Thank You for Thinking of Olive Crest Children and Families!

Thank You for Thinking of Olive Crest Children and Families!

Left to right: Mike Fitch, Vice President at HUB International; Tim Bauer, Executive Director of Development of Olive Crest in Orange County; and Dominick Tomaino, Associate Vice President of Marketing at Zenith Insurance

From longtime supporters of Olive Crest, like HUB International, to new friends like Zenith Insurance company, we are grateful to all who are thinking of at-risk children and families. Thank you to Mike Fitch, Vice President at HUB International Insurance, and Dominick Tomaino, Associate Vice President of Marketing at Zenith Insurance, for donating $3,000 in January. They met with Tim Bauer, Executive Director of Development of Olive Crest in Orange County, to deliver the good news!

We are so grateful for all who continue to think of the children, families, and foster families we serve daily. Because of you, an abused or neglected child’s life will forever be changed for the better!

Teddy Bears Take Over a Soccer Game…All to Comfort Foster Children in the Pacific Northwest

Teddy Bears Take Over a Soccer Game…All to Comfort Foster Children in the Pacific Northwest

How powerful is one teddy bear? On Saturday, January 12, many people in the Pacific Northwest found out when the Tacoma Stars indoor soccer team partnered with Spirit 105.3 to have a teddy bear toss benefitting Olive Crest foster families. And the results were downright heartwarming!

It all started when the Tacoma Stars first got involved with Olive Crest in December through Spirit 105.3 by hosting foster families in a club level suite and offering discounted tickets. Spirit 105.3 then offered to have a teddy bear toss at another game to support even more Olive Crest foster children.

At this special game at the Accesso ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington, the audience purchased all of the teddy bears individually and brought them to toss at the game. After the first goal the Stars scored, fans threw teddy bears onto the field to be collected. Over 400 hundred bears were gifted!

Thanks to this generous audience, Olive Crest foster children will have teddy bears to help comfort them in their foster homes. For Olive Crest foster children, something as small as a teddy bear can truly make a world of difference—especially for children just entering foster care for the first time.

We can’t thank Spirit 105.3, the Tacoma Stars (and fans) enough for this thoughtful gesture!

P.S. The Stars even won the game 8-5!

Three Olive Crest Families Ride Aboard Newport Beach’s Grand Marshall Yacht

Three Olive Crest Families Ride Aboard Newport Beach’s Grand Marshall Yacht

Sometimes, a special evening can last a lifetime in our memories, and what a time we’ll always remember as the Grand Marshall for the 110th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade!

On Saturday, December 22, three Olive Crest foster families had the honor of riding aboard the beautiful Grand Marshall Yacht in the spirit of the night’s theme of “family fun.” They were joined by 100 Olive Crest staff capturing the very best view of the boat parade via Newport Beach Marina Park Event Center, while enjoying a catered dinner, courtesy of Newport Beach and Company.

A very special thank you to Newport Beach and Company for these magical moments that Olive Crest families will never forget: a night of family fun, movies, music, and of course, sailing the beautiful Newport Coast.

A Letter From an Olive Crest Kid — Diana Alvarez, Former Resident Teen

A Letter From an Olive Crest Kid — Diana Alvarez, Former Resident Teen, Olive Crest, group home, at-risk, kid, teenager

Diana with her boyfriend, Jorge, and Nicko the dog.

It took me 25 years to finally be able to really, really appreciate Olive Crest.

I hated the structure, the well-balanced meals, the grading system that determined our rewards and consequences…most of all, I resented the staff. I blamed them for everything!

I know most of us kids shared more than being “in the system” in common. It was a much deeper connection and bond we had. We were all so broken. Speaking for myself, there was
never known such things as a healthy, balanced diet or dinner time…shoot…some of us were
lucky to even have a warm meal or meal at all.

We didn’t come from a family or support group that motivated us to do better and rewarded us with a weekly allowance, or field trips. Most of us were ignored, rejected, and had to bring money home, rather than to expect our families to actually spend money on us.

Currently, as a more mature, middle-aged mother of two children, people that have gotten to know me constantly ask “how did you turn out so normal?” I chuckle because I don’t think “normal” is the right adjective or question… The right question should be “Where did you learn how to be more ‘normal’?”

The answer is Olive Crest.

Olive Crest instilled in me the things I would’ve never learned from my dysfunctional and broken background. From teaching me the simple things like how to set a dining room table, use a steak knife, have a balanced meal, say please and thank you, do my own laundry and prepare a meal. When we got in trouble or grounded, it was always followed by a reason and explanation of the mistake committed, the consequence and the lesson.

Olive Crest showed me what the tradition of Christmas and gifts were, as I had never celebrated one when I arrived as a teenager. I remember experiencing my first baseball game, hockey game, and movie theater with Olive Crest, due to the donations they would receive. The best was when we were invited to attend Christian camp in Hume Lake, where I first realized believing in God and bonding with others was actually fun!

I can never thank God enough for putting Olive Crest in my life. For creating such a strong, organized, powerful organization that consists of individuals that really do care and taught me so much, that I am able to apply it all to my adult life and successfully raise two children: my son, a sophomore at Northern Illinois University, and my daughter, a high school freshman.

