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.
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.
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.”
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®.
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!
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.
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.