Gimbel Foundation Helped Brianna Go to College!

Gimbel Foundation Helped Brianna Go to College! 1

Brianna, one of our Olive Crest teens, is now stretching her wings all the way to San Francisco State University! Having graduated from her local community college, where she received scholarship support through the Gimbel Foundation, Brianna is a shining example of what can be accomplished through Olive Crest’s program for transitional-aged youth.

Rose Welch, Lead Independent Living Skills Coach, says, “Brianna has a wonderful spirit and has taken the tools learned, and sowed these in herself and other clients. I am excited for her.” After her first-ever plane flight to attend the new student orientation and a whirlwind tour of San Francisco, Brianna is more than ready to continue to stretch her wings and see what the future holds.

We are so proud of you, Brianna! And we are so grateful for generous friends like you who make all the difference for youngsters like Brianna through your faithful, generous support of Olive Crest.

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110 Families Get Ready to Help Foster and Adoptive Children

110 Families Get Ready to Help Foster and Adoptive Children

From the Olive Crest team at Wait No More: Thank you to everyone who came to the event to support children and families!

So many children still need forever homes—and this past May, at a very special event, 110 families took the first steps toward fostering or adopting a child, or to support families getting involved.

Focus on the Family hosts the Wait No More event, which was held on May 18 this year at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. Focus on the Family partners with organizations and churches to put together one-day events to make it easier for foster and adoptive children to find permanent homes. Families at this year’s event could choose from 19 foster care services to work with—and we are so grateful for 43 families that registered with Olive Crest to make a difference for children and families.

Thank you to these families and all supporters helping transform the lives of kids and teens every day.

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A Magical Evening of Hope for Olive Crest Kids and Families

A Magical Evening of Hope for Olive Crest Kids and Families

On May 2, Jones Day in Los Angeles hosted A Magical Evening of Hope benefitting the children and families of our Olive Crest community, which raised more than $68,000. It was truly a magical night of mingling and enjoying unreal views of downtown from Jones Day’s suite as well as entertainment provided by Los Angeles’ most skilled illusionists. Guests also learned more about how to get involved in stopping child abuse and how its prevention can dramatically impact issues in our communities like human trafficking, homelessness, and drug abuse.

Our thanks to all our volunteers and Jones Day for making this magical event possible!

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Grocery Shoppers Donate More Than $200,000 to Stop Child Abuse

From April 1–12, our partners at Food4Less and Foods Co. raised awareness and funds to support Olive Crest through our Child Abuse Stops Here® campaign. Customers were given the opportunity to donate at checkout to help abused children find safe, loving homes. Nearly $202,000 was raised through the generosity and compassion of our local community members.

This will mean hundreds of children’s lives will be transformed, and the cycle of abuse will be broken. Thank you to our partners and donors for seeing the need and being a part of the solution!

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Social Media Influencer Laura Izumikawa Helps Gain More Support for Olive Crest

Social Media Influencer Laura Izumikawa Helps Gain More Support for Olive Crest 3

Laura, shown here with her little ones, uses her creativity to make a difference in her community.

On Saturday, June 1, Laura Izumikawa, social media phenom, author, and mother of two, hosted her 2nd annual Playdate Project event benefitting Olive Crest at the Southern California Children’s Museum. Reaching out to her 660,000 followers on Instagram, Laura invited folks to sign up for this year’s event. Dozens of families and their guests, as well as over 40 stylish vendors of child and family-related products and services, gathered for a day of crafts, activities, and just plain silliness, all while learning more about the realities of child abuse in our country…and how to stop it.

Laura first heard about Olive Crest through some friends who were in the process of adopting a child. And after learning more about the enormous need to provide abused and neglected children with safe, loving homes, she decided to get involved.

Social Media Influencer Laura Izumikawa Helps Gain More Support for Olive Crest 2

Laura partners with a company called Apolis to create eco-friendly bags — and over Easter weekend, she donated $5.00 from each bag sale to benefit Olive Crest kids and families.

Using her platform on social media, Laura has helped spread awareness about child abuse prevention and what Olive Crest is doing to put an end to it for good, helping Olive Crest gain more supporters and expand services to even more vulnerable children and families in crisis.

All we have to say to Laura is…

Social Media Influencer Laura Izumikawa Helps Gain More Support for Olive Crest 4

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Wine Women & Shoes Event Raises Over $170,000 for Abused and Neglected Children and Families in Crisis

Wine Women & Shoes Event Raises Over $170,000 for Abused and Neglected Children and Families in Crisis

Among the guests and staff were (left to right) Carrie Brock, Trustee; Kyle Houlton, Associate Director of Development; Tim Bauer, Executive Director of Development; and Kristina Morales, Trustee (all with Olive Crest in Orange County).

On the evening of Friday, April 12, more than 400 guests packed the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort for an evening of fashion and philanthropy. The occasion was Olive Crest in Orange County’s first ever Wine Women & Shoes fundraising event. The ladies enjoyed shopping, wine-tasting, socializing, and a fabulous fashion show — all for the benefit of Olive Crest’s children and families. More than $170,000 was raised to support our mission to stop the cycle of child abuse, keep vulnerable children safe, and restore at-risk families!

