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Laguna Beach

The season of giving: some suggestions


As readers know, Stu News Laguna has partnered with Net-Works Laguna Beach in the creation of “Laguna Cares Network,” a series featuring stories about those who bring care to the community. Together with Pastor Don Sciortino, we envision Laguna Cares Network as a site for relationship building and the sharing of resources with organizations that serve in our city. 

This is the third article in the series.

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During this season, there are so many individuals and families in need, it’s difficult to know where and how to make an impact. The holidays are quickly approaching, and this week the nation celebrated #GivingTuesday, a perfect way to kick off the giving season.

Laguna has many nonprofits that tirelessly work to fulfill these needs during the holidays. Here are some opportunities to give:

Laguna Exchange/Christmas gifts for the homeless

Net-Works Laguna Beach invites the community to the annual Christmas Breakfast and Celebration with Laguna’s homeless friends. This year it will be held on Sunday, Dec 22 at the Woman’s Club at 286 St. Ann’s Dr, with breakfast at 9 a.m., and the celebration beginning at 10 a.m. All are invited to come together for this special time to serve and enjoy good food, and bring family and friends to honor Christmas together. 

Net-Works LB is asking for help in giving out 100 hooded windbreakers as Christmas gifts to the homeless. Each windbreaker costs $15. If community members are interested in buying one (or contributing toward one) or buying more than one, make a check out to Net-Works LB and send it to 303 Broadway, Ste 107, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 or link to PayPal from the following website:

Laguna Day Workers Center

David Peck of the South County Crosscultural Center says that they are in need of jackets for the workers at the Laguna Day Workers Center (LDWC). The jackets can be dropped off any weekday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1700 Laguna Canyon Rd.

The season day worker site

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Day Workers Center

LDWC works hard to provide the most effective job site possible. At the LDWC, contractors and homeowners find reliable, honest, and hardworking employees, as the staff matches workers with employers’ specific tasks. 

In this way they believe they can best implement the mission of the Crosscultural Council: helping neighbors bridge cultural differences to benefit the entire community.

La Playa Center 

La Playa, which is also part of South County Crosscultural Center, is always in need of clothes and toys for preschoolers – and blankets. Unwrapped items can be dropped off at the Boys & Girls Club, 1085 Laguna Canyon Frontage Rd. 

La Playa is a free English-as-Second Language (ESL) school with free childcare that is housed at the Boys & Girls Club. The program runs from 8:15 to 11 a.m. Monday through Thursday, follows the LBUSD school calendar, and offers three levels of ESL instruction. They also present workshops on nutrition, childcare, and child development.

Waymakers Youth Shelter Laguna Beach 

Waymakers Youth Shelter LB provides a six-bed shelter for youths between the ages of 11 and 17 and supports youths and their families who are in crisis.

Waymakers’ Adopt-a-Family program coordinates the generosity of people with the specific needs of victims of crime and their families. Victims of violent crime and their families are often devastated both emotionally and financially so putting together a Christmas or other holiday celebration can be a very real challenge. 

The season Waymakers

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Waymakers residence for youths and families in crisis

In many cases, the only holiday food and gifts these families receive come through their annual Adopt-A-Family campaign. A holiday sponsor provides not only gifts for the holiday, but also hope for the future.

Waymakers Victim Advocates work with these struggling families to create a holiday wish list. These wish lists often include basic everyday items such as laundry detergent, diapers, baby blankets, groceries, as well as warm clothing and toys.

Another way to give is to purchase something from the residents’ wish list.

To Adopt-A-Family, purchase from the wish list, or donate, click here. 

Tony’s Treehouse Adopt-A-Family

Tony’s Treehouse is a nonprofit organization founded by Becky Martinez in memory of her nine-year-old son named Tony. The legacy he left his family and friends is one of giving, loving, and living life to its fullest extent. 

Adopt-A-Family Program during the holidays aids local families dealing with financial struggles. Volunteers rally together with friends and co-workers to personally buy gifts (they provide an information sheet on the family), or Tony’s Treehouse volunteers will shop for you, wrap your gifts, and deliver them to the family in need. They identify qualified families and work in conjunction with the local Boys and Girls Club as well as the Orange County-based nonprofit group Illumination Foundation ( 

Time is of the essence in matching families with donors, so go to the website below for more information.

To Adopt-A-Family or donate, go to


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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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