Sep 29, 2023

CEO Don Stump Awarded CEO of the Year by the SDBJ

Lifeline's CEO Don Stump has been recently honored as the CEO Executive of the Year for Large Non-Profits in San Diego by the prestigious San Diego Business Journal (SDBJ). This recognition comes as a testament to Don's unwavering dedication and exceptional leadership in the non-profit sector, spanning over 30 years. Don Stump's journey with Lifeline has been nothing short of inspiring. Over his 16 years of dedicated service, he has exemplified the values that our organization holds dea. Don's passion for making a positive impact in the community, coupled with his relentless drive to create meaningful change, has been the driving force behind Lifeline's success. This award not only celebrates Don's individual accomplishments but also highlights the collective efforts of our incredible team, board members, and community partners. it is a testament to the collaborative spirit that defines Lifeline Community Services. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the San Diego Business Journal for this recognition and for acknowledging the vital role nonprofits play in shaping a better future for all. Don Stump's legacy is not just about accolades; it is about the lives he has touched and the communities he has uplifted. his vision, dedication, and compassion have set a high standard for philanthropic leadership, inspiring us all to work tirelessly toward a more compassionate and inclusive world. As we celebrate this remarkable achievement and 50 years of providing services to the community; we renew our commitment to the mission that drives us: to be a lifeline for those in need, providing essential services and support to create a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow. We invite you to join us in congratulating Don Stump on this well-deserved honor and to continue supporting Lifeline Community Services as we strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Thank you for being part of our journey and for helping us build a stronger, more compassionate community together.

Sep 27, 2023

Adopt-A-Family 2023

Frequently Asked Questions Learn More about Lifeline's Annual Holiday Giving Tradition What is Adopt-A-Family? Adopt-A-Family is a holiday giving program designed to help low-income families who are Lifeline clients celebrate the holiday season by connecting them with local businesses, organizations, and individuals who “adopt” them. How does it work? Complete the Adopt-A-Family interest form to get started. Lifeline will match you with a Lifeline family and provide you with a personalized list of the things they need most, as well as wish items for the holidays. Then, you deliver the gifts no later than December 9th, 2023to Lifeline’s Vista Campus. Please make sure to meet this deadline. Lifeline staff arranges the delivery of gifts. How are families selected for Adopt-A-Family? All families who are adopted are Lifeline clients and are nominated by Lifeline staff for their hard work and dedication to becoming self-sufficient. This includes families who have experienced homelessness, youth who have aged out of foster care, youth participating in juvenile diversion programs, survivors of human trafficking, and others. These families are low income or face economic challenges on a daily basis. How much does it cost to adopt a family? We encourage donors to provide at least two gifts per family member. Over the years, we have estimatedthat donors on average spend between $75-100 per individual. If you want to make your gift go as far as possible, please contact us. Can I donate used items? We do not accept donations of used goods for the holiday season. All gifts and donations must be new. Why is the family asking for electronics or other "luxury" itemsand not just basic needs? While we encourage families to focus on basic needs, we also ask them to think of a "special wish".Many of our families have never had the opportunity to wish for something some might consider a 'luxury' (for example, aniPhone, a tablet,or mani/pedis). Please don't be offended. Please let us know if you would like us to match you with a different family whose wants and needs seem to be most in line with your budget and expectations. Remember, you are not obligated to purchase everything on the wish list. We hope to provide at least two gifts for each person. You are welcome to provide more if you wish. When and where should I deliver gifts? We will be accepting gifts December 4 - December 9during designated drop off times at our Vista Campus. We will also be hosting our annual "Donation Drop-off Party" this year.More information and details to come. How should the items be delivered? Should we wrap the gifts? Some families love the surprise of wrapped presents for all, while some would prefer to wrap the gifts themselves. We typically see this with parents who would like to feel part of the holiday tradition of wrapping gifts for their kids. There is a section in the wishlist that lets donors know what the families prefer. We ask that you deliver your gifts in large bins, boxes, or bags so we can ensure your items stay together. It is helpful, but not required, to separate gifts for each family member into their own box/bin/ bag. Most importantly: make sure the recipient’s name and family code are clearly labeled on all gifts. Once all of your gifts are labeled and placed in boxes/bins/ bags, please label the container with the family code and list of how many boxes you have for the family. For example if there are 3 total boxes: Box 1 of 3, Box 2 of 3, Box 3 of 3, etc. If you have more than one family, please use separate boxes for each family. *if you include Gift Cards, please make sure they are activated at time of drop off. To ensure they do not get lost, please put them in one envelope, clearly labeled with the intended recipient, and write the family code on the envelope.* Will I get a chance to meet thefamily I adopt? Due to the nature of services Lifeline provides and in order to best respect their confidentiality, we do not allow donors to meet the family(ies) and will not provide donors with more than first names of family members. Can I adopt multiple families? Yes, you can adopt as many families as you wish as long as you can provide the same level of commitment to each family. We also encourage donors with larger budgets to adopt larger famlies (6+) as those are typically the hardest/last to be adopted. What if I can’t follow through with my adoption? If you are unable to follow through with your adoption, please contact us immediately, do not wait. We will need to make other arrangements for the family. I can’t adopt a family, but I still want to donate and/or volunteer my time. How can I help? Gift cards of any denomination and stores are used to support a family who either hasn’t been adopted, or who needs a little extra support. The most requested stores include: Food4Less, Stater Bros, Albertsons, and any gas station. Throughout the first 2 weeks of December, we need dozens of volunteers! Contact us if you would like to volunteer—bring family, friends, co-workers, the more the merrier! Email us at Is my donation tax deductible? Adopt-A-Family gifts and donations can be tax-deductible. You will receive a thank you letter in January describing your participation in the program; only gift cards or cash donations will be given their corresponding dollar value in the letter. Keep your receipts as backup for in-kind donations so you can attach those to the letter for tax purposes. Our tax ID Number is 95-2794253. Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Email or contact 760-842-6254.

