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

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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

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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 Barnardy, 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

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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.


Families and Children Now Visit in a Special “Family Room”

Olive Crest in Orange County recently opened its “family room,” where we provide supervised and monitored visitation services for families with children in foster care. Since this program started, 100 families have been served every week, and our desire with the family room is to provide a fun, friendly place where parents can develop their skills as they seek to reunify with their children.

The facility was designed to meet the unique needs of children who have experienced trauma. Neutral colors and comfortable furniture provide a calming effect for children and their parents. We have limited our center to five families at a time to limit noise, and keep things as calm and pleasant as possible. The room is divided into five separate settings with furniture, toys, games, and activities. We also have a room for monitored visitation, where one family at a time can visit peacefully.

The work of reunification reaches well beyond the length of these visits, and we consider it a privilege to coach mothers and fathers as they develop their parenting skills.

Your support helped make the family room a reality. Thank you!


Baseball Players’ Wives Prove They’re Angels, Too!

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Rhonda Tagge, National Development Director (left), with the team of Angels wives who helped revamp child care rooms for Olive Crest in Orange County.

Let’s hear a rousing cheer for the “Angels Wives Team”!  These gracious ladies recently came to our office in Orange County and spent hours redecorating our therapy and child care rooms. They did a wonderful job making both spaces feel more homey and cheerful; they will be a blessing for the kids who come here. A special thanks to Mariel Perez for heading up the project, along with all the rest of the Los Angeles Angels wives crew! Thank you for showing that your husbands are not the only Angels in town!


Grace Volunteers by Sharing the Joy of Dance!

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Grace, a young dancer, is using her dance skills to help bring joy to Olive Crest kids.  The 12-year-old has been volunteering at Olive Crest since she was 7 and recently taught a dance class for some of the kids at Olive Crest in Orange County. Offering these kids an opportunity to get out, have fun, and learn something new has made such a difference in their lives. “I love them all,” Grace says. She adds that she also loves seeing the happy smiles on their faces and knowing that she has played a part in changing their lives. Check out Grace’s amazing story here.

Volunteers and supporters help change children’s lives every day. Thank you for bringing joy to so many!



Olive Crest Kids Take to the Sea!

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Harbour Rod and Reel Club, a Huntington Harbor-based group whose members encourage the art of angling with rod, reel, and line, recently took a group of Olive Crest kids out on the water for a day of fishing, camaraderie, and fun. The group took off from Dana Point, which for many on board, was a first-time ocean experience. The boys learned basic technique, good sportsmanship, and teamwork from the experienced fishermen, while enjoying the fresh air and exhilaration of reeling in their first catch. Through this outreach, the Road and Reel Club members look forward to giving young people a chance to experience something they are passionate about. At the same time, if they can instill a love for being out on the ocean while teaching the basics of cooperation and conservation, the lessons learned can be life-changing.


Let’s Hear It for the Ambassador for the Children Award Winners!

Let’s Hear It for the Ambassador for the Children Award Winners!


Mickie Sharp-Villanueva and Dave Grosse from The Performance Group have been selected as the 2018 Ambassador for the Children award recipients.  These outstanding individuals were honored at our recent An Education for Every Child luncheon, where they were praised for their “strong servant leadership and selfless dedication to Olive Crest and the families that are supported.” Their personal investments and service for over 20 years has greatly impacted the children and families we serve. Thank you, Dave and Mickie! What a blessing you are!