9/11 Service Projects in Orange County

August 20, 2019

On the 18th anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, OneOC, the Orange County organization that helps companies build and grow their giving and employee volunteer programs, is focused on “Remembrance through Service.” Throughout the month of September, OneOC is sponsoring county-wide service projects and toolkits that engage volunteers of all ages, as well as support troops and Veterans.

Since 2011, more than 10,000 Orange County volunteers have participated in this collaboration with OneOC. If you’re in Southern California, here are some opportunities that need your help on and around this year’s special day of service:

A DIY Food Drive needs volunteers now through Sept. 15 to benefit a local Santa Ana food bank. Do it from home, just filling a box with needed items. If interested, go here and sign up and you’ll receive a box and list of suggestions for what to put in it.

Operation Gratitude in Santa Ana annually sends more than 150,000 care packages filled with snacks, DVDs and CDs, hygiene and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to public safety personnel, Veterans and service members deployed overseas. From Sept. 11-15, the organization needs volunteers to make paracord survival bracelets and write inspirational notes. Sign up with volunteer leader Xitlaly Luna here.

The Child Creativity Lab needs volunteers from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11, assembling and packing recycled materials into STEAM Challenge kits at this organization’s Depot for Creative Reuse Center in Santa Ana. These kits help to inspire children to think more creatively by providing hands-on opportunities to learn STEAM concepts with completely reusable items. In addition to using these kits in workshops at schools, Child Creativity Lab donates Challenge Kits to kids from disadvantaged backgrounds participating in youth organizations, and to other community groups throughout Orange County. Sign up with volunteer contact Tiffany Hayden.

Second Harvest Food Bank is seeking 20 volunteers from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 11, to help at the Food Distribution Center in Irvine. Generally, volunteers help sort and package fresh produce, non-perishable food, or food drive items. These projects are moderately physical. Volunteers may be involved in moving a few heavy items. Contact Skyler Schulze if you’re interested in helping.

Helping Hand Worldwide, Inc., needs 20 sorters and packers from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, in Anaheim to sort and pack clothing, toys and bedding in boxes organized by gender and size. All supplies are provided. Food will be provided, too, if 10 or more volunteers sign up here. The mission is to relieve hunger and improve the health and quality of life for those in need by offering access to wholesome, nutritious food.

American Family Housing seeks 10 volunteers from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 11, to help Potter’s Lane apartment complex in Midway City (15171 Jackson St.) get things ready for upcoming holidays and welcome a new Veteran tenant. Furniture assembly and other work is needed. Please wear comfortable work clothes and closed-toe shoes (sneakers are OK). Bring a copy of this volunteer application. And contact Manny Ayala by email or by calling 657-203-4495. You also can sign up here.

Assistance League of Huntington Beach needs 12 thrift shop volunteers from 4 to 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11, to help straighten up the back room of the shop (8071 Slater Ave #145). You’ll be opening donation bags, sorting items and prepping merchandise for the sales floor. The thrift shop is a major source of funding for programs that include scholarships that assist Veterans attending local community colleges. Sign up by contacting Donna Dillon.

Senior Serve has eight spots remaining for a special crafts project from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11, in Anaheim. You’ll be helping to lead a fun patriotic craft activity for senior participants. If you’re comfortable working with older people and those with disabilities, and you speak Spanish, you’re especially needed. Contact Tracy Hall.

Mary’s Path, which assists and houses teen moms and their babies, is looking for volunteers from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Sept. 12, to beautify the courtyard area on the Santa Ana property. This will include planting shrubs, bushes and plants in five separate areas. In addition, volunteers will provide all vegetation, gardening tools and materials and, if desired, bring lunch for the teen girls who live there.  Volunteers must be 18 or older. Sign up here.

OneOC Emergency Volunteer Center needs help from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 12, in Santa Ana, with a mock county-wide disaster drill. This program supports emergency response officials throughout Orange County by engaging and safely deploying spontaneous volunteers to respond to critical needs and/or long-term recovery. Volunteers will take part in the drill and gain valuable preparedness education for “The Big One.” Sign up here.

Pathways of Hope is having a one-day event from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, Sept. 13, at their Anaheim shelter, Via Esperanza (626 N. Pauline St.). They need 10 people to help with reorganizing three shelves, sorting supplies in the garage and sorting donated clothing. Extra hangers and clear plastic bins with lids are needed. If you volunteer, they ask that you wear closed-toe shoes, work gloves and bring your own drinking water. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged. Meet behind the building in the alley were the garages are located. Sign up with Ann Stoddard.

Bolsa Chica Conservancy in Huntington Beach needs 30 helpers from 9 to 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 13, to restore a habitat at Harriett M. Wieder Regional Park, as part of a 9.5-acre project. You’ll be helping to cull invasive plants. Wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, sun protection, bring water and don’t be afraid of getting dirty. Carpooling is encouraged. Contact Eric Paquette to sign up.

Boys Scouts of America Orange County Council needs your help from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, with EarthFest 2019 in Orange. This is a major community sustainability event that needs parking directors, zero waste station coordinators, registration table assistance and more. If you sign up to help on this date, you will need to attend one of the volunteer orientations beforehand.  Invitations to volunteer orientations will be emailed. Admission to the event is free for volunteers. Sign up with leader Daphna McCoy.

Earthroots Field School is developing a 200-year plan for restoring and stewarding Big Oak Canyon in Silverado. From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, they’re inviting 30 volunteers (ages 12-up) to help clear non-native plants, trees and grasses from their 39-acre property; restore a seasonal wetland habitat; tend the orchard; remove litter; count animal and plant species; and other tasks. It’s physical, outdoor labor, so wear closed-toe shoes or boots; gloves and a hat or bandana; bring lunch, water and snacks; and get ready to get dirty. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. And everyone must fill out a release form. Sign up with Jodi Levine.

YANA-Cancer Comfort in Mission Viejo needs more volunteers to make fleece blankets for cancer patients who get chilly while undergoing treatment, from 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, at Norman P. Murray Community Center (24932 Veterans Way). All you need to do is show up and tie knots to make a blanket out of two pieces of fabric. Every knot is tied with love. Kids ages 5-up are fine at this activity when accompanied by an adult. Sign up with Vickie McGee.

Save Our Beach at Seal Beach is seeking 100 volunteers for California Coastal Cleanup Day, 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 21. You’ll be cleaning up trash from the beach. All materials will be provided except plastic water bottles, so bring your own refillables. Contact Xitlaly Luna to sign up for yourself or with a team.