Sep 20, 2023

CEO Don Stump featured on Velocity Vista Chamber Podcast

Episode 2 - Don Stump, Lifeline Community Services CEO Tune in to recent Velocity podcast by Vista Chamber featuring our CEO Don Stump. Don Stumpis a lifelong helper. After growing up in Texas and attending school in Boston, an internship with a juvenile court diversion program changed the course of his life, leading him to a career in non-profit leadership. After 30 years as a non-profit leader, and sixteen as CEO for Lifeline Community Services, Don is now preparing to retire. As Lifeline celebrates 50 years on community impact, the organization readies for the next generation of leadership. Join Rachel for a conversation about non-profit leadership, the importance of helpers, and what's next for Lifeline. Listen on the Chamber's website– Velocity - Vista Chamber Podcast - Vista Chamber of Commerce YouTube- Season 3, Ep 2 - Don Stump - CEO, Lifeline Community Services - YouTube Spotify Audio & Video- Apple Podcast (audio only): Snippets Google Drive:

Jul 05, 2023

April & the Funk Junkies Benefit Concert in Solana Beach

Belly Up Happy HourConcertto Benefit Lifeline Community Services Please join us on Friday, July 28, 2023, for a Happy HourConcertwith local north county band April and the Funk Junkies. The event will take place from 530-745 pm at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. Tickets are only $8, and $2 from every ticket sold will go directly to Lifeline. This is an easy, fun way to raise money for Lifeline; all you need to do is buy a ticket! Bring your friends! (21+ ages and up). Buy Tickets Online Here! April and the Funk Junkies play all the tunes you love to dance to from the 60s to today - not just Funk, just also Rock, Pop, Country, Disco, and more! For more info,,

Jun 30, 2023

Host a Dropbox for this Year's Back to School Drive!

