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Mary Perdue, executive director of Family Assistance Ministries in San Clemente, said the holidays can be a busy time of year for her nonprofit food pantry. Photo: Eric Heinz
Mary Perdue, executive director of Family Assistance Ministries in San Clemente, said the holidays can be a busy time of year for her nonprofit food pantry. Photo: Eric Heinz

By Eric Heinz

The season of giving is in full swing in San Clemente, and as the holiday season continues there are organizations giving back to the community. Some organizations are still giving back and some have fulfilled their intended contributions to charitable organizations.

Boys & Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club of the South Coast Area is requesting toys for its annual Holiday Party. Children of the club get to participate in fun activities, see Santa and some will receive a gift that they might not receive without community support. Contact Wendy Casteel at 949.484.0206 for details, to drop off a toy at the club or donate online at www.begreatsanclemente.org/donate.

FAM

From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, Family Assistance Ministries will host a breakfast during their regularly scheduled Second Saturday event, which will include a holiday ham for families in need, said Mary Perdue, executive director of FAM.

Additionally, the traditional Adopt-a-Family event allows people to select a family to assist during the holiday season, which includes purchasing meals for the family and Christmas presents for children. The event serves people during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

There will also be an annual children’s Christmas party from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 19 at the Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville, which will include seeing Santa and receiving a new pair of shoes. The volunteers of the National Charities League assist at the event.

 Assistance League of Capistrano Valley Bargain Box, San Clemente

Currently, the Assistance League of Capistrano Valley’s Bargain Box, a thrift store that gives proceeds to schools within the Capistrano Unified School District and to Camp Pendleton Marine families, is filled to the brim with donated items. Volunteers said they’re trying to get as many items sold before the end of the year because the San Clemente location closes Dec. 23 and won’t reopen until Jan. 4.

The Bargain Box has already conducted a few charitable events this year, and Assistance League is setting a goal to raise $19,000 to $20,000 each month.

People frequent the Second Saturday event hosted by Family Assistance Ministries every month. Photo: Courtesy
People frequent the Second Saturday event hosted by Family Assistance Ministries every month. Photo: Courtesy

“What we need now are more customers and community volunteers,” Sharon Gonzalez, the Bargain Box chairperson, said.

The Assistance League recently celebrated its 35th anniversary.

The Bargain Box is located on the 500 block of El Camino Real next to other thrift stores.

 Organizations, Businesses Giving Back

*Total Body Conditioning collected more than 50 pounds of peanut butter jars for Family Assistance Ministries in November and December.

*Assisteens of Capistrano Valley has been collecting telephone gift cards so U.S. troops can call their families and loved ones, as well as collecting nonperishable food for those in need.

*San Clemente Junior Woman’s Club has helped organizations such as Meals on Wheels, FAM’s Adopt a Family and hosts the Angel Tree.

*Diana Crandall of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties said her offices in San Clemente and Monarch Beach are collecting donations for Laura’s House and other charities that benefit from an ongoing charitable fund.

*San Clemente Presbyterian Church is putting together care bags for the homeless from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday. The organizer can be reached at 949.492.6158.

* Our Saviors Lutheran church and school is doing a shoe drive for children in need.

Volunteers at the Assistance League of Capistrano Valley Bargain Box organize clothes to be displayed at the thrift store on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Heinz
Volunteers at the Assistance League of Capistrano Valley Bargain Box organize clothes to be displayed at the thrift store on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Heinz

* San Clemente Sunrise Rotary donated 400 meals at Thanksgiving and is doing more for Christmas. Food will be collected at Ralphs and Albertsons markets the weekends of Dec. 12 and 22. The dinners go to FAM, Laura’s House and to U.S. Marines.

*The San Clemente Domestic Task Force hosted an evening of card making and cookie decorating. The cards and cookies will be delivered to domestic violence shelters, firehouses, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the local emergency room as a thank you for being there for victims of violence.
*Brick Pizzeria once again hosted its annual Thanksgiving dinner for people in need.

*The Dorothy Visser Senior Center will host events for the holiday season, and a schedule can be found at www.san-clemente.org under “Recreation & Community.”
*Recreational items, such as Frisbees and footballs, for U.S. Marines oversees can be donated at the Vista Hermosa Sports Park, 987 Avenida Vista Hermosa, until Dec. 15.

*Organics Out Back recently donated garden boxes to local elementary schools. Students are able to learn about cultivating gardens and harvest produce.

Donations Per Ticket, Shopping Extravaganza at the Outlets at San Clemente

The following is a list of donations collected for certain charities at the Outlets at San Clemente Shopping Extravaganza on Dec. 5.

Assistance League of Capistrano Valley, $3,150

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, $550

Boys & Girls Club of the South Coast Area, $1,850

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Orange County, $900

City of Hope, $4,050

Dana Point Symphony, $900

Family Assistance Ministries, $2,425

Girls Incorporated of Orange County, $725

Goodwill of Orange County, $175

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, $2,600

Kids Around the World, $350

Mission San Juan Capistrano, $1,150

Pacific Marine Mammal Center, $2,100

San Clemente Sunrise Rotary Club, $2,925

The ALS Association Orange County Chapter, $600

Tilly’s Life Center, $200

Wellness and Prevention Foundation,  $3,050

Western Youth Services, $950

 Editor’s Note: If you’d like to mention your organization’s charitable contributions during the holiday season, email San Clemente Times city editor Eric Heinz at eheinz@sanclementetimes.com to be added to the online version of this article.

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