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 90% 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.
Ways to Give
Give Now by Credit Card
Donate by Check
Please make checks payable to Families Forward and mail to 8 Thomas Irvine, CA 92618.
Donate Appreciated Assets
Gifts of stock, bonds, mutual funds, real estate and other appreciated property are one of the most tax-efficient ways to make a charitable donation. Click here for donation instructions or click here to learn more about the benefits of donating appreciated assets.
Redirect Your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)
The investment firm managing your retirement account can make a direct contribution to the charity of your choice with all or part of your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) to reduce your ordinary taxable income. Click here to learn more.
Apply for Employee 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.
The CARES Act
The CARES Act raises the charitable deduction* limit from 60 percent to 100 percent of adjusted gross income for itemizers, and non-itemizers can now deduct up to $300 in charitable giving. C-Corporations can also deduct 25 percent of their taxable income, rather than 10 percent.
*Please note, donations from Donor Advised Funds are not eligible
|Elect Payroll Deductions||Select Gifts Through Affiliations|
|United Way: Donations to the Orange County United Way can be designated to Families Forward as a direct recipient of your gift!||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.|
Become our Partner in Housing Hope!
By joining our monthly giving program you provide stable funding that enables us to deliver consistent, quality services to our client families, like Mark and Karen, as they build the skills and resources to become self-sufficient again.
When Mark, Karen and their three children moved back east to take care of a gravely ill relative, they didn’t know that they were saying good-bye to a home to call their own. After Mark’s aunt passed away, the family returned to Orange County, but neither Mark or Karen were able to find employment quickly. With no family left to lean on for support, their small savings was depleted and they were living in motels. Before long, the family found themselves living out of their car.
After being referred to Families Forward, the family was placed in stable housing and are now utilizing our additional services, such as career coaching, counseling and access to our food pantry.
Your monthly gift impacts lives:
|$15 = Provides a new client family with food to bring them nourishment and hope when they need it most.|
|$30 = Helps one family navigate and graduate our Housing Program, giving them the tools to achieve and maintain financial self-sufficiency.|
|$45 = Provides families with counseling, career coaching and life-skills training to lead them on a path to lasting change.|
|$100 = Covers emergency housing for a family in crisis, providing a roof over their heads so they can focus on getting back on their feet.|
- Become of member of our Housing Hope community and part of a dedicated group of supporters who understand the importance of making a sustained commitment to ending homelessness.
- Predictable funding allows Families Forward to deliver a lasting impact to families in need in Orange County.
- 90% of your contribution will fund programs to help families in need.
- For the 9th consecutive year, Families Forward was awarded a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator, placing us among the top 2% of rated charities nationwide.
- Your monthly gift is 100% tax deductible
Terms of Agreement
By providing my credit card information, I authorize Families Forward (FF) to charge my credit card on a recurring basis in the amount selected above. Recurring donations will be processed on either the 1st or the 15th of the month. I understand that this agreement will remain in effect until I notify FF that I wish to change or suspend it, and FF has a reasonable amount of time to fulfill my request. I understand my credit card issuer may impose additional requirements and I should contact the credit card issuer for further information. A record of my contributions will appear on my credit card statement. Donation acknowledgements will be provided on an annual basis unless FF is instructed otherwise.
“This isn’t about me, it’s about all of us.”
– Margie Wakeham, Retiring CEO
A house is so much more than just a roof over your head. It’s where love occurs, there is safety, there is relaxation, and planning – it’s your center. It’s a deep breathe.
Since 1984, Families Forward has recognized that housing is the key ingredient for our families to be able to thrive.
To recognize the legacy of our retiring CEO, Margie Wakeham, we have established the Margie Legacy Fund – a pool of resources that will lead us to our goal of housing 250 families (875 children and their parents) in the next year.
“What we’ve seen when families move in, is that they feel a sense of relief – that someone cares about them. Sometimes it’s for the first time in their life. I’m most proud of that.”
– Margie Wakeham, Retiring CEO
As we celebrate Margie, and her incredible service over the last 25 years, we invite you to join us in our work to end family homelessness in Orange County. To make a contribution to the Margie Legacy Fund, click on the link below.
Annual Gala Sponsorship & Tickets
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. 2019 Gala: Havana Nights: Let the Spirit of Community Move You
This Event is Sold Out!