Lifeline is committed to helping the youth in all of our community-based programs start the year off right. We know that for many students from low-income families, having the necessary supplies at the beginning of the school year helps remove barriers to learning. Join us this year in meeting our goal of collecting over 500 brand new backpacks filled with supplies--- together we can make sure our youth and young adults start off the school year right! There are three ways you can help: 1. ShopourAmazon Wish List 2.Donate Online 3. Host your own back to school drive with your friends and family. Here are some tips and pointers on how to successfully host a dropbox at your office, neighborhood, or other places of gathering. (You can download a full donation drive kit/plan from the button below.) 1. Contact Anabel Melo, / 760-842-6254 to sign up.She can also provide extras of the following: Electronic files or hard copies of posters or fliers to decorate your box/bin. Branded graphics and logos to allow personalization of marketing materials. Electronic or hard copies of a donation form for each donor to fill out when they drop off their backpack/supplies. This allows Lifeline to thank your donors and to ensure that they receive credit for their donations. Lifeline swag (limited quantities available) to give away to donors when they drop off. 2. Obtaina box or bin and place in a prominent location preferably with lots of foot traffic at your place of business, church, community center or your home. 3. Decorate the box. If possible, make the drop-off location area exciting (add balloons or streamers etc.) Smaller sized boxes/bins, as well as clear/seeing through boxes/bins give the appearance of fullness. A box/bin that appears full is more likely to entice donors to vie even more than a sad, empty box. You can replace with a bigger box as you receive donations. Below are some examples of boxes/bins: 5. Draftand forward an e-blast to your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and anyone you think would like to participate. Let them know they can purchase a backpack and/or supplies or they can make a donation online or buy supplies from Amazon’s Wish List. You can begin letting people know on July 10th that the collection dates are from July 12through August 2. 6.Continue to spread the word, with updated e-blasts and social media and drive traffic to your box and Lifeline’s website and Amazon account. 7.Deliverbackpacks and all completed donation forms to Lifeline at200 Michigan Avenue, Vista, CA 92084 no later than Wednesday, August 2nd. Backpacks will be distributed to a variety of Lifeline clients on Friday, August 4th, one week before the start of school. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Jun 30, 2023

Empowering At-Risk youth Stem Volunteerism

Unlocking Potential: Join La Casita in Empowering At-Risk Youth through STEM Volunteerism Calling all passionate individuals! Make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth by volunteering with La Casita, an exceptional early intervention program. Our safe space provides essential services to an average of 30 children between the ages of 6 and 12 on a daily basis. We believe in the power of STEM education to ignite curiosity and inspire young minds. That's why we organize pre-planned, scheduled STEM activities and labs on the first Friday of each month. These activities are designed to captivate the imagination of our kids and nurture their thirst for knowledge. But here's the best part: you can be a part of this transformative experience! We are actively seeking enthusiastic and creative-minded volunteers like you to join us. Whether you're a high school student looking for community service opportunities or an adult passionate about empowering the next generation, we welcome everyone to contribute their unique skills and guidance. No prior experience is necessary; all you need is a willingness to inspire and support these incredible children. We provide the instructions and supplies; you bring your creativity and guidance to make these moments truly unforgettable. To register as a volunteer, please visit our registration page [link:]. Don't miss out on this chance to make a lasting impact and create cherished memories with our kids. Join La Casita in shaping a brighter future for at-risk youth. Together, let's unlock their potential and provide them with the opportunities they deserve. Register now and be a part of something extraordinary!

