The San Diego region has an estimated 2,800 children in foster care and 500 children experiencing homelessness and most lack the basic necessities to flourish in school and are unable to participate in life enriching activities such as sports, traveling, and artistic endeavors.
Take a moment and explore how these charities are making a difference in San Diego by providing housing, food, education, and youth development programs to children in need.
Computers 2 SD Kids believes all children and their families, regardless of economic status, need to be computer literate and have equal access to technology and the crucial educational, occupational, and financial resources that technology can provide to improve their futures.
Since 2004, C2K has collected, recycled and refurbished computers from individuals and corporations in order to re-purpose and give them to families in need. C2K also provides education, training, and technical support.
AjA Project provides access to innovative, culturally fluent, high-quality arts programming to youth in the most diverse and historically under-served communities of San Diego.
AjA’s methodology—participatory photography—allows students to use their images as a platform to safely and effectively discuss their life experiences, goals, and ambitions. AjA ensures that youth are given the skills and tools needed to use the arts as a vehicle for self-sufficiency.
Since 1999, Outdoor Outreach has provided outdoor recreational education for more than 16,000 under-served youth to explore their world, cultivate belonging, and discover the outdoors.
With every opportunity to hike, bike, kayak, or climb, Outdoor Outreach offers engaging programs that give youth the tools, support systems, and confidence to face challenges with strength and courage.
San Diego Youth Services helps vulnerable youth including foster children and youth experiencing homelessness by offering a continuum of care that provides basic needs, positive connections, life skills, and overall health and well-being.
SDYS provides intensive services to more than 20,000 youth every year by offering safe places to live and long-term solutions through shelter, foster homes, community centers and housing.
Since 1963, Arts Education Connection has been dedicated to advocating and providing arts education through a range of high-quality in-school and community programming.
Arts Education Connection believes art engages, elevates, inspires, and transforms local communities and that children discover their own creativity and new possibilities as they learn through art education programs.
Since 2001, Doors of Change has been transforming the lives of homeless youth (ages 16-25) by offering resources and support that have helped place over 2,200 homeless youth in safe housing and off the streets.
Doors of Change offers comprehensive music & art programs to homeless youth along with case management and outreach services which provide sleeping bags, water, and socks.
SAY San Diego provides services that address the comprehensive needs of the entire individual by offering holistic approaches that enrich youth, empowers individuals and families, and engages communities.
SAY San Diego offers more than 40 life changing programs and services such as individual and group counseling, before and after school care, drug, gang and juvenile delinquency prevention, and family self-sufficiency support.
Since 1981, Promises2Kids has responded to the needs of foster children by providing support to children who have been removed from their home due to abuse and neglect.
Promises2Kids offers tools, opportunities, and guidance to over 3,000 current and former foster youth every year to address circumstances that brought them into foster care, overcome difficulties from their past, and grow into healthy, happy and successful adults.
Girls Rising helps underserved girls achieve success through a mentoring program by pairing each girl with an individual mentor to serve as a positive, consistent role model in their lives.
Girls Rising also offers a series of social, educational, and character-building events for their Big and Little Sisters throughout the year to promote a sense of community, increase social support, and introduce the girls to new experiences.
Casa de Amparo’s mission is to support those affected by and at risk of child abuse and neglect, through a range of programs and services that promote healing, growth, and healthy relationships.
Established in 1978, Casa de Amparo seeks to ensure that children and their families receive innovative services for healing, for stopping child mistreatment of any kind, and for ending generational cycles of abuse.
Got Your Back San Diego is a weekend food assistance program developed specifically for children attending San Diego County schools who have been identified as homeless and/or food insecure.
Every week GYB delivers backpacks full of food to local Tri-City schools with each backpack containing two sets of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a few healthy snacks, enough food to sustain a child throughout the weekend.
Boys to Men seeks to build communities of male role models who, through consistent group mentoring, encourage and empower teenage boys to follow their dreams.
Since 1996, Boys to Men has provided mentoring programs to support fatherless teenage boys by offering a curriculum that incorporates holistic, asset-based mentoring practices, and encourages community involvement, self-reflection, critical thinking habits, and self-accountability.
A Reason To Survive seeks to create opportunities for San Diego youth through visual, performing, and media arts which leads young people to become confident and compassionate through the transformative power of creativity.
Founded in 2001, ARTS offers learning experiences in a variety of disciplines and provides professional mentors and paid internships.