Holiday Program Giving & Back to School
Due to health and safety concerns, our Saturday distribution event will not be held this year; instead, Thanksgiving Food distribution will be coordinated through our Drive-Thru Food Assistance Program.
Each year, Families Forward holds a Thanksgiving-themed grocery distribution for local families in need. The weekend before Thanksgiving, families come to our program center to receive all of the traditional Thanksgiving fixings to cook a warm, delicious holiday meal.
- See our list of needed food items
- Volunteer for the Thanksgiving Program
- Host a Thanksgiving food drive
Adopt-a-Family Holiday Gift Program
Holidays can be a very stressful time for families who struggle to make ends meet. The Adopt-a-Family Holiday Gift Program gives individuals, companies and community organizations the opportunity to spread warmth and bring holiday joy to families in need. Donations are accepted from the beginning of November through early December, so that children’s “wish lists” can be filled. In order to participate in this program, you must be able to deliver donations to our office in Irvine.
- Click here to Adopt-a-Family.
- See our list of most requested wish list toys/items. Please note that gifts for teens are especially needed each year.
- Shop online and have Wish List items delivered directly to the Families Forward Program Center.
- Volunteer for the Adopt-a-Family Program
- Host a toy drive. Toys collected through collection drives will be used to fill the wish lists of children who have not been adopted yet.
Looking for a meaningful way to celebrate the holidays? This year, consider sharing the mission of Families Forward with friends or colleagues.
Back to School
Due to the pandemic, our Back to School program is being modified. We are giving out backpacks and school supplies to students K-12 as we do every year; however, this year we will not be conducting the clothing drive or having clothing shopping for our families due to current safety and health standards.
Grade-appropriate school supplies and backpacks, along with new and like-new clothing will be distributed to low-income elementary, middle, and high school students in July-August. These supplies will help students start on the same foot as their peers and build their confidence for the coming school year.
- See our list of needed school supplies
- Volunteer for the Back to School Program
- Host a Back to School/school supply drive
You can also shop for school supplies through our Amazon Wish List and have our most need items delivered directly to the Families Forward Program Center. To shop our Wish List, click here. Our Program Center accepts in-person donations Monday-Thursday, 10am-2pm.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 list of our most needed food items.
Due to COVID-19, donations of single-use face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are also greatly needed and can dropped off during our drive-thru pantry hours, Monday-Thursday 10am-2pm, or shipped directly to our program center at 8 Thomas, Irvine CA 92618.
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! At this time, food donations can be dropped off at our pantry Monday-Thursday between 10:00am and 2:00pm. If you are unable to drop off during these days/hours, please contact Mike Lopez at 949-716-5862 or email@example.com to schedule a time when we can ensure a staff person is able to assist you.
- Host a Donation Drive: We make hosting a food drive easy! Click here to learn more. If you have questions about how to donate food, please send a message for our Food Drive Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Shop Online: You can donate our most needed food items with just a few clicks of the mouse. Shop our Amazon Wish List and have your donated food items shipped directly to our offices. Click on the link to our wish list here.
Thank you for your support of Families Forward! At this time, we are not accepting furniture donations and household item donations due to limited resources and storage space.
Other local organizations that may accept furniture and household good donations at this time include:
Other Donation Resources:
- Integrity House – 714-542-0855
- Salvation Army – 1-800-728-7825
- St. Vincent de Paul – 714-542-0448
- Laura’s House – (949) 361-3775
Please note that we are not affiliated with these organizations.
Shop and Donate
Support Families Forward and Make Your Shopping Count!
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: Register online by signing into your Ralphs.com account, or by calling 800-443-4438, and selecting Families Forward (TW924) as your designated non-profit.
Note: Sign into your account every September to renew your contributions!
Thank You to Our 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 $2,500 or more between October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. 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, 2018 to September 30, 2019). 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: email@example.com.
Between October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019
Benefactor – $100,000+
Champion – $50,000+
Patron – $25,000+
Leader – $10,000+
Angel – $5,000+
Become a Housing Partner
Housing partners and landlords, if you are experiencing an after-hours emergency or need immediate assistance, please call (949) 358-3116 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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?
Thank You To Our Partners
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 or furniture can I donate for use in Families Forward’s homes?
We thank you for your support of Families Forward. However, at this time, we are not accepting furniture donations and household item donations due to limited resources and storage space. Please visit this page for information on other agencies that may accept furniture donations.