Holiday Helpers Warehouse

UPDATE: Due to the COVID 19 pandemic our 2020 Holiday Helpers Warehouse program is changing. Stay tuned for more information.

The holidays are celebrated in a multitude of ways, but some families in our Contra Costa communities are not able to enjoy the time as they struggle to provide “the basics” to survive. Contra Costa County has, for the last 30 years, helped thousands of families not only survive the holidays, but feel some of that warmth and compassion we all hope for. The Employment and Human Services Department (EHSD) sponsors the Holiday Helpers Warehouse which connects donors in the community with people in need. Donors include service groups, corporations, churches, schools and individuals from all over the county.

This program is organized by the Volunteer & Emergency Services unit and families are referred to this program by their social workers within EHSD earlier in the season. A new holiday season is around the corner. In the spirit of the season, perhaps instead of thinking of what I want for Christmas, we should think of what people in need want for Christmas. For sure, things like warm clothes, toys, books and a plate of good food are going to be on their minds. But we cannot leave them to celebrate just with imaginary things. Now is our time to donate gifts and goodies to make their dreams become real. The best way to know what to donate is very simple: Ask your own kids what they want for Christmas. Volunteer & Emergency Services has been working with more than 200 volunteers for over 30 years providing gifts, food and warm clothes to thousands of people in need. You can help us to continue our happy task of providing joy to families, especially children, at the holidays.

How can you help?
Our donation program runs from within the first two weeks each year. You can donate new and warm clothes for children age infant to 18, toys or gift and food certificates. To help you with your holiday shopping, here is the list of our most needed items for HHW.

Popular Toys for Infants

Illumination Station (Sassy)
Swap ‘n’ Go Snail (
Stacking Blocks
Shape matching toys
Elmo Live!

Popular Toys for Preschoolers

Animal Scramble (Wild Planet)
Curious Bonz Bank (Curious Toys)
Wonder Pets Ming Ming or Linny
Legos or MegaBlocks
Diego Talking Rescue Vehicle
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Tonka BounceBack Racer
My First LeapPad
Animal Planet Baby Jungle Playset
PlayDoh Creative Center
Sesame St. K’Nex
Talking Tool Chest
Baby Dolls (any)

Popular Toys for Ages 5-8

STEM toys
Action Figures
Blokus (game)
LeapPad learning system
Learn & Groove Animal Sounds Guitar
Kid Designs Spiderman Learning Laptop
Crayola Scribble & Sing Art Station
Doodle Pro Combo
Barbie & friends
Bratz dolls & accessories
Hot Wheels sets
Board Games (Chutes and Ladders, etc.)
Anything “Disney”
Anything “iCarly”

Popular Toys for Ages 9-12

STEM toys
K’Nex & Legos
Anything “Guitar Hero”
Star Wars items
Marvel Transformers figures
Iron Man & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Remote control cars
Scooters or Razors
Sports balls of all types
Board Games
FurReal Friends Pets
Anything “High School Musical”
Easy Bake Oven

Popular Gifts for Teens

Soccer balls
Makeup & Nail kits
Sports team shirts
Movie tickets/coupons

It takes a concentrated effort to aid so many struggling families. Thanks to you and your thoughtfulness, Holiday Helpers works!