SOURCE: Orange County Community Foundation

Orange County Community Foundation

March 05, 2010 15:15 ET

Orange County Community Foundation Launches ReachOut OC; Sets $500,000 Community Challenge Goal in Response to Continuing Economic Crisis

Every Dollar Donated to the Effort Will Be Doubled to Help Those in Need With Food, Shelter, Job and Medical Care

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - March 5, 2010) -  With a goal of infusing at least $500,000 into local nonprofits serving Orange County's most vulnerable residents, today the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) launched ReachOut OC, a community-wide match program to provide critical assistance to those most heavily impacted by the continuing economic crisis. OCCF will match every $1 contributed to the ReachOut OC effort up to $250,000 between March 5 and April 30, 2010.

The program is a follow up to See the Need, Seed the Change, OCCF's 2009 countywide safety-net initiative, which provided $832,500 in grants to 32 local nonprofit organizations last April to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and help families needing assistance for the first time in their lives.

ReachOut OC will provide grants to Orange County-based nonprofits serving vulnerable populations affected by the continuing economic crisis. Those in greatest need of assistance with food or shelter, getting back to work, and access to medical care and mental health services will benefit from the programs to be funded.

The OCCF Board of Governors allocated $250,000 from its discretionary funds to match contributions from donors. Ultimately the goal is to distribute at least $500,000 to nonprofits that meet needs in these four areas:

  • Food (food banks and meal services) and shelter (homeless prevention and housing assistance)
  • Back-to-work services (employment assistance and job support)
  • Access to health care
  • Mental health and counseling services

Startling Statistics Reflect Harsh Realities for OC Families
U.S. employment data shows that the Los Angeles-Orange County region tops the list of metropolitan areas hit hardest by layoffs, with Orange County losing nearly 50,000 jobs between December 2008 and December 2009. Second Harvest Food Bank estimates that 615,000 people or 21 percent of the population in Orange County are at risk of hunger. And if the state eliminates the Healthy Families Program, nearly 100,000 Orange County children will lose health care coverage. And a recent study of Orange County nonprofit organizations indicates that more than half are experiencing increasing demand for services at the same time that donations and grants continue to decline.

"The sustained economic downturn continues to take a toll on thousands of Orange County residents, with children and families among those most heavily impacted. We invite the Orange County community to join us in supporting our neighbors in need. The generous people who contribute to ReachOut OC will double the value of their charitable investment," said Shelley Hoss, president of the Orange County Community Foundation.

Grant Process
An open Request for Proposal (RFP) will be made available to Orange County nonprofit organizations on March 8. Grant applications are due April 15. Grant program details are available on the OCCF web site at www.oc-cf.org/reachoutoc.

To Donate
Contributions of any amount are welcome. To make an online donation to ReachOut OC, visit www.oc-cf.org or call 949.553.4202. Checks can be mailed to Orange County Community Foundation, 30 Corporate Park, Suite 410, Irvine, CA 92606.

About the Orange County Community Foundation
Founded in 1989, the mission of the Orange County Community Foundation is to encourage, support and facilitate philanthropy in Orange County. OCCF works with donors to strengthen the capacity of local nonprofit organizations and incubates new solutions that address our community's unmet needs. The foundation has granted more than $155 million since its inception and oversees more than $120 million in charitable assets.

Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Orange-County-Community-Foundation/100829047113?ref=ts

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OCCommunityFdn

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Cynthia Ragland
    Vice President, Marketing and Communications
    Orange County Community Foundation
    949.553.4202 ext.22
    cragland@oc-cf.org