The following are some of the programs in North County designed to make the holidays more pleasant for those in need. The success of the programs is dependent on volunteers and contributions of food, clothing, toys and money.
* Armed Forces YMCA annual Christmas Dinner, for members of the Armed Forces and their families, 2 p.m., Christmas Day. Cash or food contributions requested. Families also may invite a Marine into their home to share a holiday meal. Contact Cathy Baird, 602 Fourth Street, Oceanside, CA 92054, or call 722-7671.
* Faith and Love Ministries will serve dinner at 1 p.m. Christmas Day at the First Samoan Assembly of God Church, 400 N. . Santa Fe, Vista. Donations of food are accepted, as are clothing, toys, blankets and other goods that can be distributed as gifts. Contributions should be taken to 1011 Rhea Place, Vista, CA 92084. For information, call 758-0637.
* Poway Valley Senior Citizens Corporation is seeking individuals or families willing to host a Poway senior citizen for Christmas dinner. Outreach coordinator Carrie Griffith will match hosts with guests. She can be contacted at 748-6094.
Adopt-a-Family Programs ask sponsors to provide supplies for Christmas dinner, a tree and gifts for family members. Families seeking adoption are screened for genuine need. The cost can start at $100 and go higher, depending on size of family, generosity of the sponsor or other factors. Sponsors, who usually remain anonymous, can be individuals, organizations, companies or other groups:
* Escondido Youth Encounter. Most of those to be adopted are families under stress with child abuse or spouse battering problems. Contact Rosalia Harper, 744-3117.
* Salvation Army. To enroll for North County, call the San Diego office, 239-8027.
* North County Interfaith Council. This emergency food and shelter program aims to help indigent individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency. To sponsor a family for Christmas, call 489-6380.
Trees are decorated with paper angels listing name, sex and age of child who needs a gift. An angel is chosen from the tree, then a gift purchased, wrapped and placed under the tree.
* Mission San Luis Rey Parish Church, 4050 Mission Road at Rancho Del Oro. Sponsored by the parish.
* North County Fair Shopping Center in Escondido and branches of San Diego Trust and Savings Bank will have a tree sponsored by Salvation Army.
FOOD, GIFT AND TOY DRIVES
* Carlsbad Christmas Bureau primarily will distribute holiday baskets to Carlsbad residents. To offer assistance and make contributions, contact Milt Cooper, P.O. Box 99, Carlsbad, CA, 92006 or call 945-2436.
* Community Resource Center of San Dieguito expects to distribute about 400 baskets to low-income people. Donations should be made at 656 2nd Street, Encinitas, CA 92024 or by calling 753-8300 or 753-1156.
* North County Interfaith Council. Donations of food, clothing, blankets and cash are appreciated. Send checks or deliver goods to 430 N. Rose, Escondido, 92027 or call 489-6380.
* Oceanside Community Action Corp. will be distributing baskets in the North County Coastal area. Call 757-7011 for information.
* Office of Social Concerns, Parish Church, Mission San Luis Rey is accepting cash and food donations for its various programs, which include feeding migrant workers and senior citizens, Casa de Amparo for abused children and its year-round "Share" grocery program for the needy. Christmas baskets will be distributed. Donations can be delivered to the church at 4070 Mission Ave., Oceanside. Call 757-3250, ext. 314 for more information.
* Operation Home Front is collecting items both for Marines in Saudi Arabia and for dependent families still in the area. Christmas food baskets are planned for at least 600 families. Send toys such as beach balls, paddle-ball sets and buckets and shovels. Items can be dropped off at Jenny Craig locations, Marine Corps recruitment offices, San Diego Gas & Electric offices, and most check cashing services. Call 430-7358 for more information.
* Salvation Army canned food and toy collection boxes can be found at Postal Annex outlets, Vons grocery stores and Jack In The Box restaurants.
* St. Vincent's Charities distributes about 125 baskets each year. Contributions may be delivered to 241 West Vista Way, Vista, CA 92083. Call 945-8037 for information.
* Toys For Tots locations will be announced in newspaper, radio and television advertisements. Companies, organizations and other groups are encouraged to make collections at office parties and other events. For more information, call 537-8100.
* Vista Christmas Caring & Sharing Program. Christmas baskets to needy in Vista area. To participate, contact Tracy Lipinsky, P.O. Box 2525, Vista, CA 92083 or call 945-2273.
For referrals to other programs or to locate social welfare organizations in other parts of the county, call United Way of San Diego County, 492-2000.
Information is also available from local schools and most religious organizations, many of which participate in holiday outreach programs.