• Donate
  • Help Them Home Giving Page
  • 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


Your financial or in-kind gift will help a family find a stable home and raise their children in a safe environment. Your support will have a lasting impact.

Why give?

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.

Every gift helps

Donations can be made electronically or by check. We accept all major credit cards.

Families Forward accepts credit cards

If you prefer to write a check:

Please make checks payable to Families Forward and mail to 8 Thomas Irvine, CA 92618.

Matching Gifts:

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.

Give through the United Way of Orange County Give through Thrivent Financial
United Way: Donations to the Orange County United Way can be designated to Families Forward as a direct recipient of your gift! CFC# 77108 Thrivent Choice: Help support Families Forward through Thrivent Choice! If you’re a Thrivent member, please consider directing you Choice Dollars to help homeless families.

Thank you for helping us to raise $66,240 during the “Help Them Home” Giving Day. Because of you, hundreds of homeless children will be helped with immediate shelter.

Your donation will help a child have a safe place to sleep tonight!

Who are the children we meet every day at Families Forward?

They are hopeful, innocent children who don’t always understand why their parents have lost their home. They just feel fear and uncertainty because they are moving from place to place, with no bed of their own and no place to have a normal life. Their parents are mostly facing an unexpected crisis that turned their lives upside down – whether it’s a job loss, medical issues or fracturing of a family.

How can you help them?

Donate or pledge today. Families Forward will use these funds to move hundreds of children into immediate shelter, whether it’s a motel stay, locating an emergency shelter, or moving into one of our available homes for a short-term stay. Give now and you can make all these options possible for a local, homeless child today.

Board of Directors Matching Funds!

Your donation or pledge will be matched dollar for dollar by our Board of Directors – every $100 donation will earn a $100 match! All donations will help fund the first step to immediate shelter to keep these homeless children safe.

A Giving Day for OC’s Homeless: 24 Hours. 3 Organizations. 1 Cause. April 26th.

Can you imagine a future in which everyone in Orange County has a safe place to sleep every night?

We can. But we need your help.

That’s why Families Forward, HomeAid Orange County, and Thomas House Family Shelter are coming together for a day of giving on April 26 to restore dignity and hope to homeless men, women and children.

Donate Now

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.

Adopt-a-Family Program

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.

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.

For more information, please contact Katie Szymczak at or (949) 379-8325.

Join our Circle of Impact

If you’d like to learn more about joining the Circle of Impact, contact Susan DeGrassi, Director of Development or click here for additional information.

Become a Member of Our Legacy Society with a Planned Gift:

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. Additionally, if you’d like to share information about your planned gift with Families Forward, we have provided a form for your convenience.

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 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.

Employee Giving:

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

Food Donations

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

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
  • Chairs
  • Dressers and nightstands
  • Coffee and end tables (No glass tops)

Most Needed Appliances:

  • Washers
  • Dryers (Gas only)
  • Refrigerators
  • Ovens (No built-ins, double ovens, or cooktops. Must be a free-standing oven)
  • Microwaves
  • Dishwashers

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
  • Irvine
  • Laguna Beach
  • Laguna Hills
  • Laguna Niguel
  • Lake Forest
  • Mission Viejo
  • Newport beach
  • Rancho Santa Margarita
  • San Juan Capistrano
  • Trabuco Canyon
  • Tustin

Other Donation Resources:

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.

Furniture & Household Items Donation Form

Thanks to the generous donation of household items from community members like you, Families Forward’s houses are turned into homes for our families. 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 – we do not accept large, bulky oversized furniture that does not fit the space.
  • Families Forward will use these photos to determine the size and fit of the items to be donated. Photos are preferred for submissions and will expedite the donation process.
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png, gif, bmp, tif.

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!

Amazon Smile

How It Works: Visit Amazon via 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 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.

Corporate Partners

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




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.

What is Rapid Re-Housing?

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?

For more information, please email or click here.

Thank You To Our Partners

AvalonBay Communities

California Apartment Association: Orange County Division

Irvine Company Apartment Communities

Orange County Community Housing Corporation


Shea Apartment Communities

Western National Group

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.


Placentia Place Apartments,

An Irvine Company Apartment Community

Thank you to our host:

Brookfield Residential

Thank you to our sponsors:

Fashion Furniture Rental

Parcel Pending

Donor FAQ

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, 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
  • Irvine
  • Laguna Beach
  • Laguna Hills
  • Laguna Niguel
  • Lake Forest
  • Mission Viejo
  • Newport Beach
  • Rancho Santa Margarita
  • San Juan Capistrano
  • Tustin


Griswold Industries
Legacy Foundation Fund
Ueberroth Family Foundation


The Capital Group Companies Foundation
Desert Community Foundation
George Hoag Family Foundation
Steve and Kathryn Keefer
Mariners Church
The Munson Family Foundation
Cathie and Paul Slavik
Wells Fargo Foundation


Allergan Foundation
Nancy and Irv Chase
City of Irvine
City of Newport Beach
Draper Family Foundation Fund
Edwards Lifesciences
Elerding Family Foundation
First Foundation Inc.
Fluor Foundation
The S.L. Gimbel Foundation
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Teri and Alan Hoops
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals
Michael and Katy Kaufman
KIA Motors America
The Kling Family Foundation
Janice and James Lawson
Stephen and Susan McArthur
Richard and Tracie McCloskey
Orange County Community Foundation
Trish and Steve Scarborough
Shady Canyon Golf Club Charitable Foundation
U.S. Bank
Willette Charitable Foundation
Women’s Philanthrophy Fund-OC United Way