Category: Take Action/Serving Your Community

25th Annual Dino Dash


Dino Dash, Tustin Public Schools Foundation’s biggest fundraiser of the year is having its 25th anniversary. 

The Dino Dash rallies the community together in support of over 24,000 students within Tustin Unified and helps support local public schools. There is an event for everyone – the timed 10K and 5K, the 2K fun run and the non-timed 15K and 50K bike tours. 

Join the Expo before and after the event for food, games, entertainment and plenty of giveaways.

The Seven Gables 50K bike tour goes through picturesque Santiago Canyon. The bike tour is not timed, so you take your time and enjoy the beautiful scenery. All participants will receive a dry-fit tech shirt, Dino Dash socks, a finisher medal, and a FREE food court ticket. We will have well-stocked rest stops and SAG support throughout the course.

If your not ready for a 50K ride, try out the 15K shorter course.  You will still get the tech shirt, Dino Dash socks, a finisher medal and a FREE food court ticket. Just watch for the signs indicating the shorter course.

Both the 50K and the 15K finish at the Bike Finish on Myford and a secured Bike Valet is available to store your gear and bike while you visit the expo.

You can sport this cool cycling Jersey in support of Dino Dash, just click on the picture to purchase the jersey, socks, lunch tickets or VIP parking.


Below are links for each course map , including start and finish lines.

Event Schedule:

  • 6:15 am – Race-Day Registration Opens (near El Camino and West St.)
  • 6:15 am – Bike Valet Opens
  • 6:45 am – Bike Tour Begins (near Auto Center Dr. and El Camino Real)
  • 7:00 am – Dino Dash Expo Area Opens
  • 7:15 am – 10K Chip-Timed Run Begins
  • 8:30 am – 5K Chip-Timed Run Begins
  • 9:00 am – Food Court Opens
  • 9:30 am – 2K Fun Run Begins (not timed)
  • 11:00 am – Event Ends

The event takes place on Sunday, November 1, 2015 at The Market Place in Tustin (Dick’s Sporting Goods lot), off the I-5 at Jamboree.

You can REGISTER NOW or at the event, registration opens at 6:15 am. If you register by the 20th you can save 10% by using the discount code SCHOOLS.

All proceeds benefit the non-profit Tustin Public Schools Foundation and local public schools.

Book Drive

Thanks for the Image
Thanks for the Image

My favorite children’s book store, Once Upon A Storybook (I know I always say that but it’s true, I love this place), is partnering with The Assistance League of Tustin to once again – give back to our community!

IMG_20150116_123337Through the month of October, Once Upon a Storybook is collecting new and gently used books for children in the community.

If you have books for kids birth to age 10 that are just sitting on your shelf unloved, bring them in and put them in the Assistance League bin at Once Upon a Storybook, so they can be loved by new kids!

Once Upon a Storybook is located in the Enderle Shopping Center at 17300 E. 17th St. #C, Tustin, CA 92780



Giving Tastes Great!

Image from habitburger facebook page
Image from habitburger facebook page

Giving back never tasted so good. From now and through September 30th, every time you donate $2.00 or more to No Kid Hungry at your favorite The Habit Hamburger Grill location, they’ll give you a certificate for one free Charburger with cheese to use on your next visit! Certificates can be redeemed beginning the next day, through October 31, 2015.

100% of all donations will go directly to No Kid Hungry to help kids all over the U.S. receive nutritious food. There is a limit of one free No Kid Hungry/free Charburger with cheese certificate per guest per day.

To find a location near you or to donate, click here.


Help End Hungry with $1.00 Pancakes


IHOP-short-stackIHOP® Restaurants partners with No Kid Hungry for “Summer of Smiles” to help end hungry.

Get a Short Stack of pancakes for $1 on Tuesday, August 25th and help raise funds and provide 2.5 million meals. IHOP is continuing the “Summer of Smiles” celebration by joining forces with No Kid Hungry to bring an end to childhood hunger.

IHOP and No Kid Hungry share the philosophy that starting the day with breakfast, and a smile, is extremely important, and have targeted a goal of providing 2.5 million meals this year.

One in Five American children struggle with hunger. No Kid Hungry’s mission is to ensure that every child in the United States has access to healthy food. IHOP is joining that effort by offering guests the opportunity to donate directly to No Kid Hungry, August 24th through September 20th.

On August 25th, participating IHOP restaurants will offer short stacks of their famous buttermilk pancakes for only $1 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dubbed “Share a Smile” Day, 50 cents from each $1 short stack sale will benefit No Kid Hungry.

To learn more about the fight against childhood hunger or to donate, please visit or


Fill the Bus


Help “Fill the Bus” with school supplies and reach kids with the good news of Jesus! Every year Calvary Church helps give back to the community with hope that these supplies will help encourage kids in Santa Ana and across the globe as they begin the school year.

Here’s a list of supplies needed:


The collection takes place at at Calvary Church located at 1010 North Tustin Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92705 on Sunday, August 9, 2015 from 8:00 am – 12:30 pm. Go to the South-Fruit St. Parking Lot at Calvary Church.

