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!

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

Countless Families were Blessed by Your Giving Over the Holidays!

Countless Families were Blessed by Your Giving Over the Holidays! 2

No child deserves to feel unloved or forgotten on Christmas. So from giving a single gift to adopting an entire family, members of the Olive Crest community outdid themselves during the 2018 holiday season! Through our annual Be the Miracle campaign, thousands of toys, gift cards, and Christmas wishes were granted for Olive Crest kids and families. For example:

  • In Los Angeles, 47 families in our Adopt-a-Family program received day-to-day necessities as well as gifts they otherwise would not have been able to purchase.
  • In the Desert and Inland Communities, generous donors like Agape Salon; Cypress Wealth Services; High Tower Advisors; Holstrom, Block & Parke; the Grove Church; and Monster Energy contributed to Be the Miracle. Plus, Toyota of Riverside, Hub International, and the City of Riverside went even further to bring joy by sponsoring specific families.
  • Kids in the Pacific Northwest wore bright smiles when they received hundreds of gifts donated from churches, companies, and individuals in the community. Special thanks to all the volunteers who helped make sure Be the Miracle events ran smoothly, as well as those from New Life Church. One foster mom mentioned, “It was special to celebrate with ‘sister families’….It was wonderful to see so many foster-friends who have given us supplies, prayed for us, or encouraged us along the way. It was a family reunion of sorts!”

 

Because of your compassion, Christmas was special for thousands of children and teens who need to know that someone cares, that they are important, and that their dreams matter. Thank you!

Thank You, Microsoft Volunteers!

Volunteers from Microsoft made all the difference for Olive Crest kids this past Christmas.

 We’d like to send out a very special thank you to a group of Microsoft employees who wrapped more than 500 gifts for our Be the Miracle drive in the Pacific Northwest, provided a moving truck to transport all the donated presents, and donated more than 70 gifts for our foster kids, along with all of the wrapping paper and gift tags to make the presents look extra magical. Microsoft employees enjoyed karaoke and a hot chocolate bar as they wrapped gifts for Olive Crest foster children. We couldn’t do what we do without the help of volunteers and donors like Microsoft…and you. Thank you!

Foster Families Benefit from This Year’s Wine Women & Shoes Event in the Pacific Northwest

Foster Families Benefit from This Year’s Wine Women & Shoes Event in the Pacific Northwest

November’s Wine Women & Shoes event featured a “Rags to Riches” theme.

Olive Crest’s fifth annual Wine Women & Shoes event was held on Friday, November 9, at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. More than 300 guests attended and helped raise over $243,000 for Olive Crest’s foster care programs. The glamorous evening consisted of shopping at eight marketplace vendors, tasting wines from our wine partners, enjoying a fashion show, and bidding on silent and live auction packages. They also participated in our “Key to the Closet” raffle relating to this year’s “Rags to Riches” theme inspired by Cinderella. Thank you to all who made this event special and supported foster families throughout the Pacific Northwest.

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.

Diapers, Wipes, and More Will Help Kids and Families in the Pacific Northwest

Diapers, Wipes, and More Will Help Kids and Families in the Pacific Northwest 1

[Heather Wood, co-owner of Woodwork Tattoo and Gallery, with some hygiene drive items.]

Sometimes, Olive Crest families need help with basic everyday items. That’s why we’re so grateful that Woodwork Tattoo and Gallery in Bremerton hosted a hygiene drive to benefit our kids and families in the West Sound area. Woodwork collected nearly $700 worth of diapers, wipes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, blankets, brushes, and other items to assist Olive Crest families. All those who dropped off supplies were eligible to enter a drawing to win a $150 gift certificate from the shop.

It all started when the shop co-owner, Heather, got to know an Olive Crest foster family. We now have a solid partnership with her and Woodwork, and she plans to host other drives for us throughout the year. They will be doing Christmas gifts, as well.  A hearty thanks to Heather, her crew, and everyone who donated!

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.

 

Thank You for a Successful Golf Tournament…and a New Program in 2019!

Olive Crest, Pacific Northwest, golf, golf tournament, children, at-risk, program

Every year, Olive Crest hosts a golf tournament at the beautiful Golf Club at Newcastle in Washington State — it’s a great day of fun that raises thousands of dollars to help abused, neglected, and hurting children. This year, attendees learned about a new partnership for Olive Crest called the Bridge Receiving Center. Starting in January 2019, this center will offer a warm, welcoming place for boys age 6 to 10 in the Pacific Northwest who are about to enter the child welfare system and will give Olive Crest staff some time to find a loving, safe home the children lingering in social work offices or staying in motel rooms during that traumatic transition.

Thanks to this successful Annual Golf Tournament, more than $58,000 was raised to help children and families! Thank you, volunteers and sponsors, for making this such a huge success for our kids!

Supporters Make All the Difference

supporters, partnership, donate, kids, families, teens, Olive Crest

Teens had fun with makeup donated by Point Hope this past year, along with their generous donation of water bottles, which were given to our kids for school.

Everyone supporting the kids and teens at Olive Crest helps transform lives! Today, we’d like to send special thanks to Delilah, host of the “Lights Out with Delilah” radio show in the Pacific Northwest, and her foundation, Point Hope, which focuses on foster care. This past year, kids and teens at Olive Crest enjoyed hundreds of makeup donated by Point Hope. Point Hope also donated water bottles that went to our kids as they headed back to school. We are so excited to partner with the fine organizations and people who help benefit the children and teens we serve!