Women’s Center Youth & Family Services
620 N. San Joaquin St., Stockton, (209) 941-2611, WCYFS.org
WCYFS, a Stockton nonprofit, offers two opportunities for community members to help their cause over the holiday season. The first is by adopting an individual or family from a local shelter. This “adoption” connects individuals with a family to purchase Christmas gifts for. The other opportunity is the holiday toy drive during which WCYFS collects toys and miscellaneous items such as socks, underwear, hygiene products, and more.
How to Give: Drop off your donation at the center, or make a donation through the donate tab on the website.
Fox 40s Toy Drive
Every year Fox40 hosts a toy drive to bring brand-new Christmas gifts to the kids at Shriners Hospital. Then, the gifts are delivered and the efforts are broadcast live on TV. To sweeten the deal, Big O offers a free service in exchange for donations.
How to Give: Local bins are available at Mountain Mike’s and Big O Tires in Lodi. All donations must be new and unwrapped.
2660 Reynolds Ranch Pkwy., Ste. 100, Lodi
10970 Trinity Pkwy., Stockton
2272 Daniels St., Manteca
2753 W. Grant Line Rd., Tracy
Local sleep train locations will take donations to benefit the company’s holiday drive during which anyone can donate clothes, toys, shoes, and coats to kids growing up in the foster system. Company-wide, more than 60,000 kids in California benefit from the efforts.
How to Give: Drop off your donation at a participating location. Donations for Christmas will be accepted until Dec. 10. All gifts are accepted and distributed on a weekly basis so items given after the 10th will still benefit foster youth.
Stockton Heat Coat Drive
248 W. Fremont St., Stockton
For one night, the Stockton Heat will exchange tickets for new or gently used coats. On Dec. 7, anyone can get a free game ticket for donating a jacket of any size. Community members in need are then invited to choose a coat from the pile. It’s part of the Stockton Coat, Blanket & Sock Drive that benefits the local community.
How to Give: Bring a new or gently used coat to the Stockton Arena Ticket Office in exchange for a game night ticket.
Over the Christmas holiday, Brighter Christmas collects, organizes, and distributes toys and food to the underserved population of Tracy. For more than 40 years the organization has used volunteer power to feed families over the holidays as well as provide gifts to many. In 2018 the program helped more than 520 families, including more than 1,250 children.
How to Give: Visit the Angel Tree in the West Valley Mall. Each card has the age and gender of one child in need of a holiday present. Gifts can be dropped of between November 29 and December 21. To volunteer, email AngeltreebcTracy@gmail.com.
Salvation Army Lodi Corps
525 W. Lockeford St., (209) 369-5896, Lodi.SalvationArmy.org
Year-round the Salvation Army in Lodi collects items to give back to those in need. Over the holidays, specific efforts including money collection and gift donations, as well as continued efforts to create food boxes for families in need and personal hygiene care packages for the homeless population in Lodi. Last year alone Salvation Army Lodi Corps raised $75,000 in red kettles during the holiday season.
How to Give: Become a volunteer bell ringer through Dec. 24 (signup online), choose a child to buy Christmas presents for through an angel tag exchange, or drop off personal hygiene products. The biggest need right now is non-perishable food items to help create 300 weekly food boxes for families.
Emergency Food Bank
7 W. Scotts Ave., Stockton, (209) 464-7369, StocktonFoodBank.org
The Emergency Food Bank works year round to collect and distribute food in an effort to ease food insecurity in Stockton and beyond. During the holidays, food needs often ramp up, and more food and more volunteers are needed to run the program.
How to Give: Truck drivers, warehouse workers, and food handlers/sorters are needed to keep the food bank running. To volunteer, sign up at StocktonFoodBank.org as an individual or a group. You can also drop off non-perishable food donations at the food bank.
Child Abuse Prevention Council
540 N. California St., Stockton, (209) 464-4524, NoChildAbuse.org
Compassion is the key to success at CAPC, an organization that aims to protect children as well as strengthen families through outcome-driven programming. Over the holidays, community members can adopt a family in need by purchasing Christmas gifts based on a wish list.
How to Give: Contact the CAPC to be matched with a family, or give your time instead by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
Mary Graham Children’s Shelter
6861 Mary Graham Ln., French Camp, (209) 468-6966, MaryGrahamFoundation.org
The shelter works year round to care for kids in the foster care system by bridging gaps in services and care. In total, there are approximately 1,400 kids in foster care in San Joaquin County. Part of these efforts include providing gifts to many of these children over the holidays, gifts that are purchased through donated funds or gifted by the community.
How to Give: Drop off your Christmas gift donations to the center, open 24/7. While items are needed for kids of all ages, the shelter specifically requests gifts for teenagers, which are not as commonly donated.
Case for Kids
1852 W. 11th St., #134, Tracy, CaseForKids.org
Year-round Case for Kids helps those going into foster care for the first time. Every kid entering the foster care system in Tracy is given a plastic tote filled with clothes and a few other age-appropriate items so they have something to call their own as they transition into a new home.
How to Give: The best way to get involved is to log on to the organization’s facebook page, Facebook.com/CaseForKids. Here, all donation requests are posted and followers can choose a child to support by building a case for them.