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FALL 2011

Orange County United Way’s Quarterly Newsletter



et’s Go, Team Hope! It’s that time of year again— Workplace Campaign season—when we mobilize the caring power of more than 1,000 companies across our county and their generous employees, to improve lives and strengthen OUR community. Our annual Workplace Campaigns are the cornerstone of our efforts to raise awareness and funds to help OUR residents get the help they need to get on the path to self-sufficiency and thrive. Because of your support of our LIVE UNITED movement, we exceeded our 2010 Campaign goals by 2%, raising $17.8 million to help our neighbors, coworkers, and friends. With the support of our new Board member and 2011-12 Campaign Chair, Jerry Mattes, I am confident we can reach even greater heights and raise $20 million, with $11 million going to support our Community Impact work. As President of UPS’ West Region, Jerry is no stranger to navigating complicated logistics to deliver a successful outcome. Along with Campaign Vice Chair Jim Wilson, fellow Board member and Regional Vice President of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Jerry has plenty of “troops” to aid him in this effort. I’m truly excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for Orange County United Way. Our staff, volunteer committee members, and Board of Directors are collectively energized and excited to determine new ways our organization can have a deeper and broader impact in Orange County. We encourage you, as a member of our movement for social change, to continue doing what you can to Give, Advocate, and Volunteer to move our mission forward. As our 2011-12 Campaign video reminds us, TOGETHER, we can turn lives around. It’s as simple as LIVING UNITED. Good luck with your campaigns, and as always, thank you for your generosity, time, talent, and dedication to restore HOPE with your actions. With gratitude,

Max L. Gardner President and CEO Orange County United Way




n September 14, our “Investors in Change”—Workplace Employee Campaign Managers, Loyal Contributors, and leaders from our partner agencies—joined us at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin for our 2011-12 Campaign Kick-Off and Awards Luncheon. With the event’s “community fight song,” “Stronger Together,” (commissioned by United Way Worldwide) playing in the background, the pep rallythemed event got everyone revved up to restore HOPE with their actions. Jerry Mattes, a new Board member and President of UPS’ West Region, shared the story of how his Day of Impact—visits to three of our partner agencies—changed his perception about the need in Orange County, influencing him to deepen his commitment to our movement.

The afternoon rounded out with our President and CEO, Max Gardner, along with Jerry, and this year’s Campaign Vice Chair, Jim Wilson, Regional Vice President at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and fellow Board member, acknowledging the 2010-11 Campaign MVPs for their outstanding Campaign support. Western Digital took home the biggest award of the afternoon— the Dimensions in Giving Award. The Dimensions in Giving Award recognizes the corporate partner that truly impacts our community through dollars raised for United Way’s Community Impact Fund, active community service, and an overall commitment to helping people through contributions of time, leadership, resources, and a spirit of giving.

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ue to the final release of 2009 Medical Administrative Activities program retention funds, plus interest, Orange County United Way and the Children and Families Commission of Orange County were able to provide commonly supported agencies with a great surprise grant to support their education and health programs for children 0-6. Congratulations to the following six programs, which each received a $12,759 grant: Casa Teresa, Child Guidance Center, Early Literacy Program, Fullerton Interfaith, the Orange County Rescue Mission, and the Hurtt Family Clinic at Orange County Rescue Mission. Keep up the great work, and thanks for all you do to improve lives and strengthen OUR community.

SOCIALIZE WITH US HAVE YOU JOINED OUR MOVEMENT–OUR SOCIAL MEDIA MOVEMENT? Stay up-to-date with what’s happening at Orange County United Way, our partner agencies, corporate partners, donors, and OUR community, by socializing with us on the following sites:!/UNITEDWAYOC

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n addition to our Dimensions in Giving Award, every year we distribute a number of awards to salute companies in our community that demonstrate their commitment to LIVE UNITED by running a United Way Workplace Campaign. At our 2011-12 Campaign Kick-Off and Awards Luncheon, these companies received special recognition and appreciation for their outstanding support to improve lives and strengthen OUR community. Congratulations to all of our 2010-11 award winners, including:

Alcon Research Corporate Community Excellence Automobile Club of Southern California Outstanding Corporate Loyal Contributor County of Orange Outstanding Employee Giving Ernst & Young Outstanding Corporate Tocqueville Society Contributor Fluor Outstanding Corporate Leaders’ Society Contributor Pacific Life Insurance Company Outstanding Corporate Partner

A+ PARTNERS FOR CHANGE Orange County United Way gives Southern California Edison and Edwards Lifesciences an A+ for their second annual grants of $200,000 and $35,000, respectively, in support of Destination Graduation - increasing high school graduation success today and ensuring a powerful workforce for tomorrow. Thanks to SCE, Edwards, and Community Impact Fund Golden Key Partners, Destination Graduation is engaging and empowering our youth through exciting education and career exploration opportunities. Lead Supporter

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OUR MISSION: To improve lives by


mobilizing the caring power of Orange County to strengthen OUR community destined for success


ast September, we launched a new initiative to help OUR youth graduate high school with clear college and career goals. Administered in 10 Orange County high schools, with a long-term goal of ensuring that OC students graduate on time, college and career ready, Destination Graduation (DG) provides 1,600 at-risk students with the resources they need to graduate empowered and engaged. Although there is still much work to accomplish to ensure OUR students succeed and achieve, there are a number of promising results to report for DG’s first year.

