The Holiday Helpers

The Burbank Temporary Aid Center provides holiday food baskets to families and individuals. Items needed include fresh or frozen turkeys, canned goods, new unwrapped toys, children’s sweatsuits and gift certificates for teenagers. People are needed to sort donated items and answer telephones. Call (818) 846-2330.

El Centro de Amistad, 7024 Deering Ave., Canoga Park, an agency run under the auspices of the county Mental Health Department, provides emergency food, shelter and clothing for needy families, in addition to a weekday tutorial program for children ages 6 to 17. Volunteers are needed during Christmas week to sort food for area families. Call (818) 347-8565.

Friends of the Family, a family support and resource center, needs volunteer help, unwrapped toys, children’s clothing and books, diapers and monetary donations. 14522 Kittridge St., Van Nuys 91405. Call (818) 988-4430.

Loaves and Fishes, a homeless outreach program, needs donations of food and toys. Volunteers are needed to distribute food. Someone with a pickup truck is especially needed. 4322 San Fernando Road, Glendale. Call (818) 409-3080.


MEND (Meet Each Need With Dignity), a volunteer community group, needs canned hams and other canned goods, rice, cereals, blankets and new unwrapped toys for children for holiday baskets. Volunteers are needed to sort donations, wrap toys, pack food boxes and pick up donations. 13460 Van Nuys Blvd., Pacoima 91331. Call (818) 897-2443.

Salvation Army of the San Fernando Valley needs volunteer bell ringers, plus volunteers to run the Angel Tree gift-giving program as well as accept donations of canned goods and sweaters. 14917 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys. Call (818) 781-5739. The Burbank Salvation Army needs volunteers to box food donations for holiday baskets, deliver toys and baskets, run an Angel Tree program and help at a Dec. 12 community holiday party for children. 300 E. Angeleno Ave., Burbank. Call (818) 845-7214 and ask for Capt. Charles Fowler or Capt. Sheri Fowler, or call Elaine Paonessa, chairwoman of the Christmas collection, at (818) 845-6851. The Salvation Army Service Extension Office in San Fernando needs donations for more than 300 families, plus bell ringers and volunteers to supervise other volunteers. 1027 N. Maclay Ave. Call (818) 361-6462.

The San Fernando Police Department, Police Advisory Council and Greater San Fernando Chamber of Commerce are soliciting donations for their 11th annual Christmas Basket Program. New toys for newborn children to 14 years of age, in addition to monetary donations for food purchases, are being accepted through Dec. 14. Make checks payable to the San Fernando Police Advisory Council and drop off or mail to 910 1st St., San Fernando 91340. Call Leticia Bailey at (818) 898-1250 or the chamber office at (818) 361-1184.

Santa Comes to Agoura needs volunteers and donations to be delivered to needy families in December. Food will be packed and organized for delivery by volunteers Saturday at the Do-It Center parking lot, 28750 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills. Checks, made out to Optimist Club / Santa, may be mailed to 6602 Maplegrove St., Agoura 91301. Call George Annino at (818) 991-1732.


Santa Rosa Community Center needs food baskets, baby clothes, formula and diapers. Volunteers are needed for light clerical work, and in the food pantry and clothes room. Light maintenance volunteer work is also needed. 511 Kalisher St., San Fernando 91340. Call (818) 365-3195.

Tree of Life Ministries is accepting donations of perishable and nonperishable food, toys and monetary gifts. Drop off food and toys at 6642 Reseda Blvd., Reseda, or write to P. O. Box 596, Reseda 91335. Call (818) 996-8389 or (818) 776-9696.

Volunteer Center Assistance League of Southern California is accepting food, toys, books and gifts for needy families through Dec. 8 at its offices, Suite 200, 8134 Van Nuys Blvd., Panorama City 91405. The organization also coordinates volunteering opportunities throughout the Valley. Call (818) 908-5066.

The Valley Interfaith Council, a network of Valley temples and churches based in Chatsworth, provides numerous food pantries for the needy. Volunteers are needed for the Meals on Wheels program, as well as those with trucks or vans to help transport donated goods. Donations needed include new infant and children’s clothing, disposable diapers, rain gear, unused holiday gift wrap, unused greeting cards with postage stamps, new packaged underwear and socks for men, women and children, and refrigerators. 10824 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park 91311. (818) 718-6460.