• Master Calendar
  • Annual Gala Event
  • Community-Wide Food Drives
  • Back to School Backpacks
  • Thanksgiving Baskets
  • Adopt-a-Family Program
  • Help Them Home Giving Day
  • Community Resource Fair

Master Calendar

There are many ways you can get involved and support Families Forward at fun events throughout the year. By participating, providing donations or volunteering, you can take simple steps to improve the lives of families in our community.

December 2017

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Annual Gala Event

Each September, Families Forward hosts its annual fundraising gala with more than 400 generous attendees from our community! You can help support our vital mission to prevent and reduce homelessness in Orange County.

Families Forward 2017 Gala

For our 2017 Gala, Families Forward was delighted to recognize Bob and Ruby Dunek, 2017 Partner in Hope honoree, and Diana Wong and The Capital Group Companies, 2017 Spirit of Community honoree.

As of September 16, 2017

For more information on our sponsors and success at our 2016 Gala, click here.

Click here to read more, or click here to see our coverage in the Orange County Business Journal.

Community-Wide Food Drives

Families Forward hosts three Community-Wide Food Drives each year during Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Families need food all year long – but often during the year, our food donations dwindle and our pantry shelves can be nearly empty. To prepare for these slower times, Families Forward partners with local grocery stores and community groups for one weekend in the Spring, Summer, and Fall to collect food donations to be able serve hungry families every month of the year.

Volunteer groups are needed at the grocery stores to ask shoppers to purchase additional food items and to bring all collected food donations back to the Food Pantry. Volunteers are also needed to help unload cars and help stock our shelves.

If you are interested in participating in an upcoming Community Food Drive, please contact us at for more information or call our Volunteer Manager at (949) 716-2731.

Food Drive

Click to see how every can has a use!

Back to School Backpacks

Back-to-School Backpacks

Back to School Backpacks and Children’s Clothing – July & August

Do you remember that end-of-summer feeling with “Back to School” signs on every store window? Having those new supplies in your hand on the first day made it fun to go back.

We invite the community to come together and give every student that same opportunity by participating in our Back to School Backpacks program. Grade-appropriate school supplies and backpacks will be distributed to low-income elementary, middle, and high school students in August. These supplies will help them start on the same foot as their peers and build their confidence for the coming school year. We also collect new and like-new clothing and shoes for school-age children. Families in our Back to School Program will select school clothing that fits their child’s needs.

Thanksgiving Baskets – November

Each year, Families Forward holds a Thanksgiving-themed grocery distribution for local families in need. The weekend before Thanksgiving, these families come to our program center to receive all of the traditional Thanksgiving fixings to cook a warm, delicious holiday meal. While parents pick up their baskets, their children participate in fun-filled activities such as face painting and arts & crafts.

With community support, Families Forward is able to provide nearly 900 families with a special holiday meal to share with their loved ones.

Thank you for your support in 2017! Through generous community support, nearly 900 families received baskets full of the ingredients to make a warm Thanksgiving meal. The sign-up form for becoming a Thanksgiving donor will be available again in October 2018.

Adopt-a-Family – December

Holidays can be a very stressful time for families who struggle to make ends meet. Imagine passing by all the new shiny toys, your child’s eyes aglow, realizing that you can’t afford to give them a special holiday gift. The Adopt-a-Family Program gives individuals, companies and community organizations the opportunity to spread warmth and bring holiday joy to families in need. Last year, we provided holiday cheer to more than 800 struggling families, providing gifts for more than 2,000 children. Donations are accepted from the beginning of November through early December, so the children’s “wish lists” can be filled. We ask that holiday gifts are delivered to Families Forward as early in December as possible. We cannot guarantee that gifts received after December 15th will go out to families in time for the holidays. In order to participate in this program, you must be able to deliver donations to our office in Irvine. We are unable to arrange a pick up for any holiday donations.  

“Help Them Home” Giving Day

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 helps 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?

With your support, Families Forward can 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.

A Giving Day for OC’s Homeless: 24 Hours. 3 Organizations. 1 Cause. April 26, 2017.

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 came together for a day of giving on April 26, 2017 to restore dignity and hope to homeless men, women and children.

Annual Community Resource Fair

April 29, 2017 at Irvine Valley College

Admission is Free!

Each Spring, Families Forward organizes a Community Resource Fair that includes over 70 local organizations providing free services and resources!

  • Free Mobile Medical Clinic
  • Free Dental Clinic
  • Free Consultations: Career, Financial, Legal, Housing, Medical, Social Services, Parenting Advice
  • Free Health Screenings: Blood Pressure, BMI Testing, Dental Screening, Disaster Preparedness, Glucose Testing
  • Free Haircuts for All (While Available)
  • Free Groceries (While Supplies Last)
  • Food Stamps & Health Insurance Enrollment (Medi-Cal, Covered California – For Social Service enrollments, please bring driver’s license, social security card, verification of all income, property & citizenship)

For more information on the event, please click here.

The participating agencies for the 2017 include:


  • 2-1-1 Orange County
  • Access California Services
  • Assurance Wireless
  • Assistance League of Irvine
  • Boys Town California
  • Child Behavior Pathways
  • Child Guidance Center
  • Child Guidance Center – Strong Families Strong Children
  • City of Irvine, Community Services
  • Community Action Partnership of Orange County
  • Corbin Family Resource Center
  • Delhi Center
  • Family Support Network
  • Laura’s House
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • OMID Multicultural Institute for Development
  • Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (Orange County APICA)
  • Orange County Department of Child Support Services
  • Pathways of Hope
  • Pretend City Children’s Museum
  • Project Hope Alliance
  • Rainbow Rising Child Development Center
  • The Raise Foundation
  • Regional Center of Orange County / Comfort Connection
  • Family Resource Center
  • Safe Families for Children
  • The Salvation Army of Orange County
  • Serving People in Need (SPIN)
  • South County Outreach
  • Western Youth Services
  • Women’s Transitional Living Center, Inc.

Financial & Legal

  • Abrazar Inc.
  • Consumer Credit Counseling Services
  • Legal Aid Society of Orange County
  • Orange County Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service

Career & Education

  • Irvine Unified School District – Early Childhood Learning Center
  • Irvine Valley College
  • Orange County One-Stop Center
  • Orange County Public Libraries
  • Read/Orange County
  • Santiago Community College – Division of Continuing Education
  • School Readiness, Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center
  • Taller San Jose Hope Builders
  • THINK Together
  • WHW
  • Youth Empowerment Service (YES)

Health & Safety

  • Alzheimer’s Orange County
  • America On Track
  • CalOptima
  • Central City Community Health Center
  • The Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers
  • Community Health Initiative of Orange County
  • Council on Aging – Southern California
  • Greater Orange County CHADD on ADHD
  • Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County
  • Hurtt Family Health Clinic
  • Orange County Fire Authority
  • Orange County Health Care Agency – Behavioral Health Services
  • Orange County Health Care Agency – Family Health Division/Immunization Program
  • Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties (PPOSBC)
  • University of California, Irvine – Program in Nursing Science
  • WIC – Camino Health Center
  • Woodbridge Walk-In Urgent Care


  • Affordable Housing Clearinghouse
  • Fair Housing Council of Orange County
  • Fair Housing Foundation
  • Families Forward
  • Family Promise of Orange County
  • Illumination Foundation
  • Mercy House

For more information please contact Families Forward at