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®!

Get To Know Us | Get Involved | Give

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

Auto Draft 23

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®

Get To Know Us | Get Involved | Give

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.

100 Teens Wrapped in Support This Summer

100 Teens Wrapped in Support This Summer

Staff from Olive Crest in the Inland and Desert Communities gather together to help support the teens they work with.

Isolation, past abuse, and poor coping skills can be stressors that leave teens hanging in the balance and vulnerable to abuse during the summer months. And sometimes just a day away from the stress of everyday life to connect with other teens and mentors can make a world of difference.

Thanks to caring community partners like The Grove Community Church, this past August, 100 Inland and Desert community teens from Olive Crest were able to do just that! The church provided a wonderful event filled with water games, flag football, arts and crafts, and some delicious food.

But it wasn’t all fun and games! We are grateful for the opportunity to expose teens (who may have difficult family backgrounds and who need to heal) to ways to build positive relationships, learn more about themselves, and learn how to “self-regulate” their emotions during these times.

Thanks to supporters like you, we are able to continue to wrap these teens in encouragement and support this summer and all year long.

Get To Know Us | Get Involved | Give

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!

Get To Know Us | Get Involved | Give

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.

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!

Get To Know Us | Get Involved | Give

Inland Empire Teens Get New Bikes…Just in Time for Tour de France!

Inland Empire Teens Get New Bikes…Just in Time for Tour de France!Thanks to some giving volunteers at Century 21 Experience, some of our group home boys with broken bikes now have perfectly running bicycles!

Watch out Tour-racers: Some boys at our group homes can really give you a run for the money! Thanks to Century 21 Experience, these kids learned how to repair bikes that hadn’t been ridden for far too long. Flat tires…fixed! Broken chains…we got that! And after the boys learned how to tune up the bikes, they received the biggest surprise of all: Century 21 Experience gave each of them a brand new bike of their own and a celebratory BBQ meal. With their new skills, they will be able to keep their bikes in tip-top shape and hone their cycling abilities. The sky’s the limit with their potential….With your help, these kids can do anything! Could the Tour de France be next? Thanks, Century 21!

“Food for Thought” Prepares Young Adults for the Future

“Food for Thought” Prepares Young Adults for the Future

Several times over the past year, Olive Crest’s Chaplaincy program* has worked to hold periodic “Food for Thought” meetings with young adults ages 18 to 22 preparing for life as self-sufficient adults.  They are invited to dinner and discussion about a topic related to successful independent living (e.g., anger management, dating, honesty/integrity, school shooting, finances).

It is amazing to see young adults open up about their dreams, values, fears and plans for the future.  Without fail, the group offers great insight beyond the discussion points prepared by the staff leading the discussion.

These young adults are survivors and are intelligent! When given a little nudge in a positive direction, we learn that they are very thoughtful and aware that their decisions greatly influence their success in life.

This is one of countless efforts taking place with children, youth, adults and families at Olive Crest. And we are grateful that through your support we can continue to truly “Make a Difference, One Life at a Time!” ®

See Chaplain Frank Fried’s full article about “Food for Thought.”

*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.

Get To Know Us | Get Involved | Give

Thank You to Everyone in the Inland and Desert Communities Who Helped Make Easter Special!

Auto Draft 12

We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our donors this Easter, who made it possible for every one of our kiddos in the Inland and Desert Communities to get an Easter basket (more than 439, to be exact). All of the Easter baskets were brought to us assembled by our community partners, which made this an extra special outpouring of love and support. Thank you to Waxie, Wells Fargo, Michael Sullivan and Associates, Summit Water of Life, Sandals Church, and all of our individual volunteers who made this possible!

We also would like to say a special thank you to Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC, for donating 1,800 Easter eggs for a special Family Fun Day on April 17 for our families getting family crisis intervention. This day in the Desert Communities was filled with fun and laughter for many Olive Crest families! The Easter Bunny even came to spend some time with our kids! Every little one left with a painted face, a belly full of tacos and snow cones, and a smile.

Because of all your compassion, Olive Crest kids had a happy, fun Easter. Thank you!