There are so many ways to perform a mitzvah this holiday season, whether on your own or as a group activity with friends and family. Here are organizations Stephen Wise Temple and Wise School work with throughout the year to practice tikkun olam and acts of chesed (loving kindness).
To learn more please contact Jennifer Smith, Director of Programming, at JSmith@WiseLA.org or 310.889.2265.
LA Family Housing
LA Family Housing helps thousands of people transition into permanent housing. Help make the holidays feel a little more homey:
- Donate $20 Ralph’s or Target gift cards. Each of LAFH’s Holiday Kits will be filled with two gift cards to each store. Gift cards can be dropped off directly to LAFH or brought to Stephen Wise Temple by Monday, December 16.
- Empower parents to create holiday memories by donating a reusable shopping bag filled with decorations, household goods, and two $20 gift cards. You can check their “Adopt a Family” Holiday Kits list here.
- Buy a new toy, board game, or gift card to help fill Santa’s “Wishlist”—drop off by Wednesday, December 11.
- Host a community celebration at one of LAFH’s facilities. Donate $200 and bring food, games, and kick off the holiday season between December 8 and 15. Sign up here.
- Help sponsor or volunteer at their Winter Wonderland Party, Sunday, December 15. You can sponsor an activity at the party or act as a personal shopper “elf” in Santa’s Wishmart for the day.
The People Concern (Formerly Ocean Park Community Center)
Volunteer opportunities exist at The People Concern in their Santa Monica and Downtown LA locations all year long. Please visit ThePeopleConcern.org for year-round opportunities to volunteer in person or donate. Don’t have time to go in but still want to make an impact? No problem! TPC is always looking for:
- In kind donation drives, specifically looking for new underwear and/or socks, men’s and women’s jeans and t-shirts, and travel size toiletries.
- Sack lunch preparation to serve 55 people including sandwiches, string cheese, chips, fruit and water or juice.
- “Welcome Home” packages including kitchen kits, bathroom necessities, bedroom essentials, and cleaning supplies (more details found here).
- Hygiene kits including travel size shampoo and conditioner, body wash (not bars of soap), deodorant, toothpaste and brushes, and body lotion.
- Outreach kits including water bottles, granola bars, and sunscreen.
Homes for Heroes
For many years, Stephen Wise Temple has been helping to fight the country’s crisis that has left nearly 5,000 veterans homeless. Working with the VA, Wise helps to make new houses a home by fundraising to provide each new unit the basics: from appliances including refrigerators and microwaves, to kitchen plates and cookware, to cleaning supplies, bedding, and so much more.
You can view our Amazon Wish list here to help provide a gift for the holidays or make a financial contribution to help purchase larger item goods here.
Big Sunday: The Holiday List
Big Sunday has been a longtime partner organization of Wise. They offer multiple ways to donate, pitch in and help. You can participate as an individual or with a community/group of folks. While Big Sunday has more than 300 Holiday season opportunities to give back, you can also check their annual calendar for special volunteer events year round. For more information, visit their web site.