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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.

Help vs. hardship

Outside appearances paint Orange County as a vibrant community filled with happy, active families and a robust economy. But what you don't see on the surface tells the tale for thousands of our neighbors who are unemployed or underemployed, homeless or in unstable housing, and hungry or hard-pressed to provide food for their children. The Orange County Community Foundation worked with McKinsey & Co. to take a deeper look into the reality for many of ...
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Faith & Values: Help vs. hardship

Taller San Jose, Families Forward and Second Harvest Food Bank are the first three organizations--among many yet to come-- that I am thrilled to have the opportunity to highlight in a weekly column I’ve been asked to write for the new Faith and Values section of the Orange County Register. When we first launched ConnectOC, I couldn’t have imagined that so many opportunities to share this message would emerge. My hope is that as we ...
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Driving Social Change: Introducing Nonprofit Central – OC’s First Nonprofit Database for Donors

We launched ConnectOC with the goal of bringing awareness to our most critical needs here in Orange County – the place we all call home. Decades ago, life in small towns was simple. People knew when a neighbor was hurting and rushed in to help, whether through a kind word, a meal, or a place to sleep. Today life in Orange County is more complex. We don’t always see our neighbors who are struggling or ...
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What’s It Going to Take? Closing Orange County’s Achievement Gap

Orange County K – 12 schools serve over 500,000 students, nearly half of whom live below the poverty line and more than 130,000 who are English language learners. These are a startling statistics when you consider the impact of socio-economic and language barriers on students’ academic success. Research shows that these factors drive an achievement gap which begins even before students walk through the door in Kindergarten. With so many students at risk of poor ...
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Supporting Community Health

If community health is sub-optimal, we are all impacted. Whether we talk about the possibility of a major outbreak of a communicable disease (think measles, influenza or tuberculosis), or we talk about how the long-term implications of increasing chronic conditions such as diabetes will impact our workforce, the health of our fellow residents should be a concern to all of us. And this is where philanthropic efforts are important. There are numerous examples of foundations ...
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Spreading the Love

by Dick Allen When Alexis de Tocqueville, a French political thinker and historian, toured America in the early days of our democracy, he observed that philanthropy was very different in the United States than in any other country. Our giving spirit was “uniquely American,” as we set about the journey of building our budding democracy. Fast forward almost a century and a half and I believe the same philanthropic dynamic exists today. As Americans, we ...
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OC METRO February issue features OC businesses investing in philanthropy

This month's OC METRO cover story focuses on five Orange County cause-driven companies. We're very excited about the cover, which features our president Shelley Hoss!  You can read the complete story by clicking on the image below, which will take you directly to learning more about what Shelley is doing alongside some amazing companies here in Orange County ...
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Look Who’s Talking

When launching a major initiative, it’s hard not to hold your breath until you see whether your vision will find its way to receptive hearts and minds.  We are thrilled to see this happening already with ConnectOC, thanks to a warm welcome by the media  who have found the information in our community report compelling and important enough to communicate with their audiences.  Here are a few highlights of what people are saying about ConnectOC ...
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Transforming Disparate Communities: Promising Solutions for Orange County

A report just released by the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) pairs eye-opening information about a deep divide in the well-being of local residents with promising approaches to our county’s greatest challenges. Many of our residents are hanging by a thread. It’s time to act. Failure to Thrive Startling disparities exist when it comes to health and wellness in Orange County. In fact, out of all U.S. Congressional Districts, two adjoining districts in Orange County ...
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The Inspiration Behind ConnectOC

Community leadership. The phrase that sparked a vision that has led the Orange County Community Foundation to re-think everything about our role as a community foundation. Go big or go home, as they say. Community leadership has been the rallying cry of Emmett D. Carson, PhD, president of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, urging our field to re-define ourselves beyond being “conveners” and “facilitators” to true agents and leaders of change in our regions. After ...
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