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!

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



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.

The Power of One: Making a Difference… “One Life at a Time.”®

The Power of One: Making a Difference… “One Life at a Time.”®

The Power of One Luncheon honored friends and partners of Olive Crest. Pictured are: Wendy McMahan, Director of Foster, Adoptions, and Kinship of Olive Crest in Orange County; Kaye Geiger, who is connected with Mariners Church; Laurie Beshore, also connected with Mariners Church; and Monte Pries, Safe Families Case Supervisor

How much can one person do to make the world a better place? A great deal, as was shown at our Power of One Luncheon held on October 30, 2018, at Newport Beach Country Club. More than 325 people attended to hear stirring stories about the powerful impact just one person can have in a child’s life. More than $50,000 was raised to support the children and families we serve. Several special partners and friends were also honored: Mariners Church, R.D. Olson Construction, and the Anderson Family.

Children in Need to Benefit from Safe Families for Children Dinner

Children in Need to Benefit from Safe Families for Children DinnerChildren in need will benefit from all the funds raised at the latest Safe Families for Children Dinner, thanks to California Credit Union, who sponsored the dinner.

Safe Families for Children helps provide temporary homes for children while parents address issues that led to instability in their lives. This fall, more than $176,000 was raised for the program when the annual Safe Families for Children Dinner was held at the beautiful Santa Ana Country Club. That’s a record for the annual event, as were the nearly 200 tickets sold! Guests enjoyed a delicious meal in elegant surroundings and learned about the work that Safe Families for Children does in our community.

A heartfelt thank you to all those who attended and to the California Credit Union, who sponsored the dinner so that all money raised could go directly to help children in need.

It’s Easy to Support Kids and Families!

It’s Easy to Support Kids and Families!

Here’s a great way to make your grocery shopping easier and support Olive Crest at the same time: Buy a reusable Olive Crest bag at your favorite store. The bags are now offered at Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, Northgate Markets, Gelson’s, and Numero Uno — and 8 cents from each bag purchased is donated directly back to Olive Crest.

It’s a great way to support Olive Crest’s work in your community. Look for the Olive Crest bags in your neighborhood store, and help us move toward our goal of ending the cycle of child abuse and neglect.

Families Receive Help with Monthly Groceries

Olive Crest, At-Risk Kids and Families, Donation

We are so grateful for loyal donors who give generously to help Olive Crest continue to change the lives of at-risk children and families. We want to send out a special thank you to Sri, an Orange County resident who has committed to donating 50 25-pound boxes of groceries every month, to help families in our programs for relative caregivers and those receiving family crisis intervention in Orange County. That’s 1,000 pounds of groceries a month, and that’s no small potatoes!  Thank you, Sri, for your generous, caring heart!

Teens and Young Adults Step Into Their Remodeled Residential Home

Olive Crest, at-risk teens, at-risk families, at-risk kids, residential home, group home, donate

Left to right: Tim Bauer, Executive Director of Development, Olive Crest in Orange County; Tim Mustard, TCA Architects; Bill Wilhelm (President, R.D. Olson Construction; Kerri Dunkelberger, Executive Director, Olive Crest in Orange County; Steven Bernardy, Trustee President Emeritus, Olive Crest, Orange County; Dave Furman, Project Manager, R.D. Olson Construction.


Young adults at Olive Crest residential homes deserve living conditions where they can feel at home. That’s why one of our short-term therapeutic residential homes in Orange County has undergone a breathtaking transformation. The home, which was built in 1954, now has a spacious kitchen and living area, along with new flooring and appliances, a top-quality water heater, air conditioning, and more. The makeover was made possible by Tim Mustard, an Olive Crest trustee and architect with TCA Architects, R.D. Olson Construction in Irvine, and local contractors. A special thanks to everyone involved, including Tim Mustard; Bill Wilhelm; and Dave Furman, President and Project Manager of R.D. Olson Construction.

Smart & Final Shows Compassion for At-Risk Kids and Families

Olive Crest, kids, at-risk kids, at-risk children, families, Smart & Final, donate

You probably already know that Smart & Final is a great place to shop for quality groceries at great prices. But did you know that the company’s management and employees care very much about the children and families in the communities they serve? Case in point, this summer they presented a $400,000 check to Olive Crest from their most recent in-store mobile campaign! This fantastic donation will greatly impact the children and families of Olive Crest. We can’t thank Smart & Final enough for their passion and contribution to the ongoing fight against child abuse.