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A Strong Family Transforms Six Precious Lives

A Strong Family Transforms Six Precious Lives

Summer has always been a special season for Scott and Aubrey, who met at a Christian summer camp when they were teenagers.  Fast forward a few years — they still make the most of the summer months now with their six adopted children.

None of these kids got off to a good start in life, but you wouldn’t know it when you see how happy they are now. Siblings Angelina and Jameson (ages 13 and 12) were abandoned at a public beach by their mother, who had serious mental health issues. And Jackson was horribly abused. Before Aubrey and Scott took him into their home, he had been in the hospital for two weeks with nine broken ribs and two brain bleeds. Aubrey’s voice drops to a whisper as she thinks about what he endured. She can’t stand thinking about what her little boy went through. The youngest three were left at the hospital after they were born to mothers with substance abuse issues.

With Olive Crest’s help — and yours — the Ashfords have loved these children back from the brink.

Surrounded by Prayer

There are also two foster children, Jason and Hudson. Hudson, who is 6 months old, was welcomed into the family several months ago and has been hospitalized several times since then. He has a number of health issues related to his birth mother’s addictions and his premature birth. Doctors are currently running tests to determine the best course of treatment to keep him healthy and strong. Meanwhile, the family is active in their church, and Hudson is surrounded by prayer.

Aubrey says she has known from the time she was a little girl that she wanted to adopt children someday, but she also wanted kids of her own. That wasn’t to be. After nine years of marriage and a number of fertility treatments, she discovered she could not conceive. Of course, this was deeply painful, especially for a woman who loved and wanted children. “But God had already planted the idea of adoption in my mind, so I felt He was preparing for me to adopt.”

The Ashfords first heard about Olive Crest through a promotion at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Then when they called a friend in the Los Angeles area to ask for a recommendation, she also mentioned Olive Crest. Aubrey says, “It was faith-based, which meant a lot to us.”

She adds, “Olive Crest is so great! From the very start, they have been so supporting and comforting. If there’s anything we need, I can call them, and they are totally ready to help.” She starts naming all the people at Olive Crest who have been such a help to her. “There’s Christy…and Jessica…and Patty….”

She recalls one time when she was in the hospital with Hudson, who was in isolation. “Patty showed up with a Starbucks for me…put her mask and her gown on and sat and visited with me for a long time. We talked and prayed and laughed together. It was just phenomenal!”

When asked if she has one favorite memory of her experiences as an adoptive mother, Aubrey says, “There are so many.” After thinking about it for a moment, she says, “A few months after we adopted Angelina, she and I were alone one day, and I asked her how she was doing. She was only a little girl, but she said, ‘I’m good. You know, I really like having you as my mom. You make me feel safe and loved, and I’m getting all my needs met.’ How could I ever forget something like that?”

How indeed? Thank you for making such moments possible for children like Angelina, and moms like Aubrey. Every day, you are ensuring kids are getting the love and safety they so desperately need.

Teens Blessed with Free Senior Portraits

Teens Blessed with Free Senior Portraits

At-risk high school seniors had senior portraits gifted by Danie Henry and her professional photography team.

For the 7th straight year, Danie Henry and her team of photographers gave Olive Crest’s high school seniors free portraits. Twelve seniors gathered at Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens to capture this memorable time in their lives. Each senior enjoyed a professional photo shoot, a personalized photo book, and a flash drive containing all of the photos.

You and supporters like Danie and the folks at Rancho Los Alamitos are helping vulnerable teens in our community by encouraging them and surrounding them with love. Simple things like having access to senior portraits bring hope and possibility to these kids. Thank you to all who stand with us to support them!

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You Made Pick a Purse 2019 a Success!

You Made Pick a Purse 2019 a Success! 2

On May 5, more than 260 attendees gathered at the Riverside Convention Center for this year’s Pick a Purse, which boasted the theme of “Sparkle & Dream.” Guests spent a fun afternoon with a lunch provided by Chef Brad Martin, a powerful testimonial from foster mom Cathi Stark, and of course, a lot of purses! Everyone coming to our annual Pick a Purse event leaves with a brand new purse, and this year was no exception!

You Made Pick a Purse 2019 a Success! 3

Special thanks to all our sponsors and attendees, including Presenting Sponsor Holstrom, Block & Parke; and Chic Tote sponsors HUB International, and Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Specialists. Generous attendees and sponsors helped raise more than $65,000 in support of our local services. We look forward to seeing you next year!

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At-Risk Teens Dressed to the Nines for Prom

At-Risk Teens Dressed to the Nines for Prom 3

On April 4 and April 6, 53 at-risk high school juniors and seniors were able to select a complete donated prom ensemble at either Pacific Crossroads Church, Hope for L.A or our Olive Crest office in Bellflower. The smiles on their faces spoke volumes as they proudly assembled their “looks,” something they otherwise would not have been able to afford.

At-Risk Teens Dressed to the Nines for Prom

Thanks to everyone who made it possible for teens to pick out the perfect prom outfit!

Thank you to Wells Fargo for providing dozens of volunteers; to Christina Colome for donating more than 100 prom dresses and volunteers to set up, do make-up and hair, and help teens pick out their outfits; to Macerich Los Cerritos Center for contributing $1,000; and to Pacific Crossroads Church for providing such a beautiful venue.

Everyone involved gave hope and joy to the kids who attended. We can’t wait for Prom 2020!

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