Archive | Orange County Charities

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Image by Harut Movsisyan from Pixabay

This month of April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and we’d like to share some information about this disease and let you know ways to help.

First of all, there is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. Parkinson’s rarely happens over night, but rather with symptoms that generally develop slowly over the years. Also, each person can have a different set of symptoms and progression due to the diversity of the disease. Continue Reading →

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January is National Blood Donor Month

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to save a life? It’s actually extremely easy to do: Just give blood. January is National Blood Donor Month for many reasons, but one major one is that after the holidays, blood donations drop off sharply. That means that the Red Cross and other organizations need all the help (and by help, we mean blood!) they can get. Continue Reading →

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a Day of Service

Some of you may have today off, and if you do, the Corporation of National and Community Service wants you to see it as a “day ON”, not a day off.

Why? If you’re off work, you’re allowed to relax and take it easy, right? Of course you are! Here’s something you may not know about Martin Luther King Jr. Day: while it was signed into legislation as a holiday in 1983 to commemorate the birthday of the historic man, it was designated by Congress in 1994 as a day of service. The Corporation of National and Community Service was charged by Congress to lead the effort in getting people to volunteer on MLK Jr. Day. It’s intention is to “empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a ‘Beloved Community’.” Continue Reading →

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Charity Spotlight: Think Together

Over 20 years ago, a group of mothers decided they had had enough–enough of seeing the odds against the neighborhood kids, as they were drawn into gang violence, dropping out of school, and born into less than ideal situations.

That group of mothers, alongside community leaders, created the Shalimar Learning Center in Costa Mesa. Since then, they have grown into “Think Together,” a statewide program offering expanded learning sessions and school improvement through affiliations with local partners. Based in Santa Ana, they work in 8 counties, 49 school districts, have 525 programs, and work with 150,000 students. Continue Reading →

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Orange County Music and Dance School

Some children dream of being astronauts, firefighters, rock stars, writers. Some dream of being the next prima ballerina for the Ballets Russes, the next So You Think You Can Dance favorite, or joining a hip-hop group. But the dream to be a dancer comes at a cost, which not every family can afford to maintain long-term. Studio classes cost hundreds of dollars a month, and come recital time, there are extra fees and costumes to buy. The price only goes up the more a student advances–paying for attire, more classes a week, with more performances. Continue Reading →

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Charity Spotlight: The Orangewood Foundation


A woman named Dr. Harris grew up in Orange County–she became a doctor just over a year ago. She attended UCLA and achieved a BA in Molecular Biology, and went on to medical school in Albany. And, Dr. Harris was born to a drug-using and physically abusive family. She was placed into foster care at the age of six. After being taken in by her grandmother, she began to find stable footing. Determined to become a doctor, she was able to rely on the Orangewood Foundation to provide her the resources and support necessary to get to where she is today. This is just one of the many success stories from The Orangewood Foundation for Foster and Community Youth Services. Continue Reading →

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Charity Profile: The California Heart Connection

When a child is facing health hardships a parent can feel helpless. Almost 20 years ago, two SoCal parents of children with heart defects took that feeling of helplessness and turned it into action. Their actions gave birth to the California Heart Connection. Located in Irvine, the California Heart Connection is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, dedicated to building a community of friends and families who are affected by congenital heart defects. Continue Reading →

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HomeAid Orange County

When without a home, the first question every day as the sun sets is, “where do we go?”. HomeAid Orange County wants there to always be an answer to that question in Orange County– no matter when or why. This is why they are working to build over 70 emergency shelters in Orange County. Orange County has a shockingly low number of residences for emergency housing and the homeless, shelter for “victims, families, children, and veterans”. Continue Reading →

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The O.C. Child Abuse Prevention Center

The O.C. Child Abuse Prevention Center’s purple, heart logo is edged with the words, “Breaking the Cycle”: breaking the cycle of child abuse in Orange County, and in the greater community. Eighty percent of victims of child abuse are diagnosed with at least one psychological disorder by age 21. The damage done by abusers goes beyond the physical, creating lasting mental illnesses which inhibit performance in school and can create lifelong cognitive difficulties. Breaking the cycle means helping not only one generation, but the following generations as well. Also, with terrifying events happening at our country’s schools, like the recent shooting, we need to be aware even more that children also need an outlet for their feelings, including their fears. Continue Reading →

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O.C. Charity Spotlight: StandUp for Kids

In 2003, the Orange County chapter of StandUp for Kids was born. With it came a new outlet of support for the community of homeless youth in OC– outreach centers, housing assistance, and mentorship programs. StandUp for Kids finds a way to reintegrate every youth back into the community, whether through going back to school or finding them a job. The main focus of StandUp for Kids programs is to lead youth to self-sufficiency and prevent gang involvement, teen pregnancy, drug use, and dropping out of school. In 2017 alone, they assisted over 350 youth, formalized partnerships with local shelters, and logged more than 6,200 hours serving children in Orange County. Continue Reading →

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