• 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.

October 2018

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.

Meg English, Partner in Hope Award
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Spirit of Community Award

Last updated: August 16, 2018

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.

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 July-August. These supplies will help students 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, 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, 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.

Click here to donate to the Thanksgiving Basket Program.

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 2,200 children. Donations are accepted from the beginning of November through early December, so the 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.

“Help Them Home” Giving Day

Thank you for helping us to raise $66,240 during the “Help Them Home” Giving Day 2017. 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. 16 Organizations. 1 Cause. April 25, 2018.

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 and 15 other homeless service providers in Orange County are coming together for a day of giving on April 25, 2018 to restore dignity and hope to homeless men, women and children.

Annual Community Resource Fair

April 28, 2018 at Irvine Valley College


Admission is Free!

Click here for English flyer Click here for Spanish flyer

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)

Participating agencies in 2018 include:

Career and Education

  • Child Abuse Prevention Center – School Readiness Program
  • Irvine Unified School District – Early Childhood Learning Center
  • Irvine Valley College EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs Program
  • Orange County Department of Education – HOPES Collaborative
  • Orange County One-Stop Center
  • Santiago Community College – Division of Continuing Education
  • School on Wheels
  • Taller San Jose Hope Builders
  • THINK Together
  • WHW

Financial and Legal

  • Abrazar Inc.
  • Legal Aid Society of Orange County
  • Orange County Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service
  • Orange County District Attorney’s Office

Health and Safety

  • Alzheimer’s Orange County
  • CalOptima
  • Camino Health Center WIC Program
  • Central City Community Health Center
  • Child Guidance Center – Family Mealtime Coaching Program
  • Children’s Dental Group
  • Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers
  • Council on Aging of Southern California
  • County of Orange – Health Care Agency – Behavioral Health Services
  • County of Orange Health Care Agency – Immunization
  • Greater Orange County CHADD on ADHD
  • Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County
  • Hurtt Family Health Clinic
  • Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties (PPOSBC)
  • Southland Health Center
  • University of California, Irvine – Department of Pediatrics


  • Affordable Housing Clearinghouse
  • Fair Housing Council of Orange County
  • Fair Housing Foundation
  • Families Forward
  • Family Promise of Orange County
  • HIS House
  • Mercy House
  • Project Hope Alliance


  • 2-1-1 Orange County
  • Access California Services
  • Assistance League of Irvine
  • Child Behavior Pathways
  • Child Development Centers
  • City of Irvine
  • CSS/Independent Living Skills Program
  • Families and Communities Together (FaCT)
  • Family Support Network
  • Kids’ Potential
  • Laura’s House
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • OMID Multicultural Institute for Development
  • Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA)
  • Orange County Department of Child Support Services
  • Orange County Social Services Agency
  • Pathways of Hope
  • Rainbow Rising
  • Rehabilitation Institute of Southern California
  • Safe Families for Children
  • Serving People in Need (SPIN)
  • Share Our Selves (SOS)
  • South County Outreach
  • South Orange County Family Resource Center
  • StandUp For Kids
  • Strong Families Strong Children
  • Western Youth Services
  • WTLC

For more information please contact Families Forward at