The school supply drive benefits low-income Santa Ana Elementary Schools,
Victory School in Albania – & Acres of Love Orphanage in South Africa –

For more info, contact Matt at or 714.550.2378.




Christmas in July

Image from Orange County Rescue Mission's facebook page
Image from Orange County Rescue Mission’s facebook page

Help the Orange County Rescue Mission bring Christmas early to the families of the Rescue Mission by bringing one of their ‘urgent needs’ items (diapers, baby food, non-perishable food items) in today, Friday, July 24, 2015 from 12:00 pm -3:00 pm and Chick-fil-A at the District/Tustin Legacy food truck will be treating you to a FREE lunch next door to Tustin Buick GMC.

PLEASE SHARE this post with your friends to help collect these urgent needs for families at the Rescue Mission.


Towels Requested!

The Orange County Rescue Mission has an urgent need – towles are requested! The Orange County Resue Mission helps so many people here in Orange County. They are in urgent need of towels for the men, women and children staying at the Village of Hope.

The Village of Hope is a 192-bed transitional housing program for homeless men, women and children. Opened in March 2008, the Village of Hope is unlike any other homeless shelter in the nation. This stunning development is meticulously manicured, tastefully decorated, and boasts more than 150,000 square feet of structures including two restored barracks, set on five acres.

If you can help that’s fantastic – if you can’t at this time, please help by sharing this post to help spread the word. If you would like to know what other needs they have please click here. Thank you!

Orange County Rescue Mission (Village of Hope)'s photo.

Gleaning at Tanaka Farms


If your looking for a family volunteer opportunity, Tanaka Farms has an option for you. Tanaka Farms and OCO ‘s Helping Farms Feeding Families Program hosts gleaning events.

Gleaning is the process of picking or gathering of vegetables  in the field when there is an abundance of a crop.  The vegetables picked by volunteer gleaners will go to families in need connected with the food pantries at South County Outreach and Families Forward in Irvine.

  • Limited to 20 volunteers per gleaning date.
  • Every child 16 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult.
  • Gleaning will last about 2 hours.
  • Must wear closed toed shoes. Be prepared to get dirty and muddy!
  • Everyone must pre-register.
  • Click on the preferred date below

Saturday, May 23, 2015 1:45pm


Stamp Out Hunger!


Each year, Feeding America partners with letter carries to Stamp Out Hunger! Today, Saturday, May 9, 2015, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will collect food donations in order to provide assistance to the millions of Americans who are struggling with hunger.

Celebrating its 23rd anniversary this year, the Stamp Out Hunger food drive is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, having collected more than one billion pounds of food since its inception as a national food drive in 1993.  The nation’s 180,000 letter carriers will collect food donations left at the mailboxes of generous Americans in more than 10,000 communities and deliver them to food banks and other hunger-relief organizations.

In 2014, generous individuals donated more than 72 million pounds of food, which marked the eleventh consecutive year that at least 70 million pounds were collected.

Wonder what foods are great to donate to the food drive?  Here are a few non-perishable food items requested by food banks:

• Cereal
• Pasta
• Rice
• Canned fruits and vegetables
• Canned meals such as soups, chili, pasta
• 100% juice
• Peanut butter
• Pasta sauce or spaghetti sauce
• Macaroni & cheese
• Canned protein – tuna, chicken, turkey
• Beans – canned or dry

For more information about the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, visit and follow the food drive at


Ripple Kids at SOCO


Join Ripple Kids and participating retail partners at SOCO and The OC Mix for a FREE, fun-filled family and community event. Ripple Kids is an Orange County-based nonprofit seeking to inspire and empower kids to take action in their communities.

The Ripple Kids in Action event brings FREE service projects hosted by several retail partners all in one place! The event takes place on Sunday, April 26, 2105 from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm and will feature live music, delicious food, great shopping and more.

Bring your kids (13 and under) for an event that will inspire and empower them to make a difference, you can register for this event here.

OC Mix

Here are some of the Great Ripple Kids Projects benefiting multiple causes, going on all at the same time in one location!

  • Plant Milkweed to Save the Monarch Butterfly – Organized by Uni Home Store
  • Make Cards for Seniors and Soldiers-  Organized by Granola Babies 
  • Pack Birthday Party Kits for Kids in Need – Organized by Party Pepper Uppers  
  • Make Brick Bots for Kids in Need – Organized by Brick Share
  • Make Toys for Animals in the Shelter – Organized by Girl Scout Troop 1884
  • Package Snack Bags for Kids in Need – Organized by Smocking Birds & Project Hope Alliance
  • Make Rainbow Loom Bracelets – Organized by The Max Love Project & Girl Scout Troop #3115


There will also be Fierce Foods Cooking Demonstrations where you will learn how to cook healthy delicious meals as demonstrated by some of the Ripple Kids and local professional chefs! There will be 3 demonstration times to choose from, each highlights a different class/chef partnership.  Demonstrations will be held at Surfas Culinary District.  Click here to Register Now!

