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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.

Strong start essential for lifelong health

As a first-time father said, “There is a reason babies take nine months to arrive; you need that long to prepare.” Expectant moms are supposed to have nine months to nourish the growing life inside them. However; this ideal is not the reality for much of the world, where premature birth rates continue to rise. According to the World Health Organization’s May 2012 report, “Born Too Soon: the Global Action Report on Preterm Birth,” the ...
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Grim statistics for childhood obesity in O.C.

We’ve heard the statistics, perhaps to the point where we can’t process the information anymore. Childhood obesity is a soaring health challenge across the nation, and right here in Orange County. Children who are overweight or obese don’t just face physical and psychological hurdles today-- they are signing on for a lifetime of serious health issues. "I don't think the general public knows the deep needs of Orange County, particularly in health care,” says Mike ...
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Playing for health

Just as Susan Schober was about to complete her advanced degree in chemical engineering at USC, she was presented with two life-changing events at once: the offer of a prestigious graduate fellowship, and the discovery that she was pregnant with her first child. Determined not to let her education and career be derailed by her new responsibilities as a single mother, Schober’s family, including her mother Mary, committed to helping out so Schober could finish ...
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Can Nonprofits Meet the Challenge of Social Change?

There is a movement afoot that supports “collective impact” by nonprofits. That is, for agencies serving similar (or the same) target populations, they should consider collaborative planning and actions with government, funders, foundations, to better maximize resources. With trends that predict less government funding and an exponential need for services, proponents of this movement tend to minimize the effectiveness of individual organizations tackling a major social problem. An excellent example of this approach is the ...
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Key to a good tomorrow – a job today

Break the cycle of poverty by focusing on vocational training.  In recent weeks, this column has focused on critical issues facing an alarming number of local residents—issues that ultimately affect everyone in Orange County. We’ve examined high school dropout rates and the education achievement gap, children without access to adequate healthcare, and our county’s largely invisible homeless population.  Each of these topics echoes an underlying theme: Orange County is not an easy place to be ...
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Public-education woes affect everyone

The challenges facing Orange County’s students can’t be addressed by the local education system alone. Solving the equation will take the whole community, working together. You don’t have school-aged children, so the cuts to education don’t affect you, right? Or maybe your children attend private school, so the lack of a balanced state budget isn’t urgent? Perhaps your children are in public school, but in a high-performing district, so there is no need to worry? ...
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Building Our Future OC – Investing in People

In 10 years, will OC’s students and workers be able to call Orange County home? We are seeing troubling signs:  an inadequate supply of affordable housing, aging infrastructure, and an education system in need of transformational change if the next generation is to succeed. In the 2012 Workforce Indicators Report, the Orange County Business Council identified educational challenges like English language acquisition and fluency, the significant achievement gap within the county’s diverse school districts, and a ...
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Shine a light on homeless

Orange County’s surprising problem often hides in the shadows. When you think of the homeless in the United States, what – and who – comes to mind? Transient men in inner cities? The chronically addicted? The mentally ill? Would it surprise you to know that, in 2011, 1.6 million homeless Americans were children, or that Orange County puts up some of the highest numbers of homelessness in the nation? One startling fact is this: Orange ...
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Holes in the system

Poor oral health care for children can result in chronic problems throughout life, and it is largely preventable. If your child had a broken bone, would you allow her to suffer with excruciating pain and let the bone heal badly, causing her lifelong challenges as a result? What if she had a puncture wound on her hand that, left untreated, could cause a severe and potentially life-threatening infection? Wouldn’t you seek medical help immediately? And ...
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Literacy key to learning

Want a solution to the dropout crisis? Teach kids to read before kindergarten. Imagine if there were a problem that affected one in three high school students (approximately 4 million students a year) resulting in issues that cost U.S. taxpayers more than $8 billion a year? And what if that problem were almost guaranteed to be cyclical, gathering momentum with each new generation? Would it warrant our attention as a critical issue? Of course it ...
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