If you’d like to give back in Encinitas this holiday season, there are plenty of opportunities in our community — and in fact, even seemingly small gestures can make a big impact for someone in need.
Here is a simple breakdown of what a few cans of food, a warm coat, and some spare time can do in Encinitas this holiday season:
If you have a few cans of food to spare...
- ...give it to the Community Resource Center, which is Each year the Community Resource Center puts together holiday baskets to be distributed to local families in need, and right now they need help with food donations. On Sunday, Dec. 11, you can also take your food donation to the , which is For more information, read , or visit the CRC website.
- ...bring them HapiFish for a holiday promotion benefiting local families in need. This month when you bring in two cans of food to the sushi bar, you get $2 Firestone IPA — or, you can bring in a gently used coat and get a free beer. All donations will benefit the Community Resource Center. And to celebrate while you donate, on Wednesday, Dec. 7, HapiFish will be having a special event from 7 to 11 p.m. with raffle prizes, specials, and swag giveaways for those who bring canned food items to donate to the CRC.
- ...contribute them to the San Diego Food Bank Holiday Food Drive. Local drop off containers are at and . There is especially a need for the following items: canned meat and tuna, canned soups, canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, canned beans, spaghetti, dry cereal, and rice. Please do not donate items in glass containers or perishable food. The food drive runs until Dec. 31. For more info, please visit here. Alos, if you bring a canned food item for the San Diego Food Bank to on Dec. 6 or 7, you will get a 25 percent discount on your meal.
If you have a warm coat to donate...
- ...give it to Fill-A-Belly, which helps the homeless population in our community. As we head into these colder winter months, the group is also in need of donated blankets, tarps, and sleeping bags, in addition to warm coats. The group also provides a weekly dinner for the homeless and focuses on building relationships by breaking bread together. Fill-a-Belly operates in two locations in North County and serves each meal on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. The Encinitas location is at Fill-a-Belly is always looking for volunteer cooks, and volunteers to help serve, and shop for food.
- ...take it to the Rancho Coastal Humane Society's (RCHS) thrift shop. Everything sold in the store benefits the group's mission to care for the homeless animal population of San Diego County. The shop also accepts furniture, books, collectibles and other household items. You can even do some of your holiday shopping at the thrift shop on Saturday, Dec. 10, when all merchandise will be 50 percent off. Proceeds from sales go back to RCHS, too.
If you have a couple hours of free time to spare...
- ...sign-up for the inaugural through downtown Encinitas on Dec. 15 — or, come cheer on all the impersonators of Old Saint Nick. About 30 locals will be dressing up as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in downtown Encinitas, all to help raise money for the .
- ...go caroling with Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT), an Encinitas group that provides theatre and dance programs to children, teens, and adults with autism and other disabilities. On Dec. 10, the group will be visiting Encinitas nursing homes to do some caroling, and the public is invited to come share in the holiday cheer if the spirit so moves them. There’re are also several volunteer opportunities with the group throughout this season, and year-round.
- ...help an Encinitas senior citizen get his holiday to-do list completed through the city's 'Out-and-About' program. Volunteer drivers in this program help senior citizens get around town for errands, including trips to local stores for shopping, or doctors' appointments. To fill out a volunteer application, visit here.
These are just a few of the local organizations and efforts in need this holiday season. There are so many ways to donate and contribute to the community that it would be difficult to list them all. Encinitas Patch hopes you can find a way to give back to Encinitas this year, and make your holiday season brighter by experiencing the gift of giving.