South County Outreach is a volunteer-based organization with over 250 regularly scheduled volunteers and 1,500 occasional volunteers that help throughout the year. South County Outreach volunteers help with all aspects of the organization including interacting with clients, sorting food and stocking shelves in the food pantry, driving trucks and picking up donations, handling retail responsibilities at Upscale Resale Thrift Store, teaching classes at the Computer Learning Lab, outreach, administrative tasks, and much more.

To volunteer, please RSVP for Volunteer Orientation.

Find out why our volunteers do what they do to help others, visit our Why We Volunteer page.

If you are interested in completing community service hours or looking for short-term volunteer opportunities, complete the Community Service Volunteer Application and email to:

If you are interested in a long-term volunteer opportunity, please fill out the Volunteer Application and bring with you when you attend a monthly volunteer orientation.

Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Amy Swanson at or (949) 380-8144 ext. 217 to receive more information.

Ways to Volunteer:

There are a number of volunteer opportunities at South County Outreach depending on your experience and availability. Volunteers help with our daily operations at our Program Offices and Food Pantry, Computer Learning Lab and Upscale Resale Thrift Store.

Volunteer Opportunities Include:

PROGRAM OFFICES & FOOD PANTRY – 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Receptionist Volunteer – Handle incoming phone calls, computer input and administrative responsibilities.

Lobby Care Volunteer – Interact with and offer assistance to clients.

Food Pantry Volunteer – Accept food donations, help sort food, stock food pantry shelves and assist clients as they choose food

Truck Driver – Pick up donated food from grocery stores, restaurants, schools, businesses, corporations and other community organizations

Grant Writer – Research, write and track grant funding

Marketing or Special Events Volunteer – Assist with marketing, photography, social media and events

Community Outreach Volunteer – Represent South County Outreach at community events


Computer Learning Lab Instructor or Administrative Assistant – Teach and coach students in basic computer skills or be responsible for class registration including phone calls and data entry.


Upscale Resale Thrift Store Volunteer – Handle retail responsibilities including sales and sorting, pricing and stocking donated clothing and items Management and supervisory volunteer opportunities are available.

New volunteers are required to attend a Volunteer Orientation. Volunteer Orientations are held monthly at our Program Offices & Food Pantry.  Want to see South County Outreach and different volunteer opportunities in person? RSVP for an upcoming orientation date here! 

To Volunteer, please register for orientation by select the green “Register for Orientation” button.

If you have any questions about volunteering, please email or call (949) 380-8144 ext. 217.

Saturday Cleaning Crew

Join the South County Outreach Saturday cleaning crew on the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m.-noon and clean the South County Outreach program offices and food pantry, sort food and stock the food pantry shelves and prepare food baskets for distribution to needy families. Call (949) 380-8144 ext. 217 or email to schedule your volunteer day.

Neighborhood Food Drive

Host a food drive in your neighborhood food drive by distributing flyers to your neighbors with our most needed food items, collecting the food donations and delivering them to South County Outreach. Receive one community service hour for every 40 pounds of food donated.

South County Outreach Clubs

Start a South County Outreach club at your school and do community service activities throughout the year to help South County Outreach clients.


Get practical work experience while helping those in need by interning at South County Outreach. Non-paid internships are available in a variety of different fields of study including social work, psychology, business, communication, etc.

For information about our student volunteer opportunities, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at or 949-380-8144 ext. 217.

Host a neighborhood food drive

A neighborhood food drive involves distributing flyers to your neighbors with our most needed food items, collecting the donations and delivering them to South County Outreach.

Participate in a grocery store food drive

On the third Saturday of the month, South County Outreach partners with local grocery stores and groups of 4 or more individuals to host Grocery Store Food Drives. South County Outreach needs families to help collect non-perishable food donations from shoppers at local stores on our Grocery Store Food Drive dates.

For more information about our Grocery Store Food Drives contact our food drive coordinator at 949-380-8144 ext. 206.

Donate while you shop for groceries

Pick up extra food items for those in need when you grocery shop. Give children a dollar and let them choose what they would like to purchase for those in need. Store the items in a box at home to remind children that you are continually helping others. Once the box is full, deliver the donations to South County Outreach.

Grow a garden for your neighbors in need

South County Outreach is always in need of fresh, nutritious food for the families that we serve. Throughout the year, harvest fruits and vegetables in a garden and donate the food to South County Outreach.

Host a Party with a Purpose

Celebrate your birthday or another occasion by giving to others. Throw a party and invite guests to donate food to South County Outreach. For example, on your birthday, try to collect as many pounds as your age or for the Super Bowl, have a competition between fans of the two teams and see which team can donate the most pounds of food.

Sort food in the food pantry

Volunteer in our Food Pantry sorting and stocking donated food on the third Saturday of every month from 3:30-4:30pm. Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Amy Swanson at or (949) 380-8144 ext. 217 to receive more information, or to schedule your volunteer day.

South County Outreach greatly benefits from partnering with businesses and organizations to not only fund our programs, but to serve and strengthen our local communities. Our programs to fight hunger and homelessness also provide opportunities for corporate giving, team-building activities and philanthropic awareness.

