- Donate Now
- Holiday Giving
- Join our Circle of Impact
- Planned Giving
- More Ways to Give
- Help Supply Our Food Pantry
- Donate Furniture or Household Items
- Shop and Donate
- Thank You to Our Donors
- Corporate Partners
- Become a Housing Partner
- Donor FAQ
Families Forward is a nonprofit agency that depends upon the support of the community to provide homeless families or families at risk of homelessness with tools and education to maintain self-sufficiency. The primary goal is to move families in crisis to stability.
All donations remain in our community to help local families. We are proud to report that 89% of donations go directly to support programs and services.
Additionally, Families Forward makes every effort to respect our donors and their information.
- Please click here for our “Donor Bill of Rights”, adopted through the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Orange County.
Every gift helps
Donations can be made electronically or by check. We accept all major credit cards.
If you prefer to write a check:
Please make checks payable to Families Forward and mail to 8 Thomas Irvine, CA 92618.
Many employers will match a charitable donation to a non-profit organization, which can double, even triple the value of your donation. Ask your employer about its matching grant program.
Holiday Giving to Families Forward
Please help us serve local families in need through our holiday programs. Last year, nearly 900 families received baskets to make a warm Thanksgiving meal at home, and over 2,000 local children were adopted by local donors, and received special gifts for the holidays.
Thanksgiving Basket Program
Each year, Families Forward holds a Thanksgiving-themed grocery distribution for local families in need. Please check back in October 2017 to sign up to donate food items and gift cards to our Thanksgiving Basket Program. For more information on how to volunteer for the Thanksgiving Basket Program, click here.
The Adopt-a-Family Program gives donors the opportunity to bring holiday joy to families in need. Please check back in October 2017 to donate gifts for our Adopt-a-Family Program. For more information on how to volunteer for the Adopt-a-Family Program, click here.
Other Ways to Give During the Holidays
Looking for a meaningful way to celebrate the holidays? Host a holiday party benefiting Families Forward!
Having an office or home holiday party? This year, consider sharing the mission of Families Forward with friends or colleagues.
- In lieu of a typical employee gift exchange, adopt a family or families through our Adopt-a-Family Program. Employees can pick a child (name, age, and wishlist provided), and bring a small unwrapped present that will be gifted to the child.
- Ask your holiday party guests to bring an unwrapped gift for a teen (click here for our list of most-needed teen wishlist items) in lieu of host gifts. Each holiday season, teen wishlist items are especially needed.
- Ask your holiday party guests to bring new towels, plain queen sheets, or plain twin sheets in lieu of a host gift. These household items are the most needed items in the homes we maintain for the families we serve.
- Adopt a family or families through our Adopt-a-Family Program, and center your holiday party around bringing the unwrapped gifts on the child/children’s wishlists.
- Invite a Families Forward staff member to your office or party to share our programs and a family success story. For more information, please contact Susan DeGrassi at firstname.lastname@example.org or (949) 716-5868.
Please note that we cannot guarantee that any gifts dropped off after Friday, December 16, 2016, will be given to a family before the holidays.
Having trouble coming up with a creative and new gift idea this year? Donate to Families Forward and we’ll send Holiday Tribute Cards to your friends, family or colleagues.
Our “Warm Your Heart” program is an easy and impactful way to support Families Forward. We will email or mail a tribute card to the recipient of your choice, letting them know that a donation was made to Families Forward in their honor.
Use our Warm Your Heart tribute cards to:
- Congratulate employees for a job well done
- Thank vendors who provide exceptional service
- Show appreciation to your valued customers
- Reward employees for their community service work
- Appreciate family and friends with a meaningful gift supporting local families in need
Donations can be made in any denomination, and there are no processing fees. Your full donated amount is eligible for a charitable tax deduction. The recipient does not receive a tax deduction.
Join our Circle of Impact
Families Forward has a network of advisors with experience across a range of charitable giving techniques. They are available to provide guidance and charitable gift planning support. If you have any questions or would like more detailed information about this process, please contact Susan DeGrassi, Director of Development.
A simple form of planned giving is to remember Families Forward in your will. The bequest can be specified as a fixed amount, as a percentage of your estate, as the residual, or as specific items.
Retirement Plans and Life Insurance
You can maximize the impact of your retirement funds or life insurance policy when you name Families Forward as your beneficiary. Because retirement funds directed to heirs are often subject to a high level of both federal and state income and estate taxes, donating your retirement plan to a nonprofit can eliminate these taxes. Simply obtain a designated beneficiary form from your retirement plan administrator and name “Families Forward” as one of your beneficiaries.
