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.
- Learn more about sponsorships
- Purchase a sponsorship or purchase tickets
- Support the fundraising mission with your donation today
Last updated: August 16, 2018
Community-Wide Food Drives
- Spring: March 9th and 10th
- Summer: July 13th
- Fall: October 5th and 6th
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 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.
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 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 800 families with a special holiday meal to share with their loved ones.
How you can help:
- Donate Thanksgiving themed food and/or host a Thanksgiving food drive during the months of October and November. For more information on how to host a food drive, click here. For ideas on what times of Thanksgiving food we need most, click here.
- Volunteer at our Thanksgiving Basket distribution the weekend before Thanksgiving
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.
Annual Community Resource Fair
April 27, 2019 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! For more information, click here. Haga clic aquí para aprender más.
- Free Mobile Vision 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 this year include:
Career and Education
- Irvine Unified School District – Early Childhood Learning Center
- Irvine Valley College EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs Program
- Learn 4 Life
- Orange County One-Stop Center
- Santiago Community College – Division of Continuing Education
- Taller San Jose Hope Builders
- THINK Together
- UC Irvine Department of Pediatrics
Financial and Legal
- Abrazar Inc.
- Golden West – EOPS/C.A.R.E./Guardian Scholars
- Legal Aid Society of Orange County
- Orange County Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service
- Project Self-Sufficiency
Health and Safety
- Children’s Bureau
- Children’s Dental Group
- Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers
- Council on Aging of Southern California
- Dayle McIntosh Center
- Families Together of Orange County
- Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County
- HURTT Family Health Clinic (mobile)
- OC Health Care Agency – Behavioral Health Services
- OC Health Care Agency – Immunization
- Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties (PPOSBC)
- UC Irvine Eye Mobile
- UC Irvine School of Nursing
- WIC Camino Health Center
- Affordable Housing Clearinghouse
- Fair Housing Council of Orange County
- Fair Housing Foundation
- Families Forward
- Mercy House
- 2-1-1 Orange County
- Casa Youth Shelter
- Child Behavior Pathways
- Child Development Centers
- City of Irvine Child Resource Center
- City of Irvine High School Youth Action Team
- Community Health Initiative of Orange County
- Family Solutions Collaborative
- Family Support Network
- Independent Living Skills Program
- Laura’s House
- Lutheran Social Services of Southern California
- OMID Multicultural Institute for Development
- Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA)
- Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center
- Orange County Department of Child Support Services
- Orange County Social Services Agency
- Rainbow Rising
- Safe Families for Children
- School on Wheels
- South County Outreach
- South Orange County Family Resource Center
- StandUp For Kids
- Strong Families Strong Children
- TMT Communications, Inc.
For more information please contact Families Forward at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Help Them Home” Giving Day
Giving Day 2019 was a smashing success! With your help, Families Forward surpassed our goal and raised $151,000 to help end homelessness for families in Orange County. 17 organizations collaboratively raised more than $832,000 to Help Them Home. Thank you to all who gave so generously and helped us unlock $50,000 in matching funds from Pacific Premier Bank and the Families Forward Board of Directors! We couldn’t have done it without you!
A Giving Day for OC’s Homeless: 24 Hours. 17 Organizations. 1 Cause. April 24, 2019.
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 16 other homeless service providers in Orange County are coming together for a day of giving on April 24, 2019 to restore dignity and hope to homeless men, women and children.
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.
Double your impact
Pacific Premier Bank has announced a match of $25,000 for Giving Day. That means on April 24th, your gift will go even further because, dollar for dollar, Pacific Premier Bank will match your donation up to $25,000.