Helping Hands: Here are a dozen dandy ways to spread some holiday cheer

If charity truly begins at home, then the following list of local needs may useful to readers looking to lend a helping hand to another this holiday season.

Below are the missions of 12 area charities with brief wish lists of their most-needed items along with their contact information.

  1. Feeding America San Diego Food Bank
With 3 in 10 families not earning enough to make ends meet this year, the food bank expects to provide assistance to more than 73,000 people during the holidays. Help is essential in ensuring folks down on their luck have a meal to enjoy with their families.


• Volunteers (individuals, groups and corporations) to bag, box, sort and distribute more than 1.2 million pounds of food a month

• Groups to hold food drives (most-needed: peanut butter and jelly, 
canned vegetables, bagged rice, canned fruit,
 bagged or canned beans, cereal, 
canned or boxed soup, pasta, canned meats, healthful snacks)

• Monetary donations


Feeding America San Diego, 9151 Rehco Road, Suite B , San Diego, (858) 452-FOOD,

  1. Social Service League of La Jolla
The Social Service League of La Jolla subsidizes affordable housing for 50 senior citizens who have lived and worked in the San Diego area.


• A heater-air conditioning unit for the League House dining room. An old unit just wore out and cannot be repaired.

• A patio landscaping design with large terracotta pots and plants to beautify common areas

• New patio furniture and umbrellas for the two patios enjoyed by house residents


(858) 454-8231, 7441 Olivetas Ave., La Jolla

3. Meals on Wheels Greater La Jolla

A service that delivers meals to persons who cannot cook or shop for themselves.


• Referrals. If you know of someone who would benefit from the service please call. As more and more participants move into assisted living homes, opportunities are available to serve those who still live independently

• Monetary donations


9888 Genessee, La Jolla; Jane or Dawn (858) 452-0391


La Jolla Community Foundation

The Foundation’s mission is to enhance the aesthetic character of the community by creating and improving inviting public spaces.

In need of: A bureaucracy-buster, to cut through the red tape at city hall so that the LJCF can take on infrastructure projects such as improving the Torrey Pines Road corridor.


2508 Historic Decatur Road #200

San Diego, CA 92106

Phone: (619) 235-2300


  1. The Seany Foundation
This charity is dedicated to funding research to help find cures for pediatric cancers and to improving the quality of life for children and teens battling cancer.


• Teen-appropriate DVDs and games for the new “Seany Teen Room” at Rady Children’s Hospital.

• Interested attendees and donors for the upcoming “Swinging for Seany” first annual golf tournament at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club on May 23.

• Supporters to “like” their facebook page in order to receive updates and news about the foundation.


7567 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla

(800) 794-8282,

  1. Just In Time for Foster Youth
This agency’s mission is to provide support at critical junctures for youth transitioning out of the foster care system, acting as an “extended family” of caring adults.


• Monetary donations

• Food cards

• New bedsheets, any size (Also pots, pans and small kitchen appliances, desk lamps and brooms)

• Adult mentors


(858) 663-2081 or


American Red Cross San Diego

The Red Cross campaign features a holiday giving catalog,

  1. The catalog has more than 20 gift ideas — such as assisting someone in the military with a phone card or supplies, providing food and shelter to a disaster victim, covering the costs of snacks at a blood drive, or giving basic necessities to a family in another country.
The purchase of each gift item is a tax-deductible contribution to the overall mission of the American Red Cross.


(858) 309-1200.


  1. San Diego Rescue Mission
The Rescue Mission is a non-profit, faith-based organization committed to assisting the homeless in a transition from an environment of poverty.


• Turn your car, truck, boat, or RV into a “Vehicle for Hope” by donating it to the mission. You’ll receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation, and they’ll use your vehicle to provide funding for more meals, shelter, and lasting hope to the hurting men, women, and children they serve. They will pick-up your vehicle promptly and process the DMV paperwork.

• Food and clothing

• Monetary donations

Contact: (619) 717-8437,

  1. Blue Ryno Foundation
It is the foundation’s mission to enlighten the lives of critically or terminally ill children and assist their families. Your financial donation helps so:

• Parents can focus on fighting their child’s illness instead of paying bills, buying groceries and worrying about insurance.

• Counselors can help rebuild a child’s will to live

• Experts can help families in need of rental assistance

Contact; (858) 458-0635

  1. Head North Foundation
HeadNorth is dedicated to providing help and hope for spinal cord injury survivors. As many as 100 San Diego residents sustain a life-altering spinal cord injury each year. First year costs alone can exceed $270,000 for a paraplegic and $740,000 for a quadriplegic.

HeadNorth also supports the ongoing pursuit of a cure for paralysis through its current pledge of $1 million over three years to a spinal cord regeneration study in collaboration with the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute and UCSD School of Medicine.

Needs: Monetary donations

Contact: 2658 Del Mar Heights Road, #196

Del Mar, CA 92014.

(858) 350-3193,



Jewish Family Service of San Diego

Since 1918, the organization has provided comprehensive human care services to people of all ages and faiths. With more than 50 programs and services, they are “One Source for a Lifetime of Help.”


Embracers to be matched with a family in need to provide toys, clothes, food, gift certificates and more for the holiday season. Embracers are provided with a description of the family, including gender and ages of children and their holiday wish lists. This is a way for you, your family, group, and/or business to make the holiday season a little brighter for a family who is struggling to make ends meet.

• Gently used furniture can make a difference in the lives of people in need. All you have to do is make the call and JFS will come pick it up

• Monetary donations


(858) 637-3045,

, Jewish Family Service—Turk Family Center, 8804 Balboa Ave., San Diego

  1. Women’s Resource Center
The organization helps women rebuild shattered lives by providing free services such as emergency shelter, counseling and education.


• Donate goods on the

wish list at

  1. These are items used to assist the agency in supporting its clients and their children. In addition, WRC has need for items to help in the operation and management of the agency.
• Clothing, books and household items (excluding furniture) for the

Thrift Store.

• Volunteers

• Monetary donations

Contact: (760) 757-3500


, 1963 Apple St.

—Compiled by Susan DeMaggio and Diana Ployak