Thank you, Olive Crest, for making a difference in my life, making me the woman I am today.

With love and appreciation,
Diana Alvarez

Kids and Families in Los Angeles are Thankful…for You!

Kids and Families in Los Angeles are Thankful…for You!

The holiday season may officially be over, but we are still overflowing with gratitude for all the ways the Los Angeles community showed at-risk children and young adults that they are loved. From the youngest little one to the oldest teen and young adult, we pray that a sense of hope, love, and family is felt in the hearts and minds of all involved in this special kind of joy.

Olive Crest in Los Angeles Holiday Party

Thank you to Park Crest Christian church, who not only hosted more than 200 Olive Crest kids & families for our annual Christmas party but also provided 31 volunteers. Every child went home with a gift and was given the opportunity to participate in fun activities and get their pictures taken with Santa. SoCal Helpful Honda even came bearing fun gingerbread houses for everyone to put together and take home. What a special day!

Operation Independence Christmas Party

We also can’t say thank you enough to all the churches that came together for our Christmas party for Olive Crest teens and young adults. On December 23, they gathered at Olive Crest in Los Angeles to enjoy a Christmas party crafted just for them! So many blessings took place this day!

  • Praise Church West Covina, Impact City, and Eastside Bellflower provided scrumptious food, cookies, hot cocoa and coffee for the evening.
  • Chung and Laura from King’s Church provided $40 Target Gift cards for all the Olive Crest young adults.
  • Oasis LA provided them with a $50 gift card and gift bags.
  • 7th Street Campus provided additional gift cards to really bless our youth.

We are encouraged that long past the swell of the season, this impact will be felt. Thank you for helping Olive Crest put smiles on so many faces! We couldn’t do it without you!

Countless Families were Blessed by Your Giving Over the Holidays!

Countless Families were Blessed by Your Giving Over the Holidays! 2

No child deserves to feel unloved or forgotten on Christmas. So from giving a single gift to adopting an entire family, members of the Olive Crest community outdid themselves during the 2018 holiday season! Through our annual Be the Miracle campaign, thousands of toys, gift cards, and Christmas wishes were granted for Olive Crest kids and families. For example:

  • In Los Angeles, 47 families in our Adopt-a-Family program received day-to-day necessities as well as gifts they otherwise would not have been able to purchase.
  • In the Desert and Inland Communities, generous donors like Agape Salon; Cypress Wealth Services; High Tower Advisors; Holstrom, Block & Parke; the Grove Church; and Monster Energy contributed to Be the Miracle. Plus, Toyota of Riverside, Hub International, and the City of Riverside went even further to bring joy by sponsoring specific families.
  • Kids in the Pacific Northwest wore bright smiles when they received hundreds of gifts donated from churches, companies, and individuals in the community. Special thanks to all the volunteers who helped make sure Be the Miracle events ran smoothly, as well as those from New Life Church. One foster mom mentioned, “It was special to celebrate with ‘sister families’….It was wonderful to see so many foster-friends who have given us supplies, prayed for us, or encouraged us along the way. It was a family reunion of sorts!”

 

Because of your compassion, Christmas was special for thousands of children and teens who need to know that someone cares, that they are important, and that their dreams matter. Thank you!

Delizioso!

Delizioso!

This past fall, $40,000 was raised for Olive Crest children and families in Orange County at our La Festa Italiana dinner event held at SeaCliff Country Club in Huntington Beach. Nearly 250 compassionate attendees came together for amazing food, and most importantly, to give generously to help abused and neglected children in Orange County find safe and loving families. A special thanks to the renowned Town, Gown, and Apron volunteer group, led by Diana Casey, for organizing this amazing evening.

Families in the Los Angeles Area Receive “Boxes of Love”

Families in the Los Angeles Area Receive “Boxes of Love”

Olive Crest families received non-perishable food items, plus a gift card, thanks to Pacific Crossroads Church.

We love Pacific Crossroads Church in Los Angeles! They generously donated 50 food boxes for our families. Each box was filled with non-perishable food items and included a $25 gift card to Ralphs, so the recipient family could purchase a turkey or ham. This was such a blessing to so many families and is just one example of how donor support helps meet urgent needs for Olive Crest families.

Mission Inn 5K Draws Runners from Across the Inland and Desert Communities

Mission Inn 5K Draws Runners from Across the Inland and Desert Communities

On Sunday, November 11, approximately 50 Olive Crest employees joined forces to participate in the Mission Inn 5K Run in Riverside. People from all over the Riverside and desert areas run in this annual event. It was great to represent Olive Crest and the children and families in crisis in our community at this event, where the goal was to raise $10,000. Thank you to everyone who took part in this fun and worthwhile event.

Hey Jones Day, Look at Us Now!

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Jones Day law staff paints bright wall art.

All of us at Olive Crest’s Los Angeles office are delighted with our beautiful new office update, thanks to one of our trustees, Erin Burke, and her amazing team at Jones Day Law Firm! On November 11, more than 60 volunteers, including the families of the Jones Day staff, spent the day revamping our Bellflower office, painting, putting furniture together, and so much more to make our offices more inviting. We can’t thank you enough, Jones Day! We’ve always had a great place to work, but you’ve made it even better.