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By Sara Hall | Contributor


There are a number of ways to donate your time or money this holiday season, including several local nonprofits where donations can make a meaningful impact in the lives of our neighbors. 

Donations can provide critical therapy or wellness counseling for kids with special needs or facing unique challenges. Some monetary support can help feed a family or empower a young girl to reach for greatness. Even small amounts can help local youth with public transportation or buy school textbooks.

The following list rounds up some wonderful Orange County-based nonprofits and ways you can be the change.


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Photos credit courtesy of Beyond Blindness

BEYOND BLINDNESS (formerly Blind Children's Learning Center) empowers children with visual impairments and other disabilities to achieve their fullest potential. The organization helps prepare kids for a life of independence through early intervention, education, and family support.

Donations ensure children with visual impairments and other disabilities receive the consistent support they need to thrive. Donors help bridge the gap between existing funding and the cost of providing innovative, world-class services for our children and families.

For more information, visit

  • $50 covers an early intervention session for one hour.

  • $75 covers TVI/O&M session for one hour.

  • $100 covers an optometry appointment.

  • $150 covers a developmental assessment.

  • $175 covers one week of summer camp.

  • $250 covers welcome orientation for a family of four, plus a meal and gift.

  • $300 cover two weeks of summer camp for one child.

  • $250 covers one day a week for one month for preschool or one day a week of the toddler classroom.

  • $500 covers two days a week for one month of preschool or two days a week of the toddler classroom.

  • $750 covers three days a week for one month of preschool or three days a week for one month for the toddler classroom.

  • $1,250 covers five days a week for a month of preschool or four days per week for the toddler classroom.

  • $2,500 covers two months of the preschool classroom.

  • $3,000 covers Halloween at Pretend City.

  • $5,000 covers four months of preschool or four months of toddler classroom.

  • $6,000 covers the 2023 family event for 200 people.


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Photos credit courtesy of Girls Inc of Orange County

GIRLS INC OF ORANGE COUNTY aims to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold by providing research-based programs for girls ages 5 to 18 focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math), literacy, college and career readiness, healthy relationships, sound body image, and advocacy. 

For girls in Orange County, every day brings new opportunities, challenges and choices. At Girls Inc. of Orange County, they know every girl – regardless of her age, background, interests or dreams – has the potential for greatness.

The support of donors help keep the girls safe, learning, and moving forward.

For more information, visit

  • $150 funds essential items for five baskets for GIOC’s College Shower girls, preparing them to become college ready when they head off to college in the fall or spring semester.

  • $250 helps fund one-on-one mentoring with a trusted Girls Inc. educator to keep the girls on track, focused on school, and avoiding the pitfalls that many young girls face.

  • $500 funds books for 62 elementary girls through the Literacy Lab, a fun, interactive, hands-on program that supports girls to reach grade-level reading standards by fourth grade, inspiring a lifelong love of reading.

  • $1,000 funds 22 girls with STEM-in-a-bag program supplies, including at-home STEM kits, robotics circuitry, and STEM-related program incentives to reward participation and encourage K-3rd graders to fall in love with STEM.

  • $2,500 funds Zoom for an entire year for 150 College Bound girls, virtually giving access to our staff educators and volunteer essay writing coaches, helping girls reach their full potential.

  • $5,000 will fund online college essay writing classes and coaching to 45 girls so they can submit competitive college applications. 

  • $10,000 will fund 57 girls participating in Girls Meet the Workforce, so they are set up for future success by receiving comprehensive career and workforce readiness training, introducing them to the world of work.

  • $25,000 funds an entire year, or 150 college application fees for our College Bound girls. Many girls limit the number of colleges that they apply to due to application fees, reducing their chances of attending college.


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Photos credit courtesy of Max Love Project

MAX LOVE PROJECT is dedicated to improving the quality of life of families facing childhood cancers and pediatric rare diseases with evidence-based integrative healthcare with a focus on culinary medicine, whole-body health, mental wellness tools, therapeutic social support, and expert-designed educational resources.

MLP focuses on all the things families can do outside the hospital to achieve maximum quality of life for the patient and the whole family. They do this through tailored cooking classes, whole-family wellness resources and therapies, targeted peer social support, and professionally designed, facilitated, and researched health and wellness programs. The organization also offers a private online platform that connects families facing similar challenges.

