Donation Drives

Service Learning projects offer both youth and adults an opportunity to learn about important issues, take action, and make a difference in the world around them! More than volunteering, service-learning is a deliberate process through which people figure out what excites them and what skills and passions they can share as part of the larger world.

November 1 – November 20th, 2019

Join us in bringing holiday cheer to our troops overseas. With your help and support, the YMCA of Orange County will send stockings filled with much needed items and pieces of home to our military service men and women overseas.

How it All Comes Together…

  1. Donations Collected: YMCAOC Child Care locations and fitness facilities.
  2. YMCA Child Care Stuffing Party: Staff and students sort donations and fill stockings.
  3. Stockings Shipped to Troops: Words of Comfort, Hope & Promise packs and ships all stockings overseas.
  4. Troops Receive Stockings: Our troops enjoy the holidays with a taste of home.

Items Needed:


  • Candy canes
  • Starbucks Via® coffees – our troops’ favorite!
  • Peanut butter or cheese & crackers snack packs
  • Cup of Noodles® or Easy Mac® macaroni & cheese
  • Starkist® tuna & crackers snack packs
  • Nature Valley® Sweet & Salty Peanut bars
  • Gatorade Propel® dry powder packets for water bottles
  • Cliff® Bars/Protein bars

Individual Snack Packs

  • Assorted bags of nuts
  • Dried fruits/raisins
  • Cheez-Its® or Cracker Jacks
  • Trail mix
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Beef jerky/Slim Jim
  • Corn Nuts®
  • Store-bought cookies


  • Christmas stockings, 7” wide x 19” long
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Chewing gum
  • Hand warmer packets
  • Socks
  • Pocket or purse size package of baby wipes
  • Letters and Christmas cards, addressed to “Dear Armed Forces”

November 1 – December 6th
At the Y, our mission is to improve lives and strengthen communities. Join us this holiday season by donating items to a neighbor in need. All bags will be distributed to local retirement homes, seniors, and families in need.

How your group can get involved

  1. YMCA staff can deliver empty bags to your corporation/group.
  2. Your corporation/group can organize your efforts to donate items and fill bags.
  3. Once the bags are filled, the YMCA will collect and distribute the bags based on areas of need.

Suggested Gift List


  • Scarves
  • Small Blankets
  • Cozy Socks or Slipper Socks with Non-slip Treads on the Bottom
  • Plain Unscented Lotion
  • Chapstick/Lip Gloss
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toothbrush
  • Wipes
  • Warm Gloves
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Travel Coffee Mug


  • Pens/Pencils
  • Deck of Cards
  • Games
  • Crossword Puzzles/Word Search Books
  • Sudoku Books
  • Stationary/Journal
  • Gift Cards (Target, Starbucks, etc.)

Please no food or used items.

Drive Dates: June 17th – August 7th

The Y is excited to support our young learners with a new backpack full of supplies to ready them for the upcoming school year!

This year we are focusing our efforts to collect supplies for our 1,400+ After School Education & Safety (ASES) Program students. This program supports low-income families by providing a safe and educational after school environment through state grants and YMCA fundraising.

The YMCA of Orange County currently operates 16 ASES sites and 4 fully funded after school programs serving low-income communities.
The students receive homework assistance, healthy snacks, and participate in STEM, leadership, sports and other enrichment activities.

How it Works

  1. Fill a backpack with items from the suggested list below OR donate items towards filling a backpack.
  2. Drop off donations at your local YMCA health & wellness facility.

Suggested Items

  • Backpacks
  • Colored Pencils (12 Count)
  • #2 Pencils
  • 1” Binders with Paper
  • Glue Sticks
  • Crayons (24 count)
  • Pens (Black/Blue)
  • Dividers for Binders
  • Safe Scissors for Ages 6-12
  • Basic Calculators
  • Folders
  • Erasers
  • Pencil Cases
  • Rulers

Drive Dates: May 13th – June 7th

The YMCA has partnered with HomeAid OC and the Children and Families Commission of Orange County to raise awareness and support homeless families as they rebuild their lives. Every child needs these essentials. Help them by donating diapers and baby wipes!

How it all comes together…

YMCA child care centers collect diapers and baby wipes to support families living in shelters across Orange County. All items are gathered and delivered to the Builders for Babies event held at the Angels Stadium on June 21, 2019. Items are distributed to families in need in our community.

Items Needed:

  • Diapers (sizes 4-6)
  • Baby wipes

Click here to find your nearest Child Care Donation Site.

Want to help?

To learn more please contact volunteer@ymcaoc.org.