If you would like to volunteer to help during the event? People are needed to help set up, implement projects, clean up and check in our guests. 4 shifts to choose from! Register on Volunteer Spot by clicking on button below:

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on VolunteerSpot

If you have questions about Ripple Kids In Action SOCO 2015? Contact Ripple Kids INC

SoCo/OC Mix is located at 3303 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Gleaning at Tanaka Farms


If your looking for a family volunteer opportunity, Tanaka Farms has an option for you. Tanaka Farms and OCO ‘s Helping Farms Feeding Families Program hosts gleaning events.

Gleaning is the process of picking or gathering of vegetables  in the field when there is an abundance of a crop.  The vegetables picked by volunteer gleaners will go to families in need connected with the food pantries at South County Outreach and Families Forward in Irvine.

  • Limited to 20 volunteers per gleaning date.
  • Every child 16 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult.
  • Gleaning will last about 2 hours.
  • Must wear closed toed shoes. Be prepared to get dirty and muddy!
  • Everyone must pre-register.
  • Click on the preferred date below

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 1:45pm

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 11:45am


Become a Book Doctor

Thanks for the Image
Thanks for the Image

There is so much fun to be had during spring break but here’s a service opportunity that the kids can help with. The Book Doctor is a program hosted by THINK Together’s Early Literacy & Math Program.

Think Together’s Early Literacy & Math Program  gathers gently used books at various events throughout the year. Some of the books collected require a little more TLC than others, this is where your service at this Book Doctor event comes into place.

As a Book-Doctor you will be rehabilitating gently used books for children by cleaning, removing, covering stains and repairing damaged books. Bring your children in for a morning of service.

No prior experience is needed and there is no commitment of your time. Simply stop by and help out with whatever you can. These “doctored” books will be disbursed into the community and to children at CHOC hospital.

  • Think Together LogoWhen: Thursday, April 9, 2015 from 9:30 – 12:00 pm
  • Where: Veeh Elementary, 1701 San Juan St. Tustin, CA 92780
  • Please contact or call 714-580-4630 if you have any questions.



National Pancake Day

Ihop-national pancake day

Flip for Free Pancakes at iHOP’s nationwide on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

National Pancake DayGuests from around the country will celebrate a “Decade of Giving” with the tenth annual National Pancake Day at IHOP restaurants and enjoy a free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes*. In return for the free pancakes, guests will be asked to consider leaving a donation for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals© ** or other designated local charities.

The Goal this year is $3.5 million for charity!

 Search out your local iHOP and help the cause! If you can’t make to your local iHOP but still want to help, you can donate online.


MLK Jr. Day of Service


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day that not only celebrates the life work of Dr. King but it is also recognized as a Day of Service.

It’s easy to serve your community but just in case you need some ideas, I have some for you.

First, In order to get the entire family ready for a Day of Service I have included a couple of videos, a craft and a link to great site for kids that features a video and activities about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Get your family in on the idea of serving and their hearts will be full.

We love books in our family but sometimes watching books come to life are a great option (especially when you haven’t had time to go to the library). This video is the book “Martin’s Big Words”

 BrianPop has nice video and activies just for kids.



I thought these cute and quick little “Dream Catcher” crafts from made from two felt pipe cleaners and yarn – so easy and cute.

Dream Catchers from
Dream Catchers from

 The Dream Catchers craft would be great to make while listening to Martin Luther King Jr’s  “I have a Dream Speech”

All For GoodAs far as serving your community is a website that you can just plug-in your zip code and it provides you with tons of volunteer opportunities.

Startasnowball also has some family friendly community service ideas. Although this post is a couple of years old, there are all still relevant and full of great ideas.


Are you a Shoe Stuffer?

If you’re homeless, you know all about Shoe Stuffing. Did you know socks are one of the least donated clothing items at homeless shelters? With the cold winter nights come cold feet, those without socks wrap their feet with newspaper  to keep their feet insulated.

The average person walks 4 miles a day. The average struggling or homeless person walks an average of 10 miles per day and most of them do this with newspaper stuffed in their shoes.


This December, Hanes will donate 150,000 pairs of socks to those in need. But you can join in and help the homeless by donating today. ‪#‎HanesForGood‬

Donating even one pair of socks will help someone in need. Donations can be made at your local Salvation Army Store or drop off location near you.


Give the Gift of Warmth

coat dive

One Warm Coat works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need. They encourage people to keep others warm by donating a new or gently used coat.

Health experts report that even a 2-degree drop in body temperature results in reduced heart rate, loss of coordination, and confusion. Adults cannot work effectively and children find it difficult to learn. For most, a warm coat solves the problem. But, for the now nearly 15% of Americans living in poverty, a warm winter coat is a budget “extra.”

It’s not just children who need coats – adults often buy the children coats but can’t afford one for themselves. This is a great way to add more space to your closet and help someone in need. It’s easy find a donation site or coat drive, just type in your zip code.

The Container Store is also accepting donations at their stores. In addition by simply donating $5.00 – you can help keep 10 people warm. It’s so easy you just text the word “CONTAIN” to 80100.