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.

Hit the Links and Help End the Cycle of Child Abuse

Calling all golfers! Our annual tournament to help provide safe, loving homes for abused and vulnerable children is just around the corner.

Join us on Monday, August 5, at the Glendale Country Club. Registration starts at 9:00 a.m.; shotgun start is at 10:00 a.m.; program will start at 3:00 p.m.

You can make a difference for abused kids and families in crisis while getting in a great round of golf, enjoying beautiful views, great food, and exceptional service at this award-winning golf course situated in the heart of Bellevue. Prizes will be awarded for feats of greatness throughout the tournament.

Go to www.olivecrest.org/pnwgolf2019 today and sign up while spaces last!

We look forward to seeing you!

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Olive Crest Volunteers Make Hope Possible!

Olive Crest Volunteers Make Hope Possible!

We are so grateful for our community volunteers! Without you, Olive Crest children may not know how much they are loved and thought of…like a gentleman we recently had come on board at Olive Crest in the Pacific Northwest (West Sound region).

As he comes to our office each week, his heart is to use his handyman skills to improve our facilities, so that we can better serve children and families, and provide a clean, safe environment. He has fixed plumbing issues, patched up paint work, and pressure-washed our basketball court (where families visit) leaving it looking brand new! You name it, and he is on it!

This has been such a blessing to our staff and the children and families we serve! And it’s such a great example of how everyone can use their talents to do something to support children and families in need!

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Campbell Nelson in the Pacific Northwest is Helping Kids Go to Camp!

Campbell Nelson in the Pacific Northwest is Helping Kids Go to Camp! 1

Are you in the market for a new car in Washington State? Then check out Campbell Nelson Auto Group. Through the end of June, Campbell Nelson will donate $50 from every car sold – at all three of their dealerships – to Olive Crest’s Kids to Camp Campaign.

Campbell Nelson in the Pacific Northwest is Helping Kids Go to Camp!

The campaign is designed to help abused and neglected kids make lasting summer memories at camp this year. The goal is to donate $50,000 for 1,000 nights of camp! So if you’re in the area, buy your new car at Campbell Nelson and make a difference in the lives of children in need at the same time! You may also donate to Olive Crest directly here.

Church Goes Above and Beyond to Bless Foster Children in the Pacific Northwest This Spring

Church Goes Above and Beyond to Bless Foster Children in the Pacific Northwest This Spring

It is through the continued support of ministries, organizations, and kind businesses that Olive Crest can bring hope, love, and safety to so many children in need. We’d like to send a very big thank you to Crossroads Bible Church in the Pacific Northwest for putting together more than 100 Easter baskets for Olive Crest foster children. They have so kindly supported Olive Crest children and families for five years now through numerous holiday and backpack drives. And we are certain that the baskets, filled with all kinds of goodies for all ages, helped spread some extra joy this past Easter!

As we enter into National Foster Care Month for May, we are driven by the great need for support for foster children and youth in our communities. And more than ever, we are so thankful for caring community partners and volunteers like you and Crossroads Bible Church.

“Thank You for Helping to Change the Course of My Life.”

Helen Says, “Thank You for Helping to Change the Course of My Life.”

At 24 years of age, Helen is one of those amazing people who seems to have it all. She is bright, happily married, and is starting her own business. And she’s a gifted artist — a talent that seems to come naturally to her.

Spend a little time with her, and you’re bound to come away asking yourself, “Is there anything this young woman can’t do?”

And yet, there was a time when she felt like she couldn’t do anything.

In the Shadow of Addiction

Sadly, when Helen was a child, her parents battled drug addiction. She and her younger brother were denied the loving attention that every child craves. Living in the shadow of her parents’ substance abuse, her early childhood was full of uncertainty and fear — she was shifted in and out of state foster care, separated from her baby brother, and struggling to understand what was going on.

Helen was full of potential…but as is often true of children growing up in unstable, abusive, or neglectful homes, her potential was stifled by fear and a lack of encouragement.

By Helen’s freshman year of high school, her family lost their home and her mom went to jail. When she was finally released, sadly, she relapsed. The family ended up living in a motel, struggling to make ends meet.

Undone by the Trauma

For Helen, this seemed like the final blow. She says that she and her little brother were “undone by the trauma of it all.” She says, “I was so exhausted from being in this constant state of survival and uncertainty.” She was deeply depressed and had lost her will to live. “My childhood best friend had just ended his life less than a year before this time, and the hopelessness I was experiencing led me to want to end my life, as well.”

On the night Helen was planning to end her life, a woman living in the motel reached out to her, feeling compelled to encourage her. The woman shared her own story with Helen and shared about God’s love, which was something Helen desperately needed to hear.

It was just the nudge Helen needed to find the courage to keep going. Filled with hope, she chose to live her life to share God’s love, as well. She prayed that God would provide a safe place for her and her brother to live, and soon, Olive Crest learned about Helen’s situation. She and her brother were placed together with a loving family, giving her mother an opportunity to get support, as well.

