‘Tis The Season to Give Back

Daire and Darcy O’Herlihy get all dressed up for a visit from old Saint Nick last Saturday at Point Dume Marine Science School’s Breakfast with Santa. 

As the holiday season approaches, organizations in Malibu are gearing up to help the less fortunate. Although their efforts are targeted specifically for today, many of these groups work every day of the year to improve people’s lives. “Giving today can change the entire course of a child’s life tomorrow,” says Petrie Alexandra Williams, founder of Safety Harbor Kids. These groups rely on the generosity of others and say they could not do it without such a caring community. Here are a few of the opportunities for locals to help. 

Malibu Presbyterian Church 

Malibu Presbyterian needs new books for their drive to benefit Camp David Gonzales, a correctional facility for juvenile boys on Malibu Canyon Road. Minor children who learn to read are less likely to be arrested or put in jail again, said Kendra Mathews of Malibu Presbyterian church. 

“We will wrap all the new books for the young men,” Mathews said. “Please, this is our way of helping those who are in need.” 

The boys are taught to read by staff members and volunteers. Many graduate high school in this correctional program. The Los Angeles Probation Department provides juvenile camps such as Camp David to offer offending minors rehabilitation. Malibu Presbyterian is also working with the Standing on Stone (SOS) organization this season to help homeless people. They need sleeping bags and warm clothing. “We appreciate any and all donations,” says Mathews. To donate, bring books to the church by Dec. 15, and drop off clothing and sleeping bags by Dec. 24. Donations go to people in the Malibu community. Call Kendra at 310.456.1611 for more information. 

Waveside Church—Malibu Relief 

In a continuing effort to help families at local Malibu schools who are in need this holiday season, Waveside Church has launched a drive called “Christmas Cheer.” Together with the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, Waveside has established a list of requested items from each of the families. For information, visit www.wavesidechurch.com. 

The organizations will also be hosting a Christmas party at the Boys & Girls Club for these families on Dec. 17. Gifts need to be purchased and ordered in time for delivery to Malibu by Dec. 16. For more information contact Caroline Amoretti at 310.579.1442. 

Our Lady of Malibu Catholic Church 

The 23rd Annual Adopt a Family event helps people every year who are in desperate need. These families live downtown in skid row. 

“It is not uncommon for a family of five to share one room,” says longtime parishioner Danny Shea. “They have no closets, no private bathrooms and have little or next to nothing.” 

Staff members interviewed each family personally, and each child will have his or her name on a gift. 

Our Lady of Malibu will collect warm clothing, toys, non-perishable food items and hygiene products for distribution on Saturday, Dec. 14th. A truck will be in front of the church to collect the donations on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 for distribution on Dec. 14. 

“They wouldn’t have a Christmas if it was not for Adopt a Family,” says Shea. 

Those interested in helping can call Danny at 310.455.1773 or Peggy at 310.456.2361. 

Safety Harbor Kids 

Petrie Alexandra Williams, founding President of Safety Harbor Kids, is putting on their 7th Annual Spirit of Goodwill Holiday Party at Dukes on December 8, 2013, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Special celebrity guest Malcolm McDowell will serve 250 orphan, foster and homeless children. To attend the event, Safety Harbor Kids asks people to Adopt a Child by donating $50 to become a member. Visit safetyharborkids.org to help. 

Malibu United Methodist Church 

United Methodist is supporting Angel Tree this year. Angel Tree helps children of incarcerated parents. Children are very lonely without their parents, but especially at Christmas. Many of the children will not even have an adult at home on Christmas. 

The church requests donations of gift cars from any store, or by purchasing an ornament for $10, with all proceeds going to the Angel Tree fund. The deadline is Dec. 24. “Our goal is to help as many people and to serve as many people as possible,” said office administrator Diane Malecha. Call 310.457.7505 for more information. 

St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church 

St. Aidan’s is supporting the Dorcas House, a ministry of the Episcopal Church, San Diego Diocese. Dorcas House currently houses, feeds, educates and protects children whose parents are in La Mesa Prison in Tijuana. There are usually between 36-48 children between the ages of two through 17 living at Dorcas House. 

Every Christmas Saint Aidan’s collects pajamas, sweat suits and tennis shoes for the children and delivers them to Tijuana before Christmas. The collection ends on December 15. Contact Barbara Bacon or Stephanie Cupp at 310.457.7966.