Donors help families thrive against the odds of critical illness. Supporters help families find support with quality-of-life care and a therapeutic community.

For more information, visit

  • $50 funds one Fierce Foods Kitchen cookbook to an MLP SuperFamily.

  • $100 supports Ohana Wellness acupuncture for one family for one week.

  • $250 funds grief coaching & support for one family.

  • $500 funds one mother to attend our MaxLove Mommas Holistic Wellness retreat.

  • $750 funds nutrigenomic counseling for one family.

  • $1000 supports one "Parents Rising" emotional health cohort.

  • $1500 funds one Fierce Foods Academy culinary medicine class.


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Photos credit courtesy of Orangewood Foundation

At ORANGEWOOD FOUNDATION, they believe that every young person deserves to be safe and supported. Whether they need groceries, a place to call home, help to land their first job, or scholarships to pursue higher education, Orangewood Foundation programs provide resources for youth in Orange County to achieve their full potential by providing them with the resources they need to succeed.

Monetary donations help the organization achieve equity for our youth by valuing and supporting the life they envision. Every contribution, regardless of the gift level, is critically important to help continue to serve more youth.

Your gift goes much further when you help a teen in foster care thrive: Join their support system as a Collaborative Foster Parent through Orangewood Foundation’s Youth Connected Program. YCP works in partnership with Samueli Academy to provide access to on-campus housing during the school week as well as socio-emotional and educational resources for students in foster care. A Collaborative Foster Parent provides a safe haven for teens outside of their school week at Samueli Academy. Each family commits to building an emotional connection and opens their home as a safe space for nurture and growth on weekends, summer, and holidays. 

For more information, visit

  • $40 pays for a one-month bus pass for an Orangewood youth.

  • $100 pays for one month of personal care items.

  • $350 pays for a high school graduation expense.

  • $500 pays for a college student’s textbooks for a semester.

  • $1000 pays for a youth’s one-on-one weekly therapy sessions for three months


SLDC (2).jpg

Photos credit courtesy of Speech and Language Development Center

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT CENTER aims to provide education and therapy to children and adults with special needs in the areas of language, learning, and/or behavior in an environment that nurtures growth, inspires achievement, and maximizes their potential.

SLDC provides special education services for K-12 and transition, adult day programs, and full therapy services. Every child has their own custom intervention plan. As a therapy center, SLDC provides outpatient speech, OT, PT, Counseling, and Behavior services to families in our community.

The school and therapy center values the individuality and potential of all their students and clients. 

All donations support the mission of providing programs for nearly all stages of life. Donors help provide immediate help to those who need it most.

For more information, visit

  • $100 provides a one-hour early intervention occupational therapy session.

  • $250 provides new athletic equipment.

  • $500 provides a student an iPad with management and communication software.

  • $750 provides a new elliptical machine for SLDC’s gym.

  • $1,000 provides an update to the rock-climbing wall in OT gym.

  • $1,500 provides a Saratoga table handcycle (a seated arm bike), which is fundamental to SLDC students’ motor skills and coordination.

  • $2,500 provides a treadmill, which will allow to students work off some steam and strengthen their motor skills.


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Photos credit courtesy of South County Outreach

SOUTH COUNTY OUTREACH aims to end hunger and homelessness in Orange County through programs, including a Food Pantry and a Homeless Prevention Program.

Donations will instantly go to work at South County Outreach, helping to keep Orange County families housed and fed, as well as funding programs to stop the cycle of homelessness and prepare clients for secure and stable futures through education, financial literacy, job training, and more. 


As the holiday season kicks off, SCO asks others to consider what diverse, traditional holiday meals look like for people from different backgrounds. Because many dishes require fresh ingredients like milk, eggs, and butter that expire quickly, and that are not regularly stocked at the food pantry. Many rely on assistance from SCO during the holidays so they can cook a delicious meal while celebrating togetherness with their loved ones. 

For more information, visit

  • $10 will help a child bake two dozen cookies. 

  • $25 will provide eight gallons of milk to families in need. 

  • $50 will provide a family of four with enough fresh food to make a delicious Thanksgiving feast. 

  • $100 will provide 25 seniors with enough milk, eggs, and butter for the holiday season. 

  • $500 will enable 60 individuals to have a delicious and complete holiday meal.

  • $1,000 will provide 111 households with essential dairy items and eggs.

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