Dozens of youngsters and their parents gathered in Costa Mesa on Thursday for an evening of coloring, crafts and compassion during a volunteer event intended to educate elementary school-age children on the issues of hunger and homelessness.
The Family Night, sponsored by Share Our Selves, saw children pack kits full of hygiene items, decorate placemats and draw pictures on cards that will be given to homeless families and children throughout Orange County.
Almost 4,300 people countywide are homeless on any given night, according to SOS, which has service centers throughout the county and provides medical, dental and behavioral health services, along with case management, holiday programs and financial aid.
SOS put on the new Family Night event to correspond with its third annual Sleep Out on Superior, in which people planned to camp overnight Friday in the organization's parking lot at 1550 Superior Ave. in Costa Mesa as a show of solidarity with the homeless.
Both the Sleep Out and Family Night coincide with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, which runs the week before Thanksgiving to encourage people to help those in need.