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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.

Gifts that change the world

Consider buying products from organizations that also help people in need. It’s holiday season, when goodwill fills us with cheer even as it threatens to stretch us a little thin. Our desire to give doesn't stop with holiday gifts for family and friends. Nearly seven out of 10 Americans say giving to a charity is important this season, a 10 percent bump from a similar poll conducted last year by the American Red Cross. The ...
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Cultivating the next generation

Nurturing tomorrow’s leaders is a crucial next step for Orange County philanthropy Orange County is at a critical juncture. Our founders are passing the mantle of responsibility to their heirs. At the same time, the county is home to a growing number of diverse new arrivals, community leaders ready to make a difference in their own fashion. To get a firsthand perspective on the importance of nurturing the pipeline of our community’s future philanthropic leadership, ...
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A hand up for Orange County veterans

Hiring returning military personnel is the best way to support those who have served our country. Veterans Day presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on the challenges facing those who have served our country— particularly those returning to Orange County from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Topping the list is their transition to civilian life, and finding gainful employment to provide a stable life for themselves and their families. One promising new approach is the ...
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Caring for those who have cared for us

Many cultures revere and care for their elders; it is now crucial for Orange County to do the same. The silver tsunami is upon us, and the numbers are staggering. About one in eight residents of Orange County, roughly 370,000 people, is age 65 or older. Over the next 20 years, that cohort is expected to more than double. Some local seniors will enter their 65-plus years with livable incomes. But many others will not ...
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Detection. Care. Cure.

Without access to basic health care, breast cancer patients from vulnerable groups face uphill battles. "Think pink." During October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we see that phrase everywhere. But what does it really mean? Should we donate more or do walks to help fund research to find a cure? Or is it about building “awareness,” which means every person should not just remember and honor those who have battled the disease, but commit to evaluating ...
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You have to scale down before you can scale up

There are not enough resources in the world to overcome poverty head-on. Thus, available resources should primarily be used to empower people to create their own success. This will result in lower levels of poverty over time. We are making hard-won progress in this regard in the Oak View neighborhood of Huntington Beach. Oak View is something of an anomaly — a one-square-mile community beset by poverty and urban challenges, surrounded by middle-class to affluent ...
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Tech changes teaching game

Blended-learning approach fuels student success in the classroom and beyond. Math. Or, rather, math!!! For generations the concepts of math have struck terror in those not gifted with the “math gene.” But what if we were exposed to math in ways that included visual concepts, fit every type of learner and transcended language barriers? That would be a game-changer, wouldn't it? It is indeed. Technology is being incorporated into traditional education, including the instruction of ...
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Passion with a purpose

A grandchild’s diagnosis results in a world-class care center for our community When Dick and Mary Allen’s granddaughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 2, it altered the course of their lives. Knowing the gravity of the condition, the Allens committed to learning everything they could about the disease and what would be needed to care for Hannah. Most importantly, they also learned how she could learn to care for ...
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Teaching children well

Educators find, and share, new strategies to inspire students and make learning more exciting. Sunday was World Teachers’ Day, a time to honor individuals who devote themselves to creating life-long learners and preparing our next generation for success in school and life. And, these days, they have a variety of new tools and strategies with which to achieve those goals. For example, educators are using new, creative methodologies—such as Whole Brain Teaching and project-based learning—which ...
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Jessie’s Wish

A brave 12-year old girl teaches children to never ever give up. In March 2011, Jessie Joy Rees and her family received a devastating diagnosis—she had brain cancer and the prognosis was not good. But the Rancho Santa Margarita girl, who lost her battle less than a year later at the age of 12, decided to commit the time she had left to bringing joy to others. “When Jessie was diagnosed, we were given 12 ...
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