Donating money, food, and “stuff” during the holidays


Many people feel compelled during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season to give more than any other time of the year. While most people don’t mind the idea of giving and a little sacrifice, but they’re unsure where to donate to. While some people default to their local church, others throw their loose change in the red bucket outside of the grocery store. From donating food, clothing, cash and volunteering, it doesn’t matter where or what we do. As long as we do something as a human race, we need to give back. Let’s face it, no matter how hard we have it, we all have something to spare compared to the rest of the world. We all have TIME at the very least.

So as not to put some guilt on people, we have found a great list of charities that giveback to the community and doesn’t fatten the pocket of the organizations CEO’s.


• The Food 4 Kids Backpack Program provides weekend backpacks filled with food to chronically hungry elementary schoolchildren. For more information, go to

• The 2011 Holiday Food Drive continues until Dec. 31. Nonperishable food can be deposited in red barrels at Vons and Stater Bros. supermarkets throughout the county, or delivered directly to the Food Bank warehouse at 9850 Distribution Ave., San Diego 92121. Jewish Family Service of San Diego

• The Jewish Family Service Foodmobile has been bringing hot, kosher, home-delivered meals to the elderly and homebound since 1971. For more information contact Melinda Wilkes, volunteer services manager, at (858) 637-3050, or go to to donate online.

• Feeding America’s Holiday’s Hope Campaign provides food baskets to needy families during the holiday season. Throughout the year, the organization partners with 185 nonprofit organizations and schools to feed more that 400,000 people in San Diego County. For more information go to

• Based in San Marcos, the North County Food Bank has been feeding hungry residents for 20 years. It serves about 18,000 people a month. Goto to find a food drive near you, or call (760) 761-1140.

• Instead of paying fines on overdue materials, patrons may donate food items that the Escondido Public Library will give to Interfaith Community Services in Escondido. The Food for Fines program is in effect from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31. For more information, call (760) 839-4684.

• Interfaith distributes food to needy families throughout North County. Tocontribute to Interfaith’s annual Holiday Adopt A Family program visit, or email [email protected]

• The Santee Food Bank, which last year served almost 15,000 meals to those in need, is operated under the auspices of the Santee Ministerial Council. For more information, go to, or call (619) 448-4456.

• Hearts and Hands works with some of the poorest of the poor, providing food, shoes and clothing to underserved and at-risk individuals and families in the San Ysidro community. For more information, call (619) 662-7592 or visit

• Through a partnership with Pinery Christmas Trees, you can order your holiday trees, wreaths and poinsettias online at, and the proceeds will help Mama’s Kitchen provide meals for critically ill neighbors. This nonprofit charitable organization delivers food and support to San Diegans affected by AIDS.

• For more than 50 years, Meals-on-Wheels has served seniors aroundthe county, relying on volunteers to deliver food seven days a week, including holidays, to the homes of the people in the program. For more information, contact

• The Red Cross is asking the public to visit to make a donation in the name of the people on their gift list this year. Donations will help provide food and shelter to a victim of disaster or others seeking basic necessities just to get by.

• The Holiday Mail For Heroes program works to collect and distribute holiday cards to American service members, veterans and their families. For more information, go to for Tots

• The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign collects new, unwrapped toys and gives them out to needy children in the local community. For more information, go to Toys will also be collected at the Dec. 21 Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Donations will be accepted through Christmas Eve at all Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores in the county. Cash contributions will also be accepted online at

• Teddy Bear Drive to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Teddy Bear Drive. The collection drive continues through Dec. 12. Donations of new stuffed animals, with tags still attached, may be made at police departments in San Diego, Chula Vista, Coronado, Carlsbad, El Cajon, Escondido and La Mesa, as well as at a number of participating San Diego Sheriff’s Department stations and businesses. For drop-off locations and more information, go to

• Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego. For details about how to give to Make-A-Wish and other fundraising events, go to From Dec. 15 to Jan. 15, a portion of proceeds from each Sammy’s Woodfired specialty pizza sold will benefit Make-A-Wish. For more information, visit Through Dec. 24, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for each stamped letter to Santa Claus dropped into special letterboxes at stores countywide.

From all of us at Benchmark Property Management, we encourage you to give what you can this holiday season. If you need to contact us or discuss other ways to give, feel free to visit on facebook at or click the CONTACT US link above.

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