“The greatest gift to Angels Charity was having the support of the Orange County Community Foundation.”
— Doug Hansen

The Orange County Endowment has delivered $9 million in grants to support vulnerable neighbors and protect local resources

Donor Stories

Fueling the Dream of Higher Education

Ernesto and Socorro Vasquez's FamilyTo encourage more Orange County students realize their dreams of higher education, Ernesto and Socorro Vasquez established an endowed scholarship for aspiring architects and engineers through OCCF's Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF).

"It's very gratifying to see our scholarship recipients use this opportunity to work toward their goals.” says Socorro. “Working with OCCF and HEEF has given us the tools to connect our scholarship with the specific niche of students we wanted to support.”

Over the last decade, the family has awarded $32,000 to help 24 local students realize their dreams of attending college.

Socorro comments, "It's very gratifying to see our scholarship recipients use this opportunity to work toward their goals. Working with OCCF and HEEF has given us the tools to connect our scholarship with the specific niche of students we wanted to support."  

One Man’s Crusade to End Fatal Lung Disease

Dave Steffy
OCCF donor advisor Dave Steffy

After losing friends and relatives to pulmonary fibrosis, Dave and Diane Steffy set up a donor-advised fund with the Orange County Community Foundation to support their giving. “The fund has allowed me to focus my efforts on what I'm most passionate about,” says Dave. “I believe that raising the public's awareness will lead to more research funding and hopefully better treatments for pulmonary fibrosis, and ultimately a cure.”

Since 2003, Dave and his wife Diane have granted more than $1 million to the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF), a group battling the disease.

"Setting up my donor-advised fund with the Orange County Community Foundation has allowed me to focus my efforts on what I'm most passionate about. I believe that raising the public's awareness of PF will lead to more research funding and hopefully better treatments for pulmonary fibrosis, and ultimately a cure," says Dave.

Keeping Music Alive

Jane Deming
Jane Deming’s dream to support music, education and therapy for troubled families and youth lives on through an OCCF endowed fund.

In 1995, the estate of Jane Deming established an endowed fund at OCCF with $779,625. The fund was designed to continue Jane’s lifelong support of music, education and therapeutic services for troubled families and youth. Since then, the Jane Deming Fund has granted more than $750,000 to programs in our community. 2012 grants included programs at Orange County High School for the Arts, Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center and Cal State Fullerton. Today, the fund’s balance is over $875,000, a gain of nearly $100,000 -- after grants -- in less than 20 years.

 

 

 

Hope for Diabetes

Mary and Dick Allen
OCCF donor advisors Mary and Dick Allen.

When their granddaughter Hannah was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age two, the Allen family quickly learned how complex, demanding and expensive managing the disease can be. They wondered: How do people with limited access to information and resources manage this life-long disease?

The reality is that many Orange County residents — especially those from disadvantaged communities — go without the help they need. The Allens’ vision was to create a community resource for everyone impacted by diabetes — regardless of age or ability to pay.

A heartfelt $1 million gift to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach led to the June 2009 opening of The Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center. With a special focus on underserved children, it provides multilingual and multicultural treatment, education and outreach to Orange County’s diverse populations affected by diabetes. Thanks to Dick and Mary’s vital work, vulnerable children and families in Orange County will be equipped to face diabetes head-on.

An Angel Delivers a Special Playground for All Children in Orange County

Orange County Playground
The work of the Hansen family and Angels Charity brought the first universally-accessible playground to Orange County.

Angel Hansen was born on June 27, 2001 against all odds. Her parents, Doug and Jennifer Hansen, joyfully welcomed their daughter into their lives, despite doctor’s warnings that she would not survive beyond infancy. Channeling their love for their daughter, the Hansens formed Angels Charity to increase awareness and enhance the lives of children with special needs in the community. Their goal was to create a safe recreational environment where their daughter could play and interact with other children — including little brother D.J. — regardless of physical ability. With the help of OCCF, their many friends and supporters, Angels Charity opened Orange County’s first barrier-free playground in Costa Mesa on June 27, 2008, a fitting tribute on Angel’s seventh birthday. With the opening of Angels Playground, what was once just a dream for the Hansen family became a reality for many.

The Orange County Endowment: Responding to Local Needs

Group of KidsDiscretionary funds are at the heart of the vital work of community foundations, allowing us to respond quickly and effectively to meet community needs. The Orange County Endowment was established by OCCF as the only charitable resource dedicated to meeting the needs of the people of Orange County… forever.

Now with nearly $19 million in assets, the Orange County Endowment provides annual grants to local nonprofits working to feed the hungry, care for the elderly, educate our youth, support local arts and culture, or preserve Orange County's unique natural resources.

Click for a full list of OCCF grantees.

Making Philanthropy A Family Tradition

The Green FamilyThe house at the end of the block is home to a bustling family with three young children. Like many Orange County parents, Karen and Scott Green dedicate hours each day balancing a busy schedule including school carpools, homework, soccer and volleyball. Also prominent on the activity calendar: giving back.

To look at Maddie, age 11, Cooper, 8, and Brady, 5, you’d never know that they are, in fact, philanthropists. Of course, their parents have something to do with that.

Like many couples, Scott and Karen generously donate both time and money to their church, their respective universities and several causes closest to their hearts. But the family takes philanthropy one step further by including their children’s participation in a 10-year giving plan they developed with the help of the Orange County Community Foundation.

“We’re fortunate that our parents and our church taught us the value of helping others in need. We want to pass those values along to our kids,” says Karen. She and Scott are members of OCCF’s Next Generation Philanthropy Group, which helps young professionals and community leaders explore the current and future role that philanthropy can play in their lives.

“OCCF really helped us to hone in on areas where we were most interested in making an impact,” says Scott, co-founder of software company StrataCare. “They asked great questions, introduced us to organizations and showed us how to create a plan that makes sense for our family.”

“With the help of OCCF, we are able to make philanthropy a family tradition.” ~ Karen and Scott Green

The plan helps focus their giving in four key areas: early education and mentoring; mental health; single mothers; and the environment. Each month, the family volunteers together and discusses how they can help others. To include their children in the decision-making process, the couple allocates Maddie, Cooper and Brady a designated amount to donate to causes of their choice each year.

“It’s never too early to start helping others,” says Karen. “We want our kids to recognize the importance of stewardship and the difference they can make for people throughout their entire lives.”

Click for a full list of OCCF grantees.