How your business or group can get involved:

  • Volunteer in the food pantry – we welcome groups
  • Sponsor our premier fundraising events: Empty Bowls and Festival of Trees
  • Hold a food drive – collect nonperishable items as well as monetary donations to fund fresh food
  • Donate auction items for Empty Bowls
  • Hold a drive for Easter baskets, Mother’s Day baskets, back-to-school backpacks or clothing
  • Adopt a family during the holidays
  • Teach in our computer learning lab
  • Give a memorial or celebration donation to honor a person or a special event
  • Host a holiday toy drive
  • Sponsor and decorate a tree for Festival of Trees
  • Provide in-kind donations of your goods or services for our offices or programs
  • Hold a donation drive or simply make a donation

All monetary and in-kind donations are tax deductible.

For more information, please contact our Director of Operations Renee Stevenson at or (949) 380-8144 ext. 220.

Make the Holidays a little brighter by adopting a family or senior in need, volunteering or hosting a food or toy drive.

Adopt-a-Family Program

Since 1997, South County Outreach has assisted in matching community members to needy families during the holidays. Families, businesses, congregations and other organizations can sponsor a family by providing a Thanksgiving meal, gathering the fixings for a December meal and giving holiday gifts to children in need.

For more information, call (949) 380-8144 ext. 217.

Holiday Food & Toy Distribution Volunteers

South County Outreach distributes Thanksgiving meals and December holiday meals and toys to needy families that are not sponsored by our Adopt-a-Family or Adopt-A-Senior programs. During November and December, volunteers are needed Monday-Friday from 9:00am-12:30pm or 12:30pm-4:00pm to help distribute meals and toys. Registration begins in October.

Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Amy Swanson at aswanson@sco-oc.orgor (949) 380-8144 ext. 217 to be a holiday volunteer.

Host a Holiday Food and/or Toy Drive

Provide holiday meals and toys for families in need by conducting Holiday Food and/or Toy Drive. Holiday meals and toys are distributed at South County Outreach to families and seniors that are not sponsored by our Adopt-a-Family or Adopt-A-Senior programs during November and December.

Click here for the Adopt-A-Family flyer.

Click here for the Adopt-A-Senior flyer.

Please call (949) 380-8144 ext. 207 to schedule a Holiday Food and/or Toy Drive.

Ways to help each month


  • Collect toiletries such as toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, baby wipes, deodorant and toothpaste for local people in need.
  • Contribute a cash donation to fund fresh food. Augment the nonperishable food in the pantry with health vegetables, fruit, meat, milk and other dairy products


  • Host a children’s book drive. Our youngest clients read books while their parents complete our paperwork and they get to take the books home.
  • On Valentine’s Day, open your heart to those less fortunate and make a donation in honor of someone you love.


  • Assemble spring baskets with toys, games, small stuffed animals and treats for children.
  • When doing your spring cleaning, look for clothing and household items to donate to our Upscale Resale thrift store.


  • Collect Mother’s Day gift baskets filled with lotion, picture frames, candles, scented bath soaps and other goodies for our young clients to give to their mothers.
  • Attend our Empty Bowls fundraiser on April 23. Buy a table for your business or group or just bring your friends.


  • Gather Father’s Day gift bags filled with wallets, body wash, razors, picture frames and other cool things for our youngest clients to give to their Fathers.
  • Secure an opportunity for a South County Outreach representative to speak at your service group, school, business or other organization to help us grow awareness.


  • Organize a summer food drive – this time of year the pantry shelves can get pretty bare – and focus on most-needed foods such as peanut butter, pasta, pasta sauce, bagged beans, bagged rice, canned meats and tuna.
  • Make a commitment to volunteer with South County Outreach. There are opportunities for groups, individuals and corporate team-building.


  • Donate back-to-school backpacks filled with school supplies for children living in low-income households. We distribute thousands of backpacks each year.
  • Hold a Christmas in July fundraiser to benefit South County Outreach programs to prevent hunger and homelessness.


  • Host a clothing drive, collecting donations of back-to-school clothes and business attire for our clients who are working hard to get jobs or to get better-paying jobs.
  • Support our rental and utility assistance programs with donations to keep local people in need in safe housing, rather than ending up on the streets.


  • Have a baby shower drive and collect baby items such as diapers, clothes, toys and formula.
  • Invite South County Outreach to have a booth at your fall festival or employee fair to spread the word about our organization.


  • Hold a Trick-or-Treat so Kids Can Eat food drive, collecting nonperishable items for our pantry as well as donations to fund fresh food purchases.
  • Get a start on the holiday season by hosting a toy drive. Each year hundreds of children receive gifts through our holiday toy donations.


  • Have your business or group sponsor and decorate a tree for our Festival of Trees fundraiser – it’s fun, creative and a great team-building opportunity.
  • Donate turkeys or grocery store gift cards so people in need can have a happy Thanksgiving.


  • Participate in our Adopt-A-Family program and sponsor a local family for the holidays, providing them with gifts for the children and the makings for a holiday meal.
  • Attend our Festival of Trees event – you’ll want to see all the elaborately decorated trees and have the chance to bid on one.

To get involved, call 949-380-8144, ext. 22o or email rstevenson at