Safe Families for Children Dinner raises $150,000 to keep families together and vulnerable children of the foster care system

Safe Families for Children Dinner raises $150,000 to keep families together and vulnerable children of the foster care system

Sadly, with the changing economy, many more families are experiencing financial crisis, unemployment or homelessness. Others are dealing with family violence, parental drug and/or alcohol abuse, illness, or incarceration. During such crises, many parents are not capable of providing a safe and caring environment for their children. Today, many families are socially isolated and their extended family is non-existent or not available. The children in a family traumatized by crisis become especially at risk for neglect or abuse as their parents struggle to cope with crushing circumstances and emotions. Often leading them to be placed within the foster care system.

Thankfully through Olive Crest’s Safe Families for Children program (SFFC), parents experiencing a temporary crisis can arrange for their children (newborn through 18 years) to stay with Safe Families for Children volunteers while they address the issues that led to the instability in their lives. And on October 10, 2019 a Safe Families for Children annual dinner was held at The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana to raise funds for these Orange County Safe Families initiatives.

9 year old Isaiah, accompanied by his mom Shakara, welcomed everyone to the dinner. For a time he, along with his siblings, were hosted by a Safe Family host family while his mom was in the hospital. Keeping his family together during a time of family transition. Special attendees and honorees also included Frank and Nancie Carpenter, Olive Crest’s very first Safe Families host family (2012).

We are so thankful for families like theirs who continue to open their homes and hearts to families in need. It is through them and safe families like yours that Early Intervention, Child Abuse Prevention, and Family Support and stabilization can be provided.

If you would like more information about becoming a temporary host family through Safe Families for Children or receiving support for your family through SFFC click here.

The Power of One Community Luncheon Raises $20,000 to Meet the Needs of Orange County’s Children in Crisis

The Power of One Community Luncheon Raises $20,000 to Meet the Needs of Orange County’s Children in Crisis

Keynote speaker, Jason Weber, the National Director of Foster Initiatives for CAFO speaks on “Moving the Barn.”

Each year, The Power of One “friend-raising” event through Olive Crest in Orange County highlights the importance of coming together to end the foster care crisis in our communities. And this year was no exception. On October 16, 320 guests joined Olive Crest CEO Donald Verleur and staff in honoring Saddleback Church, Ingram Micro, and Olive Crest adoptive parents Scott and Aubrey Ashford at the Newport Beach Country Club.

In line with this year’s theme, Jason Weber, author and National Director of Foster Initiatives for CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans), enjoined the crowd to “move the barn” of the foster crisis. He told the story of a farmer in Nebraska in the late 80’s, explaining how instead of simply reacting to at-risk children and families, attendees can be more proactive and band together to help families in need.

We are so grateful for every individual who helped raise more than $20,000 for local at-risk children, teens, and families by attending. And we’re grateful for partners like Saddleback church (which continues to pioneer ministry addressing needs of children in foster care) and Ingram Micro (whose staff has diligently volunteered and partnered with Olive Crest to meet the needs of families in crisis for nearly three decades).

Through The Power of One Community and supporters like you, we can continue to meet the needs of children in foster care and in crisis in Orange County.

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Olive Crest Teens Develop Meaningful Connections Through Consistent Volunteer Chaplains*

Volunteer chaplains make a difference through teens by building their faith—and having fun, too, at events like a Hair Cuts and Salon Day.

Chaplain Frank Fried has been helping kids and teens at Olive Crest for more than 30 years—and shares how volunteer chaplains can make a huge difference:

For the last couple of years, God has used one of our Orange County volunteer chaplains to make a huge impact in the lives of six teen girls: young girls who have faced, and still face, many life challenges.  And as they approach adulthood, their Olive Crest group home seeks to prepare them for the life responsibilities that lie ahead. 

Over time, through regularly showing up to support Olive Crest kids and teens, one volunteer chaplain has crossed paths with a dozen or more girls in the group home that she visits at least once a week. A huge blessing is the fact that our teen gals have been able to connect with and be greatly blessed by members of our volunteer’s local church.

Whether it be through a Ladies Night Out (LNO) with her “church ladies,” a Hair Cuts and Salon Day provided by a salon owner, participating in a fundraising car wash to benefit another Chaplaincy volunteer’s summer missions trip, or many other one-on-one connections that have blessed Olive Crest teen girls, having a trusted consistent adult in their lives (who is not a paid employee) is such a Godsend!

Read more of Chaplain Frank Fried’s full article about “More Blessed to Give Than Receive.

*Our Chaplaincy program at Olive Crest serves addresses and encourages the religious/spiritual needs of Olive Crest staff, as well as the children and families we serve. All Chaplaincy-related efforts are completely voluntary and receive no government funding.

200 Bikers Ride Through Los Angeles to Take a Stand Against Child Abuse

200 Bikers Ride Through Los Angeles to Take a Stand Against Child Abuse

200 riders arrived at Paramount Ranch after driving from Bartel’s Harley-Davidson in Marina Del Rey.

Everyone can do something to stop child abuse. What’s your something? Last month, more than 200 riders took to the streets of Los Angeles to raise awareness and funds to end child abuse in their community. And it was a powerful sight to see. (Last year, 50 riders participated.)

The police-escorted ride from Bartels’ Harley-Davidson in Marina Del Rey to Paramount Ranch raised a little over $20,000 for our 2nd Annual Ride for the Children motorcycle event. This support will go a long way to fund child abuse prevention, adoption services, and family resources through Olive Crest in Los Angeles.