READ With a child for 15 minutes a day to help them build his or her literacy skills

FILL Some backpacks with school supplies and donate them to a local organization so children in OUR community will have what they need to achieve and succeed in school

GO Back to school: Attend a Parent Teacher Association open house at a local public school and find out how you can share your time and talent to support OUR youth

MENTOR Use your professional skills to help the next generation learn about careers in their local community

COACH Sports at a community center to help students develop team-building skills

TUTOR Students who need extra help in Math and English For more information about Education volunteer opportunities in OUR community, visit

Destination Graduation Year One Results:

DG has developed the teaching skills of 60 Orange County teachers and leaders to create a culture of education success for 1,600 at-risk students.

800 students completed the Roadtrip Nation curriculum which allowed them to explore their personal skill sets and interests, increasing the number of students who felt engaged in their coursework by 25%.

20 college tutors were added to the participating Destination Graduation schools.

1,000 parents were provided with critical information regarding the high school graduation and college eligibility requirements, engaging them further in their child’s educational success.

Orange County United Way and Vital Link’s Mobile Career Exploration Exhibits were experienced by more than 7,000 Orange County middle school and high school students, expanding career knowledge and interest by 80%.

agency success story MEET OUR NEIGHBOR, LIZETTE Lizette, a sixth grade student at San Juan Capistrano’s Marco Forester Middle School, was failing all of her classes. Her motivation, drive, and determination to succeed was extremely low because of challenging home situations. But thanks to the G.R.I.P. (Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention) Care program at the Boys & Girls Club of Capistrano Valley, an Orange County United Way partner agency, a staff member worked with Lizette every day to make sure her homework was completed before she left for school. The result: Lizette went from failing her classes, ditching school, and serving detention to passing the sixth grade in June with Bs and Cs. Lizette is just one of 513 students who have overcome obstacles to improve their chances for a successful and self-sufficient life through the G.R.I.P. Care program. We are proud of the success stories we create TOGETHER. Help us create more by continuing to LIVE and GIVE UNITED. Your contribution to Orange County United Way’s Community Impact Fund helps improve lives—lives like Lizette’s.

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communityimpact recent events





1. HEALTHY DISCUSSIONS On October 19, our Community Investments team hosted its first-ever K-12 Peer-to-Peer Roundtable at El Sol Science and Arts Academy in Santa Ana, part of a new series to help our partner agencies address current issues impacting their focus areas. We’ve hosted Early Childhood, Financial Literacy, and Food Roundtables, too. In November, we’ll hold our final two Roundtables of the year: Workforce Development (November 2 at Women Helping Women) and Medical Development (November 30 at the Mariposa Women & Family Center).

2. TALE OF TWO COUNTIES TOUR TAKES OFF On October 12, we offered a glimpse into “both Orange Counties” with the launch of our Tale of Two Counties Bus Tour. With their composition notebooks in hand, about two dozen donors boarded a classic yellow school bus, prepared to learn more about what was behind the velvet curtain of the OC depicted on TV. The tour brought our 2011-12 Campaign video to life, showing our supporters the prosperity Orange County is known for, as well as the stark reality of poverty and hardship that many of our neighbors face. After going through Irvine, the bus headed to Santa Ana, stopping at two organizations that are helping to turn things around and strengthen OUR community: Education partner El Sol Science and Arts Academy and Income partner Taller San Jose. Participants received a tour of both agencies and had the opportunity to meet clients whose lives have been forever changed for the better because of these two organizations.

3. TOCQUEVILLE SOCIETY KICKS OFF ANNUAL CAMPAIGN On October 12, members of our Tocqueville Society met at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach for their annual Kick-Off Reception, hosted by Donna and Ernie Schroeder. Members gathered to learn about our new


President and CEO’s vision for Orange County United Way and how their giving and dedication to OUR movement can help bring that vision to life. Our Income agency Abrazar also made an appearance at the reception: CEO Gloria Reyes and COO Mario Ortega spoke about their partnership with Orange County United Way and how it’s helping to improve lives in OUR community. Finally, Tocqueville Society Cabinet leaders Steve and Jackie Kelley announced the launch of The Emerging Tocqueville Leaders donor circle, focused on engaging young professionals in philanthropy at a junior level, with the idea of growing their giving over a period of time in order to participate at the Tocqueville Society level. The program was developed by a focus group of members, primarily from OC law firms and accounting firms, to encourage the next generation in philanthropy.

4. A SPARKLING EVENING On September 29, Traditional Jewelers hosted a “Watch Extravaganza” at its Newport Beach store at Fashion Island. The “Party to Watch,” cosponsored by Traditional Jewelers and Riviera Magazine, was a sparkling evening for our Tocqueville Society, which received an eye-popping percentage of the proceeds from the event: $15,000.

5. MAKING ROOM FOR READING Women’s Philanthropy Fund and Women Looking Forward members, along with their families and friends, came together on July 9 to make over the recreation room for the children of Canyon Acres’ Children’s Treatment Center. In all, 22 volunteers spent an afternoon painting, cleaning, and organizing the room to make it more reading and arts and crafts–friendly. Donations from the members included beanbag chairs, bookshelves, arts and crafts supplies, and more than 100 children’s books.

Fall 2011 Community Impact Newsletter  

Orange County United Way's (OCUW) Quarterly Newsletter featuring articles on OCUW initiatives, partner agencies, events, and so much more.