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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.

Shop for a Cause This Holiday Season

If you’re searching for the perfect gift, you’ll love the OCCF Holiday Gift Guide. Each organization represented uses a portion of its proceeds to support a charitable mission. Give while giving back this holiday season! ...
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Dr. James Doti Eyes Next Chapter of Leadership – His Own and the Country’s

Dr. James Doti dreams to live in a community where everyone has an equal opportunity – where we inspire the next generation to reach for the stars. Fortunately for us, Doti has done more than simply wish for a better future for Orange County; he’s helped shaped it. Doti, president emeritus of Chapman University, led the Orange campus for more than 25 years before stepping down this year to return to his first love: teaching ...
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CHOC Children’s Breaks Ground on Pediatric Mental Health

One out of five children suffers from a mental health condition. But despite this prevalence, the more than 150,000 children in Orange County who are affected often are stigmatized or shamed – and the lack of behavioral health options prevents them from accessing critical treatment. How could their lives be improved if their families could seek timely, appropriate help? CHOC Children’s is finding out by building Orange County’s first inpatient mental health program to accommodate ...
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Helping Kids Not Only Survive but Thrive after Pediatric Cancer

In 2009, Susan and Steve Giusto entered a world no parent ever expects when their daughter Cathryn was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, the second most-common form of solid tumor in childhood. Of the nearly 16,000 children diagnosed annually with pediatric cancers, 2,000 will not survive, and three of five survivors will develop health complications—some fatal-- as a result of the cancer treatment they are undergoing to save their lives. Through The Friends of Cathryn Fund, the ...
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Ueberroth Family Foundation Sees Health and Education Converge at SOS-El Sol Wellness Center

When is trust a prescription for good health? When it comes to serving the families of El Sol Science and Arts Academy in Santa Ana, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in May. Not only is the award-winning charter school’s English and Spanish dual-immersion model credited with enabling its nearly 1,000 preschool-through-eighth-grade students achieve high levels of academic success, the new SOS-El Sol Wellness Center also is providing El Sol families a wide range of on-site ...
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Giving Every Kid a Reason to Smile

Dental disease is the No. 1 chronic disease of children, even more common than obesity and asthma. Although it’s almost entirely preventable, one out of three Orange County children has untreated tooth decay. Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County has been grappling with this epidemic since 2001, and now, with its new Smiles X-Press program, children living in some of Orange County’s most impoverished neighborhoods are getting a high-tech, high-touch way to access preventative ...
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A Water-Wise Orange County Is Within Reach

Is it possible to conserve our way out of California’s relentless drought? Garry Brown, chief executive officer of Orange County Coastkeeper, says it is – if we adopt new habits in the near term and embrace innovative water treatment technologies in the long term. “Although this is one of the most extreme droughts we’ve had in California history, it’s not out of the ordinary. We have to get used to living with drought,” Brown said ...
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Mark Draper Gives Back to Nature

The great outdoors called to Mark Draper early on, beckoning him to spend his youth exploring the open spaces of Laguna Canyon and the blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean. As encroaching development threatened to mar the pristine area, the great outdoors called upon the Laguna Beach native once again – this time, to take action and help preserve it. “It all started when I was mountain biking in the open spaces around Laguna Beach,” ...
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Rising Tides: Is OC Ready for the Silver Tsunami?

Honor or forsake. Two extreme – yet common – ways cultures around the world care for aging members of their communities. As the Silver Tsunami crests over Orange County, we have a decision to make: How will we choose to care for those who spent their lifetimes caring for us? Orange County is home to more than 400,000 older adults over the age of 65, and that number will increase to 870,650 within 20 years ...
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Here We Grow Again: OCCF Ranks Seventh in Nation in Grantmaking

Thanks to the donors, dreamers and doers who make the needs of our community the center of their lives and legacies, OCCF is growing in our ability to make Orange County a stronger, healthier and more vibrant community for all. CF Insights just released its latest survey of U.S. community foundations, ranking OCCF as the seventh most-active grant maker in the nation among more than 750 peers - jumping up five rankings since last year's ...
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