Charitable Gift Annuities and Charitable Trusts
Charitable gift annuities allow an individual to retain income during their lifetime, while the principal can be designated to charity. This is a wonderful way for a donor to gain an annual income and generate a tax-deductible gift for Families Forward.
More information is available in our Legacy Society informational brochure.
If you are interested in naming Families Forward as a beneficiary in your will, bequest, trust or an estate planning instrument, please consult with your financial advisory or estate attorney.
More Ways to Give
“Adopt a Home” Program:
Learn how you can “Adopt A Home” by designating your gift to support the direct cost of housing to help homeless families. Click here to learn more. For more information, contact Susan DeGrassi at email@example.com or (949) 716-5868.
Annual Gala Sponsorship:
Each September, Families Forward hosts its annual fundraising Gala. You can help support our vital mission to prevent and reduce homelessness in Orange County through your sponsorship or attendance. If you are interested in other sponsorship opportunities, please contact Susan DeGrassi, Director of Development.
Gifts of Security:
Gifts of appreciated stock and securities support Families Forward while proving potential tax deductions and capital gains tax reductions for the donor. To make a stock or securities donation, please contact Susan DeGrassi, Director of Development.
Working for employers who are invested in the community increases employee morale and retention. Workplace giving programs demonstrate to employees and customers that community is a company priority. If your company is interested in learning more about how to get involved with Families Forward, please click here for more information.
Help Supply Our Food Pantry
When a family doesn’t have enough food – the most basic human need – stability in other areas is impossible. At Families Forward, we provide food to struggling families. Currently, the Families Forward food pantry serves over 6,000 low-income individuals each year. Families Forward relies almost entirely on community donations to feed these local families. Click here for a flyer listing our most needed food items.
There are three easy ways to contribute to the Food Pantry:
- Individual Food Donations: Families Forward welcomes food donations from individuals who want to help end hunger! Food donations can be dropped off at our pantry during our business hours.(Monday- Thursday 9:00am-5:00pm, Friday 9:00am-1:00pm).
- Host a Food Drive: We make hosting a food drive easy! Click here to learn more
- Families Forward Partners with Ziggedy! No time to run to the store? Purchase food items online through Ziggedy from our Food Drive Wish List and have food items shipped directly to Families Forward!
If you have questions about how to donate food, please send a message for our Food Drive Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donate Furniture or Household Items
Thanks to the generous donation of household items from the community, Families Forward’s houses are turned into homes for our families.
Furniture and Appliance Donation Guidelines
We accept furniture items that are clean and gently used with no rips, holes, or stains. Appliances must be no more than 10 years old and in working order. The units the families move into are apartment size – so large, bulky, oversized furniture that does not fit the space will not be accepted. Please see below for items we cannot accept due to size or weight. All items must be suitable to put into our homes.
Please allow a 2-3 week window to arrange a pick-up. If your requirements are more urgent then this – please see our list of other local donation resources.
Most Needed Furniture:
- Bed frames, box springs, and mattresses (Queen- and/or twin-sized ONLY)
- Bunk beds
- Dining room tables and chairs (No glass tops)
- Sofas or loveseats
- Dressers and nightstands
- Coffee and end tables (No glass tops)
Most Needed Appliances:
- Dryers (Gas only)
- Ovens (No built-ins, double ovens, or cooktops. Must be a free-standing oven)
Most Needed Household Items (new or gently used):
- Twin or queen mattress pads
- Twin or queen blankets (Neutral colors)
- Twin or queen sheet sets (Neutral colors)
- Pillows (New only)
- Pots and pans
- Kitchen towels, dish rags, and pot holders
- Bath towels (All sizes)
- Bathmats (Solid colors)
- Shower curtains (And vinyl backs)
- Buckets with cleaning supplies
- Small trash cans for kitchens and bed/bathrooms
- Small rugs for kitchen
- Front and back welcome mats (Outdoor)
- Vacuums (Standard size)
We also accept:
- TV (Flat screen only)
- TV Stands
Thank you – but – we cannot accept the following:
- King-sized anything – headboards, mattresses, frames
- Sleeper sofas
- Trundle beds
- Any appliances over 10 years old
- Any type of large, oversized furniture (Armoires, large bookcases, large desks)
Cities we may pick up from:
- Aliso Viejo
- Corona del Mar
- Coto de Caza
- Dana Point
- Foothill Ranch
- Laguna Beach
- Laguna Hills
- Laguna Niguel
- Lake Forest
- Mission Viejo
- Newport beach
- Rancho Santa Margarita
- San Juan Capistrano
- Trabuco Canyon
Other Donation Resources:
- Integrity House – 714-542-0855
- Salvation Army – 1-800-958-7824
- St. Vincent de Paul – 714-542-0448
- Laura’s House – 949-240-0663
Please note that we are not affiliated with these organizations.
