• Master Calendar
  • Annual Gala
  • Community-Wide Food Drives
  • Back to School Backpacks
  • Thanksgiving Baskets
  • Adopt-a-Family Program
  • I Heart OC
  • 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.

February 2017

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
  • Job Launch Workshop
  • Families Forward -- Closed 2/20/2014
  • Tenant Education Workshop

Annual Gala

Each September, Families Forward hosts its annual fundraising gala! You can help support our vital mission to prevent and reduce homelessness in Orange County.

At this year’s gala, Families Forward was delighted to recognize Tracie McCloskey, our 2016 Partner in Hope Honoree, and Brookfield Residential, our 2016 Spirit of Community Honoree. Click on their names to learn more about their incredible work to help homeless families find a way home.

Click here to see their video introductions from the night of the Gala: Tracie McCloskey, Brookfield Residential.

Thank you for joining us at our 32nd Anniversary Gala, celebrating “An Evening of Hope”. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and attendees, Families Forward was able to raise more than $465,000 to help local families in crisis find safety and stability! 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.

Upcoming Community-Wide Food Drive: Saturday, July 16, 2016

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.

Click here to read more and see our list of needed school and clothing items. And click here to learn more about our new haircuts component for Back to School!

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.

In 2015, staff, joined by board members and over 250 spirited volunteers, all participated to help make the day special. With everyone’s help, we were able to provide nearly 900 families with a special holiday meal to share with their loved ones.

Thank you for your support in 2016! The sign-up form for becoming a Thanksgiving donor will be available again in October 2017.

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 16th 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.

Thank you for your support in 2016! The sign-up form for becoming an Adopt-a-Family donor will be available again in October 2017.

At this time, if you would like to support our Adopt-a-Family Program, we will be accepting gift cards that will be distributed to the children and their families until Friday, December 23, 2016.

I Heart OC

A “Giving Day” to benefit Families Forward and the families we serve.

Each April, the Orange County Community Foundation hosts i♥oc, an annual “Giving Day” is to inspire everyone in Orange County to come together in support of the exemplary work of local nonprofits. During the first ever i♥oc in 2015, the community raised more than $1,8000,000 for 347 participating nonprofits, including Families Forward.

Please join us in 2016 as we celebrate another unified day of giving!

When: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 from 6:00 a.m. until Thursday April 28 at noon.

What: Donate to Families Forward with a credit card one day only at

Why: Families Forward could earn as much as a 20% bonus on every donation.

Why: To support our mission. More families need our assistance than we can help every month of the year. Your additional support will be very meaningful during this campaign.

How much: Gifts of at least $25 and up to $10,000 qualify to receive bonus funds.

Questions: Please contact Kim Strohm at if you have any questions.

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 60 local organizations providing FREE services and resources!

  • Free Mobile Medical Clinic
  • Free Dental Clinic for Kids
  • Free Health Screenings
  • Free Consultations (Career, Financial, Legal, Housing, Medical, Parenting Advice)
  • Free Groceries (While supplies last)
  • Free FUN Children’s Activities
  • Live Music

For more information on the event and a list of the participating agencies, please check back in March 2017.

For more information please contact Families Forward at