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Hosted by the Orange County Community Foundation, the funds raised will help Orange County youth elevate their academic and emotional success

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (Sept. 22, 2022) — On September 21, the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) hosted Igniting Potential– a collaborative online Giving Day to support Orange County youth. OCCF announced that 873 donors contributed $513,566 to participating nonprofits in support of their vital missions to offset the inequitable effects of the pandemic.

A recently released study by the National Center for Education Statistics, shared that over the past two school years 9-year-olds lost significant ground in math, and reading scores fell by the largest margin in more than 30 years. While students in the 90th percentile dropped three points in math, those in the bottom 10th percentile dropped by 12 points – compounding the impact for students already at greater risk. Additional research showed that the effect of school closures on Black and Hispanic students was consistent with the 27th Annual Conditions of Children in Orange County (showing Hispanic third graders had the lowest rates of meeting or exceeding math standards while Black students had the third-lowest rates). These results reveal the pandemic’s devastating impact on K-12 students, hitting students of color and those already most vulnerable especially hard.

Participating organizations in OCCF’s Igniting Potential Giving Day will utilize their funds to ensure all youth have equitable access to resources that elevate their academic and emotional success. Giving Day participants included Assistance League of Irvine, Child Creativity Lab, Common Ground , Dreams For Schools, Giving Children Hope, Helping Others Prepare for Eternity, Hispanic Educations Endowment Fund, Irvine Public Schools Foundation, Kidworks Community Development Corporation, Lions Hearts Teen Volunteers and Leaders, MOMS Orange County, Parentis Foundation | ONE KIND WORD, Pretend City, The Children’s Museum of Orange County, Scholar’s Hope Foundation, The Literacy Project, The Prentice School, The Youth Center, and Unidos South OC.

“We thank the Orange County community for rising to the occasion amid new data confirming the enormous impact of the pandemic on our most vulnerable students,” said Shelley Hoss, president and CEO of the Orange County Community Foundation. “This important effort will ignite the promise and potential of all of our county’s youth, and we are proud to support these local nonprofits during this pivotal time.”

Igniting Potential is part of OCCF’s iheartOC Collaborative Giving Days, an annual initiative that designates cause-specific giving days focused on critical community issues. The online giving model matches OC nonprofits with shared missions – from homelessness and workforce development to preserving ecosystems and supporting local veterans – to create momentum on one shared day and leverage a combined outreach effort for collective success. In 2021, the 10 days secured support from 8,485 donors and raised a record $4.5 million for 112 local nonprofits. Since its start in 2015, OCCF’s Collaborative Giving Days have raised more than $18 million for Orange County nonprofits.

For more information about Orange County Community Foundation Collaborative Giving Days, please visit

About Orange County Community Foundation

Founded in 1989, the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) works with donors, strengthens the local nonprofit sector and works to find solutions to community needs. Since its inception, OCCF has awarded $900 million in grants and scholarships, ranking the organization as the 3rd most active grantmaker among all U.S. community foundations. For more information, visit or call 949-553-4202. Be a part of our conversation onFacebook, Twitter and Instagram. View OCCF’s 2021 annual report here.


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