Jun 21, 2023

CEO, Don Stump, Discusses Impact and Challenges on "Live Local, Give Local" Podcast

"From Transportation to Transformation," Lifeline CEO Speaks on Local Podcast In this enlightening episode of "Live Local, Give Local," by San Diego Gives we are thrilled to share a captivating conversation featuring our CEO, Don Stump, alongside host Dave Mason and co-host David Drazenovich. In the podcast, we delve into the transformative journey and remarkable impact of Lifeline Community Services. Listen to the full podcast HERE! Lifeline Community Services has continuously evolved since its establishment in 1969 as a drop-in center for struggling youth grappling with drug addiction. Today, we have expanded our range of services to encompass youth development, juvenile delinquency prevention, gang intervention programs, and more. Lifeline is proud to be an indispensable part of the Southern California community. During this engaging discussion, Don sheds light on the challenges we face, notably the soaring cost of living and homelessness in our region. To sustain our vital work, we rely on financial resources from government grants, contracts, and passionate fundraising efforts. Don emphasizes the significance of educating donors about our complex social issues and the need for sustained support to drive meaningful and lasting change. We are particularly grateful for the impactful role played by San Diego Gives in amplifying our organization's work and engaging the public. Don passionately shares how San Diego Gives has uplifted nonprofits, providing a platform for board members and staff to support their respective organizations and foster strong community connections actively. To learn more about the diverse range of services we offer at Lifeline Community Services, we invite you to visit our services page.Join us in supporting our mission and becoming a catalyst for positive change in Southern California. Donate Now!

Apr 27, 2023

Golf Ball Drop to Benefit Lifeline

Lifeline was selected as a beneficiary for Encinitas Coastal Rotary's Golf Ball Drop & Silent Auction on May 6, 2023. A special putting contest will also take place on April 29th. Lifeline is grateful to be one of the event's beneficiaries, which will help support our youth programs. Visit for more information!

Apr 18, 2023

Hundreds of Individuals Helped through FREE Tax Assistance

Thank You VITA Volunteers! Lifeline wants to extend a heartfelt "Thank you" to all of our our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Volunteers who made it possible for hundreds of individuals and families to receive free assistance this tax season. Lifeline is a proud member of the San Diego County EITC Coalition, which is committed to helping San Dieg families file their taxes and maximize their refunds. Thank you to all who helped families in need file their taxes and receive refunds that make a difference.

Apr 13, 2023

Leadership Update - CEO to Retire

Dear Friends, I am writing today to share some personal news. After 16 dedicated years of serving as CEO, I have decided to retire from Lifeline at the end of this year, December 31, 2023. Over the past decade at least, I have worked closely with many of you in furthering our mission to build self-reliance among youth, adults, and families through high-quality, community-based services. And I want to thank you for your support. I have seen this organization serve those most in need, grow to reach more and more in North County and beyond, and be responsive to the changing needs of the community. This year is also a milestone year for Lifeline, as we arecelebrating 50 years of impact in serving the local community.I look forward to seeing Lifeline continue to make an even greater impact throughout San Diego County over the next 50 years as well. I made the decision to retire from Lifeline for a few reasons. During 2022, I dealt with a series of health challenges that have now all been resolved. However, this brought into crisp focus for me that after working for 39 years in the nonprofit sector (35 here in San Diego), I have earned the opportunity to rest, prioritize my health, and enjoy more travel in retirement. Lifeline's Board of Directors has been proactive and thoughtful about my announcement, and they have already begun the process to recruit a new CEO with a focused interest in a new leader who has local and regional experience with both government contracts and philanthropy. They are looking for someone who has the energy and drive to continue the excellent work of this organization, to help it continue to grow, and to meet new opportunities as yet known to us. We aim to announce a candidate for CEO in the Fall of 2023. I have always accepted and worked with change – because it is inevitable – but also because there is always great opportunity hidden within it. If you have any questions or want to connect, feel free to reach out. As we look forward, we must also reflect back and acknowledge our success. To that end, Lifeline will be hosting its50th Anniversary Celebration event on Saturday, October 21st at The Seabird Resort.They will be saying a few words about my retirement and tenure, and celebrating Lifeline's impact over the past 50 years. I would love you to be a part of it in some capacity. Thank you for your friendship, collaboration, and support! Onward! Don Stump, CEO