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ConnectOC Blog

Connect OC Blog

The dream of a more vibrant, prosperous Orange County is within our reach. To achieve it, we must understand and confront difficult realities faced by too many of our neighbors. And we must coordinate our response so that every effort counts.

The ConnectOC enewsletter and blog bring fresh examples of innovation and impact as we share stories of the donors, dreamers and doers who partner with OCCF, as well as insights into how we are working to help make Orange County a stronger, healthier more vibrant community for all. With an easy-to-read format and expanded content, we aim to inspire, inform and help you connect with our community and the causes you care about most.

Orange County’s issues are connected—and so are you. We invite you to get in touch with critical information, promising approaches and a growing community of partners who share your passion for our county. Already, we are making strides toward the dream we share for Orange County.

Giving smart

A new database of local nonprofits is aimed at helping donors find and research groups worth their support. The Orange County Community Foundation’s new Nonprofit Central database is an online “matchmaker” for philanthropy. “This is really the first resource of its kind in Orange County,” says Todd Hanson, vice president of Donor and Community Engagement for OCCF. “Donors can find nonprofits that address the issues they care about most.” Through Nonprofit Central, organizations can share ...
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Have a smart summer

No, really. Kids need to be challenged when school is out to prevent academic skills from sliding. The serene days of summer; when months of downtime blend together and school-weary students haven’t a care in the world. This storybook scenario is not the reality, however, for many students, particularly those at risk of dropping out. Low-income youth are extremely likely to experience a “summer slide,” in which critical learning gained during the academic year is ...
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Making the grade

Hand-picked successor as OC superintendent reflects on job's challenges. When the highly respected Bill Habermehl, superintendent of schools for Orange County, stepped down in May of 2012, he left with a purpose. He wanted to lay the foundation for his successor, one he had a hand in choosing, Al Mijares. Habermehl left with three years to go on his term because he “wanted his successor to gain some experience on the job before he or ...
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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: June 20, 2013

I was fortunate to find my passion for elders and victims of abuse early in my career. It happened when I met Lupe, a woman whose own son, his wife and child move into her home to assist her and then physically, financially, and emotionally abused her until another family member alerted authorities. Like domestic violence and child abuse, elder abuse is most often committed by family members and in the place we all should ...
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Program provides scientific roots

Hands-on instruction the key to unlocking students’ individual and national success. There is no disputing it. The United States has fallen dramatically behind other industrialized nations in the fastest-growing global industries, and we must act now if we are to regain our competitive edge. The highest-paying and highest number of jobs will be in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)—the very fields where U.S. students lag most significantly. The U.S. Department of ...
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A father’s dream builds hope for young adults with special needs

The Larsons have raised their son to adulthood. Now, at Glennwood House, he can find refuge.  More than 30 years ago, when Randy Larson, president and co-founder of the Glennwood Housing Foundation, learned that his son, Trevor, would have Down syndrome, he was overwhelmed. He thought his dreams of Trevor having a childhood similar to his own—surfing and playing other sports—would never happen. He had no idea how to prepare for what was to come.  ...
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After the homecoming, struggle continues

We should help veterans with the battles they have to fight at home. What is more moving than the scenes of servicemen and servicewomen returning from war? A young wife launches into her husband’s arms. Children cling to a long-absent parent. It’s uplifting and unambiguously joyous. And we all want to believe that, for the veteran, it’s the end of their sacrifice and the beginning of a happily ever after. If only it were that ...
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An ‘aging tsunami’ on the horizon

Issues arise as population of older adults expands at a rapid rate. The baby boom generation has defined life in the U.S. since just past World War II. If we are not part of it ourselves, we’ve likely come directly before or after. And since the boomers began to arrive, they have dominated in numbers that far surpass any other generation. The first wave of boomers now reaching age 65 represents the trickle before the ...
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Charting a course toward change

Jack Shaw chose ‘one square mile’ to try out his vision for helping families living in poverty. Avid sailor Jack Shaw knows the value of marshaling key elements— nature, skill, effort and teamwork—to navigate turbulent waters. And in life, as with sailing, the more prepared you are, the more likely it is that you will prevail. This spirit, combined with his more than 50 years in management consulting, prepared Shaw for his self-described “second career”—saving ...
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Shelter from the Storm

The ConnectOC Blog is a place for sharing insight, information and examples of how Orange County residents, donors and nonprofits are working to build a brighter, stronger, more vibrant community. We welcome you to share your thoughts by commenting below. When Kelly Thomas, a severely mentally ill homeless man, lay dying in the street after an encounter with police, it was a wake-up call that we need to set aside some of our fears, let ...
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