaborate sitdown meal to the homeless and hungry at CBS on Christmas Day-a nice change from the sidewalk. Register to volunteer here.

22. 4-Day Holiday Sale
Organization: Project Angel Food
Date: December 2015

Get your shopping on while doing good at a special holiday 4-day sale at Jgerard Peace Gallery. There will be cocktails, music and premier merchandise sold at HUGE discounts. Holiday greeting cards are also available at Project Angel Food. More info here.

23. Holiday Gift Sets Made by DWC
Organization: Downtown Women's Center
Date: December 2015

Shop from a selection of perfectly curated holiday sets for your loved ones! Ranging from the soap lover, the artist, the nurturer and more, you’ll be sure to find an ideal gift to give this season. Shop holiday gift sets here.

24. Holiday Shopping
Organization: Food Forward
Date: December 2015

Select special jams and gift sets and support fruitanthropy by shopping online at Food Forward. Shop jams and other specialty items here.

25. Gift Drive
Organization: Covenant House California (CHC)
Date: December 2015

Bring holiday joy to a homeless youth. Volunteers and guests are invited to support a gift drive with a $10-$25 gift card or with individual gifts. View the holiday wish list and recommended gift cards and gifts list here.

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