Nearly 2,000 Families Line Up for Drive-Thru Grocery Donations During the COVID-19 Crisis

Nearly 2,000 Families Line Up for Drive-Thru Grocery Donations During the COVID-19 Crisis

In times like these—when workers are being laid-off and children no longer have school lunches—it can be uncertain where a family’s next meal will come from. That’s why on March 26, cars were lined up for blocks to get into the parking lot at Olive Crest in Orange County—all filled with families hoping to pick up groceries generously donated by supporters.

Nearly 2,000 Families Line Up for Drive-Thru Grocery Donations During the COVID-19 Crisis 3    Nearly 2,000 Families Line Up for Drive-Thru Grocery Donations During the COVID-19 Crisis 1

Retailers in the grocery industry are regular supporters of Olive Crest—and they generously stepped up to donate more than 50 pallets of food. Families were notified through flyers and social media, and flocked to the drive-thru event.

Many cars driving through represented multiple families with many children at home, and they were gifted with an unexpected hot lunch from an In n’ Out—another supporter graciously helping out families.

Nearly 2,000 Families Line Up for Drive-Thru Grocery Donations During the COVID-19 Crisis 2   Nearly 2,000 Families Line Up for Drive-Thru Grocery Donations During the COVID-19 Crisis 4

After six hours, 3,000 bags of groceries were gifted to families in need. More than 60 dedicated Olive Crest staff lent a helping hand to the drive-thru efforts.

“In these challenging times, it is a gift to serve our vulnerable Olive Crest Families,” said Jennifer Halliburton, Church Engagement and Community Involvement Director for OC in Orange County. “We are especially grateful for our church and community partners who continue to give sacrificially to support safe children and strong families.”

Get To Know Us | Get Involved | Give

Hundreds “Pick a Purse” and Help Stop Child Abuse

Hundreds “Pick a Purse” and Help Stop Child Abuse

Last month, more than 450 women and men from the grocery industry came together to support Olive Crest children and families. They enjoyed an afternoon filled with hundreds of purses, raffle prizes, and accessories up for grabs for a great cause: Olive Crest Food Industry’s 2nd Annual Pick-a-Purse event!

Beyond the fun and excitement of picking out a purse to take home, there was a strong reminder of the why behind this event. The testimonial from a young woman named Evi brought people to tears as she shared how Olive Crest stepped in and helped her find a forever family amongst her challenging upbringing with an abusive father and (often) absentee mother.

Dina Serrano (Ralphs), Rita Cabot (Norco Ranch), and Mickie Sharp-Villanueva (The Performance Group) made this incredible event come to life for all who attended. Thank you to all of the sponsors, vendors, and supporters who attended as we continue toward the goal of a strong family for every child. Child Abuse Stops Here®.

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

Grocery Partners Gather to Support Olive Crest Kids

Grocery Partners Gather to Support Olive Crest Kids

Enjoying the gala, left to right: Jim Beauvais, SVP Marketing and Merchandising, Albertsons/Vons/ Pavilions; Lori Beauvais; Donald Verleur, CEO, Olive Crest; Hillary Verleur; Dr. Donald and Lois Verleur, Founders, Olive Crest; Bryan Kaltenbach, President, Food4Less; and Mary Kaltenbach.

On February 9, over 300 food industry professionals with a heart for abused children gathered at the Grove in Anaheim for a remarkable Broadway-esque evening. This first Grocery Industry President’s Gala honored Bryan Kaltenbach (Food4Less), Mike Mortensen (Smart & Final), and Jim Beauvais (Albertsons) as past and present Food Industry Round Table presidents, a group formed to partner with Olive Crest five years ago. More than $350,000 was raised to support Olive Crest’s mission to end child abuse forever. Guests were treated to live Broadway acts throughout the evening, as well as testimonials from Olive Crest kids.

To At-Risk Kids, Camp May Seem Too Good to be True

To At-Risk Kids, Camp May Seem Too Good to be True

A story that our Chaplain, Frank Fried, shared demonstrates how life-changing summer camp really is. Camp is fun…really fun! But what if fun is something that you’re not familiar or really comfortable with? Camp can be a challenge; it can even be traumatic.