Special thanks to Oltmans Construction, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, Harley-Davidson of Glendale, Bartels’ Harley-Davidson, Putnam & Smith, and Sanders & Wohrman Corporation for making a great day of live music by Aces & Eights, raffle prizes, and BBQ possible. And to Grand Marshals Lorenzo Lamas, Perry King, and Dave Ekins for helping make this year’s ride a huge success!

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Night in Tuscany Raises $93,000 to Address the Family Crisis in Riverside County

Night in Tuscany Raises $93,000 to Address the Family Crisis in Riverside County

Classical Pianist, music education advocate, and inspirational speaker Alpin Hong serenades Night in Tuscany guests

There are approximately 4,000 children in the Riverside county child welfare system: children removed from their families because of abuse, neglect or abandonment…who need love, consistency, commitment, and loving forever homes. At a recent event for Olive Crest in the Inland and Desert Communities, called A Night in Tuscany, this was the imperative keynote: Children and families in crisis need community resources, child abuse prevention, adoption placement, and continuous support. They are our children, and they are yours, too.

And thanks to 166 attendees, approximately $93,000 was raised to make an impact in the lives of at-risk children and families. This Tuscan-themed event aspired to transport guests to central Italy (by way of the California desert) and the sounds of classical pianist Alpin Hong. This night to remember was also life-changing support for many children in need.

We are grateful for each and every individual and organization that helped to make this event possible. Child abuse stops here®!

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San Manuel Band of Mission Indians help fund therapeutic staff for at-risk teens

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When young adults age out of the foster care system without support, they often face bleak futures, vulnerable to homelessness, unemployment, sex trafficking or drug abuse. Olive Crest’s Operation Independence Transitional Housing Program provides these young adults with a safe place to call home while also providing training and resources to help these young adults develop the skills, connections, and direction they need to function as fully successful, independent adults.

One of our young adults recently graduated and continues to maintain her employment and her own housing! We’re proud of her for rising above her circumstances and learning new skills to help her succeed. With the help of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ generous support, more stories like this will be possible! With the help of a grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Olive Crest has placed an onsite clinical team in The Ranch residential program for teenagers.

Here clinicians are involved in the day-to-day life of teenagers, building rapport and offering support in addition to providing therapeutic services. This model of care provides clinicians the opportunity to powerfully and consistently impact in the lives of Olive Crest teens. Child Abuse Stops Here®

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Southern California Edison Employees Cook Off to Support At-Risk Kids

Southern California Edison Employees Cook Off to Support At-Risk Kids

Olive Crest in Los Angeles Community Involvement Coordinator Nick King discusses the Fall Fest event with employees at Southern California Edison.

Each year, the Fall Festival at Olive Crest in Los Angeles helps children and families celebrate Halloween. During the time of year when kids and teens often go to extravagant events, parties, and theme parks, this festival (of games, prizes, and family-friendly entertainment) allows Olive Crest families to make special memories in a safe environment and without a financial burden.

This fall, about 100 Southern California Edison (Compton) employees showed up for an epic company cook-off to help make it all possible (along with Olive Crest staff and volunteers). It all started when Luis Ortiz, a Planning Supervisor at SCE, began planning their yearly cook-off event. After researching local organizations to support through the event, he felt Olive Crest was a perfect match. And the rest, they say, is history!

We are so grateful for Southern California Edison and their staff for helping Olive Crest surpass its $800 goal and raise $1,220 through one great cook-off meal.

Everyone truly can do something to help at-risk kids…even while enjoying a good meal.

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Compassion Overflows at the 19th Annual Gala Auction in the Pacific Northwest

Compassion Overflows at the 19th Annual Gala Auction in the Pacific Northwest

In May, Olive Crest’s 19th Annual Gala Auction in Seattle raised over $332,000! About 400 guests enjoyed the beautiful view of Lake Washington at the Hyatt Regency at Seattle Southport, a silent auction, and gourmet dinner. Each year, the gala ensures that we can fund much-needed services for families, like extracurricular activities, extra meals, and other support services. Thank you to all the guests and sponsors at this event!

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Foster Parents at Olive Crest in Nevada Enjoy a Special Day

Foster Parents at Olive Crest in Nevada Enjoy a Special Day

Foster parents gathered for a day of self-care especially for them.

This summer, Olive Crest children enjoyed an afternoon together, playing and doing arts and crafts while their foster parents were treated to a fully hosted luncheon at Mezzo Bistro and Wine in Las Vegas. These types of special events allow the parents to have a well-deserved break for a few hours to enjoy some self-care.

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A Forever Family for Ruby

Ruby Photo

 

For Ruby, memories of a childhood home were a vacant house her parents broke into. “It was not the kind of place where anyone should live,” said Ruby.

A heartbreaking childhood

Ruby survived on things like sour milk. She slept on a mattress on the floor, without sheets or anything to cover her when nights were cold. Her parents were addicted to drugs and alcohol, so she was often fending for herself.

By the time Ruby was 6 years old, she was caring for two baby sisters: Stephanie, who was 1, and Jessica, who was an infant. She remembers being so hungry she sometimes ate the powder that was supposed to go into their formula.

Then one day, a neighbor saw that the girls were outside, poorly dressed and barefoot, and called for help. That very day, the girls were removed from their home.

Ruby spent the next few years in and out of seven homes. “I was always angry,” she says, “and I took it out on the parents and the other kids.”

But finally, she was connected to Olive Crest.

Ruby’s forever family

One day, Ruby heard her Olive Crest parents talking about adopting her. “That’s when I knew they weren’t going to love me less because I was acting up.”

To Ruby’s delight, her family later adopted Jessica. Stephanie was also adopted by an Olive Crest family, and the sisters all see each other at least once a month.

Ruby is so thankful for her wonderful new family—and friends of Olive Crest, like you.