Kids’ Turn San Diego was created in 1996 to bring peace to families, who could no longer communicate without conflict, by offering family workshops and counseling for children.
Kids’ Turn seeks to promote, support, and secure the well-being of children who are experiencing family separation by changing family relationships in positive ways so children experiencing family separations have happier childhoods and brighter futures.
Girls on the Run inspires girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. Trained coaches lead small teams through research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities, and running games.
During the course of a ten-week program, girls develop essential skills to help navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness.
St. Germaine Children's Charity’s mission is to prevent the abuse of children and young adults by providing financial support and community awareness to those agencies dedicated to the care, shelter, and treatment needed for victims newborn to 25 years of age.
St. Germaine holds social events throughout the year to establish needed connections and help raise grant money for local agencies serving abused children.
Angels Foster Family Network’s mission is to passionately and collaboratively care for children five and younger with diverse and exceptional families who dedicate themselves to each child’s well-being.
Founded in 1998, Angels Foster Family Network is a licensed foster family agency with a focus on prevention, based on the stable placement of abused infants and toddlers with nurturing families who promote healing and critical attachment, resulting in healthy growth and development.
Girls Inc. of San Diego County provides long-lasting mentoring relationships and research-based programming that equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers to grow up healthy, educated and independent.
Founded in 1967, the vision of Girls Inc. is for all girls to feel valued, safe, and prepared to achieve their dreams of college, career, and leadership.
San Diego Center for Children provides evidence-based therapeutic, educational, foster care, and transition age services to children and families struggling with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.
Founded in 1887, San Diego Center for Children offers 8 program sites and community-based services to over 1,000 people every day.
Just in Time for Foster Youth provides innovative and individualized services that were created to fill critical gaps for transition age foster youth (ages 18-26) that have been left by an absence of family support, elevating them to become self-sufficient, contributing members of society.
Since 2002, JIT offers transformative programs combining essential resources and knowledge with a reliable and caring community that provides consistent love and support which is often missing in the lives of foster youth.
Fresh Start Surgical Gifts transforms lives by offering free reconstructive surgery and other related healthcare services to help children with physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse, or disease.
Fresh Start Surgical Gifts provides the highest quality medical care, regardless of the family’s ability to pay. Whether it’s a cleft lip palate or a scar created from abuse, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts is here for the child in need.
Mandate Project Impact helps develop urban youth and young adults into the next generation of entertainment industry professionals through mentorship, employment training, and internship programs.
MPI delivers training that not only develops the youth, but the community and its businesses as well by producing talented radio producers, marketing and communications experts, videographers, and photographers.
Monarch School’s mission is to educate students impacted by homelessness and to help them develop hope for a future with the necessary skills and experiences for personal success. Monarch provides students with a safe, stable environment for learning with wraparound services to meet their basic needs.
Monarch School gives students the skills they need to improve their lives, develop awareness of their emotions and healthy coping skills, explore their passions, and plan for a life of self-sufficient living.
Home Start’s mission is to assure the safety and resiliency of children by strengthening families, communities, and systems of care.
Founded in 1972, Home Start offers programs to address the conditions that can contribute to risky or abusive situations – poverty, unsafe neighborhoods, lack of affordable housing, and unemployment – while concurrently addressing individual self-sufficiency and emotional needs.
Junior Achievement’s mission is to give young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices.
Junior Achievement offers programs that promote financial capability, work and career readiness, and business ownership that will help young people experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century.
Emilio Nares Foundation provides free transportation to medical treatments for underserved children with cancer. ENF helps families navigate their child’s journey with cancer by offering free family support programs and the gift of Hope.
Founded in 2003, ENF has safely transported over 4,000 children, distributed 10,000 hospital-approved snack bags, and has delivered 2,400 special tab shirts to young patients.
Kids4Community helps children and their families give back to the San Diego community by developing programs that engage children to the concept of charitable work early in their lives.
Not only does it benefit the charities they work with, it benefits the children themselves as they transition into young adults. Charitable work is a great way to build a resume and is fantastic to feature on college applications.
The Princess Project promotes self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to over 1,500 local high school teens throughout San Diego County who cannot otherwise afford them.
Since 2009, The Princess Project has helped provide prom dresses for more than 10,000 teens in San Diego County.
For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts has been building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
Girl Scouts is a place where girls practice different skills, explore their potential, take on leadership positions and even feel allowed to fail, dust herself off, get up, and try again.