‘Tis the season to express gratitude

 As the holiday season approaches, after a long unprecedented holiday season the past two years, this season serves as a great reminder to express gratitude and give back to our communities. Below are ten ways students can give back to their communities and spread a little holiday cheer. 


1. Holiday Cards

Handwrite a letter to someone you are grateful for, such as friends, family or healthcare workers. Reach out to those who you have not spoken to in a while to check in on them. Especially around the holidays, many would appreciate a card of appreciation.


 2. Donate Toys

Brighten childrens’ days by giving them toys while alleviating families’ financial burdens. Although organizations and hospitals are not accepting toy donations in-person due to the pandemic, they have created wishlists to which you can purchase online. Below are a few links which you can support.

Marine Adoption Committee

Children’s Hospital of Orange County

Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles

St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital


 3. Participate in the canned food drive

The Associated Student Body (ASB) is hosting a canned food drive that will last until Thursday, Dec. 16. The collected canned food will be donated to the local non-profit organization, Families Forward. Every classroom has a box where you can drop off your contribution. Give to those who struggle to make ends meet this season. 


 4. Volunteer at the local animal shelter

The Irvine Animal Care Center holds an adoption event around the holidays, encouraging the community to adopt instead of shop. In addition, opportunities to volunteer for ages fifteen and older are available. For more information, visit the link HERE.  


 5. Tutoring

Use your academic skills to help out your fellow classmates; you can ask friends who may need help with homework or organize a study group after school. Go to teachers’ flex times and let them know you are of assistance if any student needs it. A couple of clubs, including the Physics Club and Irvine Machine Learning Club, also provide opportunities to tutor on campus.


 6. Run a local 5K or 10K charity run

Put on some cardio and run for a good cause. Release some endorphins that make your mind happy about not only running but raising money for others. Participate in the Huntington Beach (HB) Resolution 5K to raise money for the McKenna Claire Foundation that researches pediatric brain cancer.

HB Resolution Run 5K

Huntington State Beach

   21601 Pacific Coast Highway

   Huntington Beach, CA 92646

Sun, December 5, 2021 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM PST


 7. Bake a treat 

Whip up a batch of homemade cookies and deliver them to neighbors, friends, and/or family. Baking is an overall bonding experience, especially with the people you bake with and the people you share with. You can do the same at local animal shelters! Treat the pets to some homemade treats.


 8. Donate clothes

Set aside some time to go through your closet and get rid of the clothes you don’t need. Take them to a local donation center. 

Nearest donation center:

 Goodwill of Orange County Donation Center

18182 Culver Dr

Temperatures can drop during the holidays, so you can also pass out blankets, gloves, and jackets to the homeless. While at it, spark friendly conversations and spread some holiday warmth.


 9. Beach cleanup

Make an impact on our coastlines by removing trash and recyclables. Invite friends and family to join the Newport Beach Chapter on their monthly beach cleanups. The chapter hosts two hour beach cleanups at 9am on the first Saturday of each month. For more information, visit the link HERE


 10. Recycle bottles and take to recycling center

Collect recyclable bottles and cans from holiday parties and drop them off at California Refund Value beverage containers. Keep in mind that non-recycle items include: food waste, ceramics, mirror, and plastic wrap. 

Nearest California Refund Value:

Tawa 99 Ranch Supermarket Inc.*

15333 Culver Drive, Suite 800, Irvine 909-981-8978