She had never experienced anything like the love and stability her Olive Crest family gave her. They were firm, but kind. They kept her to a schedule, helped her with her homework, and made sure she had food, clothing, and all the basic necessities to succeed in school and heal from her past. Helen says, “Our lives were being completely transformed. I remember hiding away in the bathroom, weeping with gratitude and relief. We had three meals a day, a safe, loving home, rides to school, new clothes, and a second chance at a childhood.”

Helen had a lot to work through, but leaning on God, her Olive Crest family, and her new community, she graduated high school with a 3.9 GPA — after starting with a 0.5 GPA. Her artistic talent blossomed, bringing her acclaim within her school and community.

“Thank You for Helping to Change the Course of My Life.”

She earned an associate’s degree in child development from Saddleback College, and a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership for Christian ministry from Simpson University. Today, Helen is married, and is launching a business selling products she designs and that benefit foster children. She is also a frequent speaker at schools, churches, and other community groups.

Stories like this are only possible because of generous friends like you.

A Heart Full of Gratitude

Helen’s heart is beyond grateful for caring supporters who have reached out through Olive Crest to help impact and change the course of her life forever. She says that when she was married in July of 2018, she “was surrounded by all the Safe Families that my brother and I lived with in high school and even in college.” This is her “forever family” that she will always treasure.

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More Help for Young Adults is on the Way

More Help for Young Adults is on the Way

Our West Sound office in the Pacific Northwest will soon launch a residential housing model for our Independent Living Services program. This transitional housing program will benefit young adults from 18 to 21, who are transitioning from the system to living independently. During their stay, they will build independent living skills, establish employment and educational goals, and work toward sustainability. The goal of the program is to help these young men and women develop the skills and achieve the income they need to live independently. We are deeply grateful for generous friends like you who are making it all possible!

Time Out for Foster Parents in the Pacific Northwest

Time Out for Foster Parents in the Pacific Northwest

Crafts and other activities for kids at a Foster Parent Night Out event allowed foster parents an evening of respite support, thanks to Crossroads Bible Church and the National Charity League.

If you are a foster parent, you know this truth: It’s incredibly rewarding…and incredibly hard. At Olive Crest, we know it’s not only important to care well for the children in our care, but also the families who are serving and sacrificing to help these precious children heal. Kids from abusive and traumatic backgrounds need so much, and it takes parents going well beyond the extra mile to build trust, instill new truths, and give consistent love to help children heal from the wounds already inflicted.

One of our supporting churches in the Pacific Northwest, Crossroads Bible Church, understands this, as well. Recently, 42 foster children from Olive Crest families were hosted at the church for Foster Parent Night Out: a full evening of activities, including basketball, crafts, movie time, and dinner provided by the National Charity League. The moms and dads took that time to recharge at the movies, at home, or a dinner out to catch up on quality time together. We are so grateful for the generous community of churches and volunteers who support our Olive Crest families, so they can be the best possible parents to fragile and healing children.

Make this Easter one to remember for children in need.

Did you know some children have gone their whole lives without celebrating the joy of Easter? You can make a big difference for kids and families this spring by donating during our Easter basket drive for Olive Crest children and teens. We can only do it with the support of compassionate donors like you!

Please drop off a pre-filled Easter basket (or baskets) at an Olive Crest location near you.

Orange County

02/26/2019 – 04/12/2019
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

2130 East 4th St., Suite #200, Santa Ana, CA 92705

For a list of Easter basket themes and ideas, click here.

For additional information, contact the Community Involvement department at 714.543.5437, x1290, or info@olivecrest.org.

Los Angeles

03/04/2019 – 03/29/2019
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

17800 Woodruff Ave., #F, Bellflower, CA 90706

Find out more about the Los Angeles Easter basket drive here.

For additional information, contact Nicholas King at nicholas-king@olivecrest.org or 562.977.6964.

Inland Communities

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

42-580 Caroline Ct., Suite A, Palm Desert, CA 92211-0815

For more information, contact Laurel Henderson at laurel-henderson@olivecrest.org or 951.300.1189.

Desert Communities

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

42-580 Caroline Ct., Suite A, Palm Desert, CA 92211-0815

For more information, contact Laurel Henderson at laurel-henderson@olivecrest.org or 951.300.1189.


03/04/2019 – 04/04/2019
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

4285 North Rancho Drive, Suite 160, Las Vegas, NV 89130.

For more information, contact Evelyn Kovacevich at evelyn-kovacevich@olivecrest.org or 702.835.1907.

Pacific Northwest

04/01/2019 – 04/05/2019
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

2500 116th Ave. NE, Ste. 1, Bellevue, WA 98004

Easter baskets should be gender and age-specific, but could consist of items such as a coloring book and crayons, stickers, a small toy, a couple pieces of candy, bubbles, etc.

For more information, please contact Susanna Kind at susanna-kind@olivecrest.org.

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!