Be the Change…An Evening of Hope

Be the Change…An Evening of Hope
Every year, compassionate guests at Be the Change…An Evening of Hope make all the difference for our kids.

A big thank you to everyone who took part in Be The Change…an Evening of Hope, our annual cocktail-style fundraiser that took place on April 21 at Crimson inside Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa. A total of 170 guests took part in a silent auction, live auction, and “Bid from the Heart,” with the entire evening raising approximately $100,000 to help make a difference. Kendra Scott was also selling “mystery boxes” donated to raise money for Olive Crest. But the highlight of the event came at the end of the evening, when Olive Crest CEO Donald Verleur and Board President Mark Wiley jumped into the pool because we had exceeded our goal on “Bid from the Heart.” Now that was a sight to see!

Having a Blast with Taylor Swift

Sometimes, thanks to generous donors like you, Olive Crest kids get to have a blast. We witnessed this on May 18th, when a generous donor made it possible for 75 kids and teens to attend Taylor Swift’s concert at the Rose Bowl. The tickets were provided by a private donor in connection with Tickets for Kids, an organization that connects low-income and at-risk boys and girls to concerts, ballgames, zoos, and more.

Many of the kids, who were shuttled to the concert by Olive Crest, were seeing Swift perform for the first time, and some wore custom-made Taylor Swift shirts they had designed themselves. They had a ball from the moment that opening act Camila Cabello came on stage, and later, singer Shawn Mendez joined Taylor Swift as a special guest.

Swift had the audience up and dancing to songs like “Ready for It,” “Bad Blood,” “Look What You Made Me Do,” and “Shake it Off,” which was accompanied by spectacular fireworks.

A Computer…and a Future of Hope

A Computer…and a Future of Hope

Going above and beyond…that’s the spirit of this donor story. One of our kids recently needed a laptop for school, so we reached out to our Facebook community with this opportunity to give and received an immediate reply. We connected the foster family and teen with the donor, so they could get a better idea of what was needed. The request was for $500 toward a new computer, as the family realized the expense when it comes to electronics. But the donor wanted to bless this creative girl with the desire of her heart…and new Mac. They responded with a $1,500 gift card, which was able to provide a new MacBook Pro. The best part of the story is this new computer sparked a conversation about college, and as a result, this bright teen toured Seattle University the following week!  The blessing of this gift inspired a dream and planted a seed of hope for this young girl’s future.

13 High School Students Get Free Senior Portraits, Thanks to Danie Henry Photography!

Thirteen Olive Crest teens in Los Angeles recently grasped the opportunity to receive free graduation portraits. Danie Henry Photography provided photographers and refreshments for the families. The students had their portraits taken in April. Danie Henry learned about the Safe Families for Children program from a prior service project in Kansas City. Once she decided to give back to graduating seniors, she knew Safe Families was the perfect place to turn. Her desire to give made her decision to work with Olive Crest so simple. We had a great time working with Danie Henry and her team!

Learn more about the Safe Families for Children program here.

Savers Hosts a Donation Day for Our Inland Communities

On April 7, Savers in Riverside hosted a donation day for our Family Preservation program participants. Savers arranged games and prizes, in addition to donating furniture and clothing to families in need. Savers allowed the attending families to shop in a section where the furniture items were held, then they shopped the store at large for clothing. Thank you very much to Savers for all of their help and generous contributions, and a special thank you to the manager Rachel, as well as Brittney and Manny, who are employees in the Donation department at Savers.

Savers Hosts a Donation Day for Our Inland Communities

Olive Crest Family Hits Another Milestone

For the past 10 years, the Melvards have been licensed foster parents with Olive Crest in the Pacific Northwest…and they have just said yes to their 200th placement. The Melvards are an excellent example of relentless love and pursuit of the vulnerable. For many years, they longed for a bigger home for the simple reason that they hoped to have the opportunity to bring in more children. That goal was achieved this past year, and the Melvards now have a constant full house of six teenage girls in their new home. While this may sound like chaos to many, their home is full of peace, acceptance, and laugher almost all of the time. The Melvards are an exceptional family. They raise the standard of care, and challenge the limits we often place on ourselves.

Olive Crest Family Hits Another Milestone

Eagle Scout Builds Pergola for Olive Crest

An Eagle Scout named Brach recently led and funded an initiative to build a pergola in the backyard of an Olive Crest group home. This beautiful pergola was completed with furniture. Our group homes provide a safe and nurturing environment for many of our children and teenagers. Brach collected funds for this project through his personal network and his family. It took about five months for him to gather the resources needed to build the pergola, and then the construction commenced. Brach led the construction of the pergola with the help of his fellow Eagle Scouts and troop leaders. Thank you to Brach and all his fellow builders!

Eagle Scout Builds Pergola for Olive Crest

Caregiver Training with a Twist

Olive Crest in the Pacific Northwest recently hosted a training with a special bonus included. Many kind volunteers prepared lunches for those attending the training session. One particular volunteer works hard to make her meal special in hopes of encouraging the attending families to consider becoming foster parents. This is the second time this volunteer has offered her meals in this training. After delivering her meals, she stays for lunch to speak to and encourage the couples who plan to enter the unpredictable, but incredible, world of becoming a foster family.

Your Support Helped Kayla in Her Journey Toward Independence

This month, Olive Crest in the Desert Communities celebrated Kayla, who just turned 21 and has successfully transitioned beyond our program for teenagers and young adults. She entered one of our programs more than two years ago and recently graduated into a completely independent living arrangement. Kayla has now maintained a job for over one year. Through our program, she gained valuable independent living skills, ranging from building credit, managing a savings account, and learning how to earn her driver’s license. Kayla even successfully saved thousands of dollars in Olive Crest’s saving program. The program that helped Kayla is an essential part of Olive Crest’s efforts to provide help for our transitioning young adults, thanks to your support.

First Annual Foster Family Day at the Farm

Olive Crest kids and families in the Pacific Northwest definitely had a memorable Spring Break this year! Many children attended our very First Annual Foster Family Day at the Farm, hosted by the generous owners of Raspberry Ridge Farm in Poulsbo, Washington. This exclusive day of fun was open only to the foster families of Olive Crest. The kids were overwhelmed with farm activities to choose from, including hay rides, animal petting, a scavenger hunt, face painting, and games. Volunteers joined the festivities and made this event enjoyable for every child. Among the volunteers were a women’s group from Calvary Chapel of Silverdale, which gathered to assist with hay rides and animal interactions. Additionally, a youth group from Seaside Church in Bremerton helped with games, and donations of candy and prizes. Despite the rain, the families of Olive Crest had an unforgettable day at the farm! We already can’t wait for next year.