As a camp counselor, when Frank returned to the cabin one day, he found a 14-year-old Olive Crest camper sitting on the stairs to their cabin…crying. Frank sat down, comforting him, and asked what was wrong. The teen wasn’t really sure why he was crying, but as they talked for a little bit, they figured out that he was feeling very un-nerved by how wonderful camp was.

As they talked, Frank learned that the vast majority of the teen’s upbringing had been very traumatic. He was comfortable with conflict and expecting the worst. However, camp was amazingly safe and delightfully fun…and had to be too good to be true from his perspective. It was a Christian camp, and he couldn’t believe that there could be so many happy, nice, and friendly people there.

Many of the kids that come to Olive Crest experience a way of life that they had never let themselves dream of. They experience real family, real love, real patience, and real forgiveness. For those who’ve grown up in a safe and loving family, it’s hard to appreciate how foreign that can be to a child, teen, or an adult.

Your support is helping make a drastic change in the lives of so many children and youth. Thank you!

Read more about Chaplain Frank’s thoughts on at-risk youth and camp.

You Make the World a Better Place

Your support of Olive Crest helps children and families in so many ways. A woman named Grace came to us to find out more about our free tutoring program. She had just learned that her daughter, Nathalie, was going to be placed in a special education class on the other side of town. Grace fought hard to have Nathalie placed in a school closer to home — and Nathalie is now doing better than ever in a nearby school. She comes to Olive Crest every day for tutoring, gets along well with the other students, and helps them when she can.

On her birthday, an organization called Goodness Cakes provided her with a beautiful and delicious cake. She was so excited. Later that evening, we received an email from Grace thanking us for everything we have done for Nathalie and letting us know that she had just won an award for “Most Improved in Math.”

She said, “I just wanted to share Nathalie’s success with all of you…The care and kindness you give to each family makes the world a better place for each and every one of us.”

These words belong to caring friends like you. Thank you for helping kids like Nathalie. We can’t wait to see what she does next.

The Old West was Never This Much Fun!

What do you get when you mix a western theme with 700 men, women, and children filling the Gold Rush Camp at Knott’s Berry Farm? You get a high-energy, rootin’-tootin’ celebration for Olive Crest’s foster and adoptive families!

On Saturday, May 5, nearly 200 families came together from our Inland Communities, as well as Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange Counties, as Olive Crest expressed appreciation to them for their compassionate hearts and dedication to the children in our communities.

Following a famous Knott’s breakfast, the families enjoyed face painting and tattoo stations, line dancing, and a friendly competition. Even Snoopy got in on the fun!

Four families from across our So Cal regions spoke to the crowd, sharing the reasons they foster and/or adopt with Olive Crest – about both the challenges and tremendous rewards. Following the morning program, families spent the day enjoying the rides and attractions at the amusement park.

“Laughternoon” Benefits Olive Crest Kids

“Laughternoon” Benefits Olive Crest Kids

On Saturday, April 14, comedian Adam London dedicated the proceeds from his live comedy show, “Laughternoon,” to Olive Crest. Adam joined Myesha Wilson, Executive Director of Olive Crest in Nevada, on the Fox Five morning show here in Las Vegas to promote Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, our Olive Crest Hygiene Drive, and the “Laughternoon” show to benefit Olive Crest. Thank you, Adam, for your generosity and caring.

Robots Invade Olive Crest!

In mid May, Olive Crest in Orange County was invaded by robots! The awe-inspiring metallic creatures, designed by university students working with the Child Creativity Lab, were built from repurposed materials and donated to Olive Crest. Each robot came with a special written message about hope and possibility to help motivate our kids and teens. The Child Creativity Lab encourages hands-on creativity, and we are grateful to them and to the USC students who partnered to delight us with their special creations.

Thank You, Campbell Auto Group!

Thank You, Campbell Auto Group!

A big shout out to Campbell Auto Group for their Kids to Camp campaign that ran from April through June. This was their fourth year of sponsoring this marvelous campaign to provide a unique adventure for foster kids. For many of them, this was their very first camping trip – and they loved it! Hopefully, these kinds of experiences will ignite a sense of discovery and wonder in them, and lead them to a greater appreciation of nature and a desire to learn even more.

To learn more about this generous company and all the ways they support our community, please visit