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ConnectOC Blog

Connect OC Blog

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.

Learning to Thrive with Diversity

No one likes to feel left out, yet we’ve all experienced the sting of being slighted, looked over or ignored at some point in our lives. In most cases, the harm is temporary and we’re able to move on. But other exclusions are more insidious because they divide Orange County based on differences in race, economic status, ethnicity, education, religion or sexual orientation. Fortunately, two important local nonprofits are helping overcome ignorance and isolation to ...
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The Power of Compassion

Transforming lives through understanding, kinship and connection. Gang member. Convicted felon. Parolee. That’s what we might see.  But not Father Gregory Boyle, founder of L.A.’s Homeboy Industries. Father Boyle—or “G Dog” as he is known to his nearest and dearest—sees a life worth saving, and a soul hungry to know its worth. Through Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the U.S., Fr. Boyle has dedicated his life to giving a ...
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A Gift of Hope

Toy Collaborative doesn't just give children presents to open; it offers a message that they aren't forgotten. Jacqueline Hernandez knows what it’s like to be forgotten at the holidays. In foster care from the age of 3, she was moved from foster homes to group homes, and back again. “It was easy to pack up because I had basically nothing, just a couple of dolls and maybe three outfits,” she writes. “I never had a ...
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30 years of feeding hungry in the county

Second Harvest Food Bank recognizes 30 years of seeking innovative, sustainable ways to end hunger in Orange County. In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger launched a successful maiden flight, Sally K. Ride emerged as the first U.S. woman astronaut in space, and the Internet, as we know it today, was created. Closer to home, 1983 is the year the Second Harvest Food Bank got started, the people behind it daring to dream of an end ...
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Education remains best defense against HIV/AIDS

Two local organizations help battle a virus that hasn't - despite some appearances - gone away. While much has been done to minimize the spread of HIV/AIDS in the U.S., the fight is far from over. And in honor of World AIDS Day, which was Sunday, remember that education remains a top priority, and getting involved is key to eradicating the virus. Organizations such as AIDS Services Foundation Orange County and Shanti Orange County are ...
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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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Todd Hanson Vice President

(949) 553-4202 ext. 244