Furniture and Household Goods Donation Pick-Up Form
To donate your furniture or household items to Families Forward, please fill out this form and our donation coordinator will contact you within 48 hours to discuss your donation and schedule a pick-up date. Please allow a 2-3 week window to coordinate pick-up.
Shop and Donate
Shop and Support Families Forward
An easy way to support Families Forward is to sign up with our partners below. At no cost to you, a percentage of your purchases will be donated to Families Forward!
How It Works: Visit Amazon via Smile.Amazon.com and select “Families Forward – Irvine, CA” as your organization. Shop as you normally would, and 0.5% of your purchase will go back to Families Forward! Note: Your Amazon orders are only eligible if you visit Smile.Amazon.com before purchasing.
|Ralph’s Community Contribution Program
How It Works: Bring this flyer to Ralph’s during your next visit. After it is scanned by a cashier, a percentage of each purchase made with your Ralph’s reward card will be donated to Families Forward! Note: Bring this flyer back every September to renew your contributions.
How It Works: Register for a Ziggedy account. Use the Ziggedy shopping portal to shop at your favorite online stores, or to find items at the best price, and a variable percentage of your purchase will be donated to Families Forward!
Thank You to Our Donors
2015 -2016 Donors
Families Forward is grateful for every gift of financial support. Due to space limitations, the list below includes Circle of Impact donors who made gifts of $5,000 or more between October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. If you believe we have made an error, please contact us.
Thank you to our Corporate Partners (during the period October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016). If your company is interested in learning more about how to get involved with Families Forward, please see refer to our Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities and Workplace Giving Programs for additional information. For inquiries, please contact: Susan DeGrassi, Director of Development at (949) 716-5868 or email@example.com.
Become a Housing Partner
Together, we can help families in need create a secure environment to raise their children. With generous support from our Housing Partners, Rapid Re-Housing has helped numerous families obtain stable housing and regain self-sufficiency.
Rapid Re-Housing is a national initiative to provide housing placement, financial assistance, and support services to help families in need gain access to housing, and build stability for their family.
How Can I Help?
You can partner with us by leasing homes to families we have identified. Some Housing Partners have also agreed to waive certain fees, deposits, and credit restrictions, and to lower rents for the initial months of the lease.
What Can I Expect?
Families Forward assists families with the application process, financial support, and case management services. We will follow-up to ensure that the tenant-landlord relationship is working and that lease conditions are being met.
How Do I Learn More?
Thank You To Our Partners
2016 5th Annual Housing Appreciation Event
In honor and celebration of the generous Housing Partners who work with Families Forward to provide access to stabilized housing for homeless families.
An Irvine Company Apartment Community
Thank you to our host:
Thank you to our sponsors:
1. Can I make a donation in honor of a friend or family member?
Yes! The process is simple. Just fill in the “Tribute Gift Information” section on our online donation page and we will send a card letting them know that you have made a contribution in their name. Tribute gifts are tax deductible and are perfect as a birthday, holiday, or wedding gift (check with your tax accountant for specific advice). To view a preview of the card, please click here.
2. What grocery items are most needed to donate to the food pantry?
Please review the flyer of our most needed food items.
3. Can I donate my used car?
We only accept cars if client families are in need of one. These cars must have passed a smog check within the past 90 days, and they must be clean and in good physical and working condition. Please call us at (949) 552-2727 to find out if your car can be used for donation.
4. Can I donate clothing?
Unfortunately, due to space limitations, we can only accept clothing donations during the month of July for our Back to School program. At that time, we will accept new or gently used clothing for school-aged children only (K-12 grade).
5. What household items can I donate for use in Families Forward’s homes?
We gladly accept new or gently-used household items listed on our Furniture and Household Items donation page. We also accept gently used baby equipment such as car-seats, high chairs, cribs, and changing tables. All donations must be clean and in good working condition.
6. What furniture is acceptable for donating to Families Forward?
We accept furniture items that are clean and gently used with no rips, holes, or stains. These furniture items are for immediate use in our homes and must be in good condition. Because of limited storage space, we cannot accept everything. Click here (E6) to see a list of acceptable furniture donations.
7. Is pick-up available for furniture donations?
If the furniture has met all the criteria for donation, we will submit your furniture request to our Property Manager. Please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, and someone will contact you to confirm whether or not our team is able to pick up your items.
8. What cities will Families Forward pick furniture donations up from?
Cities we may pick up from include:
- Aliso Viejo
- Corona Del Mar
- Foothill Ranch
- Laguna Beach
- Laguna Hills
- Laguna Niguel
- Lake Forest
- Mission Viejo
- Newport Beach
- Rancho Santa Margarita
- San Juan Capistrano