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Irvine Park Railroad’s 23rd Annual Christmas Train + Giveaway

Posted by on Oct 12, 2018 in Christmas, Featured, Giving Back, Holiday | 42 comments

  It’s the season, once again for Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train. Come with family and friends and take this enchanting night ride through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet Santa Claus. The train will depart every 15 minutes from the brightly-lit train station and drop passengers off at the North Pole. Christmas Train tickets may be purchased to ride the train at a specific date and time — get in line and board the train any time during the hour for which you purchase tickets. Tickets may be purchased online ONLY and can be purchased beginning November 1st; tickets may not be purchased in person. Visit www.IrvineParkRailroad.com for details. While waiting to board the train, there are many activities for children to enjoy in Santa’s Village located next to the train station. Activities will be open when...

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Angels and Dodgers Baseball Fans Blood Drive

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The American Red Cross is calling on Southern California baseball fans to step up to the plate and help overcome a summer blood shortage by donating blood at the 20th annual Angels and Dodgers Baseball Fans Blood Drive. The blood drive will take place Saturday, July 28, at multiple sites. As a thank you, all who come to donate will receive a voucher for two tickets to either an Angels or Dodgers designated home game, while supplies last.* Angels and Dodgers Baseball Fans Blood Drive Saturday, July 28 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fountain Valley Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 17800 Newhope St. Fullerton Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 1144 Rosecrans Ave. Laguna Hills Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 22971 Mill Creek Drive Pasadena Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 133 N. Altadena Drive Pomona Red Cross Blood Donation...

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OC Rescue Mission: Urgent Need for Personal Care Item Donations

Posted by on Jul 20, 2018 in Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The Orange County Rescue Mission has announced a critical need for personal care items for the families residing at the Village of Hope, the Rescue Mission’s transitional living facility. Donated items will be shared during the Rescue Mission’s “Christmas in July” event on Friday, July 27. The organization hosts this event annually with a two-fold purpose: providing resident families a second chance at a holiday celebration, and reminding the community that there is a need for donations all year round. Urgently needed donation items include: Laundry detergent Deodorant (male and female) Razors (male and female) Shaving cream (male and female) Donations can be dropped off at the Chick-fil-A restaurant at The District in Tustin, the Tustin Auto Center, or the Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope, from now through Friday, July 27. Donated goods will be distributed at the...

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OC Rescue Mission Gives Homeless Children Summer Camp Experience

Posted by on Jun 25, 2018 in Camp, Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The Orange County Rescue Mission is once again helping children to grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally through its eighth annual “Summer to Remember” program. This year’s camp is already underway – Summer to Remember began on June 11 and will continue through August 10 The program – which is offered to children living at the Village of Hope, a transitional living facility for homeless individuals and families – is designed for children ages 5 to 12. Summer to Remember provides kids with STEM-based learning activities, as well as a curriculum that focuses on building solid foundations in science, technology, engineering and math. “Summer programs for homeless children are extremely important,” notes Jim Palmer, Orange County Rescue Mission President. “As a result of their chaotic life experiences, they are the innocent victims of homelessness. These children often face many...

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CASA Celebration of Children Gala Goes “Back In Time”

Posted by on Mar 28, 2018 in Events, Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

  Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County, held their annual Celebration of Children: Black & White Ball, which took place on Saturday, March 10, 2018, at the Pasea Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach. 402 guests were in attendance to support CASA’s mission of serving abused, abandoned, and neglected children in Orange County with a trained and supported volunteer advocate. This year’s Gala had a net of over $1,157,000 and serves as the fourth year in a row that CASA has exceeded in breaking the previous year’s net and surpassing the million dollar threshold. This beautiful and elegant evening was planned by nine of the past gala chairs: Dana Chou, Nancy Eaton, Cathy Morrison, Lourdes Nark, Kay Patel, Urvashi Patel, Brenda St. Hilaire, Wendy Tenebaum and Lauren Wong. Evening festivities were themed “Back in Time” and guests...

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OC Rescue Mission Food Shortage

Posted by on Nov 9, 2017 in Family, Giving Back, Holiday, Thanksgiving | 0 comments

  As the holidays quickly approach, the OC Rescue Mission is preparing to host its 52nd annual Thanksgiving dinner, which will feed more than 660 homeless families and individuals in the region. Today, the organization has announced an urgent need for food donations from the local community. The Rescue Mission is currently in need of: ENTREES: · 106 whole turkeys · 48 whole hams · 160 pounds of ground pork SIDES: · 200 pounds of potatoes · 360 boxes of stuffing · 80 pounds of cranberries · 120 cans of corn VEGETABLES: · 120 bags of green beans · 100 bags of carrots · 30 pounds of mushrooms · 650 onions EXTRAS: · 90 containers of butter · 24 pounds of garlic · 100 boxes of breadcrumbs · 75 pounds of bacon Anyone wishing to donate any of the...

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Outlets at San Clemente Fundraising Shopping Extravaganza

Posted by on Sep 20, 2017 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

  Outlets at San Clemente is proud to announce its third annual Shopping Extravaganza charity fundraiser on Saturday, October 7, to benefit 38 local nonprofits. During the event, consumers receive exclusive discounts at most stores, while Outlets at San Clemente donates $25 for every $35 ticket purchased to a local nonprofit organization of the shopper’s choice. In 2015, the inaugural event raised $37,465 to benefit 18 local nonprofits. Last year’s event raised $42,150 to benefit 25 local nonprofits. Participating organizations this year include: San Clemente-based organizations The Marine Monument at Park Semper Fi, Su Refugio Ministries, Because I love You – BILY, Shorecliffs Middle School Education Foundation, San Clemente High School Wellness & Prevention Center, San Clemente’s Woman’s Club, San Clemente Village, San Clemente Sunrise Rotary Club, San Clemente Junior Woman’s Club, San Clemente Christian School, Pet Project Foundation,...

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An Auto Manufacturer Deeply Rooted in our Community

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Autos, Family, Giving Back, Kia | 0 comments

 Kia has provided us with a Sorento to drive The reason that I started writing many years ago, was to give back to our community by helping families to learn about fun new ways to create magical memories with their children in Orange County. Along with sharing the best parks, beaches, and dining destinations, it has always been important for me to help support the incredible non-profits in our community that help to make Orange County the best place to live in California. I recently learned that Kia shares the same passion and is deeply rooted in our community by helping to support multiple Orange County non-profits. Kia is a Korean Company, but has their North American headquarters right here in Orange County. They have a beautiful building in Irvine that I’m sure all of you have admired when...

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OC Rescue Mission Family-Friendly Volunteering Days

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 in Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

  Looking for opportunities to give back and make an impact on your community? The Orange County Rescue Mission (OC Rescue Mission) is now offering family-friendly volunteer opportunities on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Join the community in making a difference every other Saturday morning, and choose from one of the below volunteer services: Chili Van Outreach – 1st Saturday Each Month Meet at the OC Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope and help load up Chili Vans with hot chili, bread, coffee and juice. Volunteers will follow the Chili Van to a local outreach spot, where hot meals will be shared with homeless individuals. The Village of Hope Campus – 3rd Saturday Each Month Volunteers will meet at the Village of Hope to help the homeless in various ways, including:...

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Artisan Eco-Friendly Jewelry

Posted by on Apr 13, 2017 in Giving Back, Shopping | 0 comments

 Sponsored I love wearing handmade jewelry and supporting local artisans. Recently, one of my friends was wearing a beautiful piece of jewelry, and when I looked at the website where she purchased it, I immediately knew that I wanted to get a beautiful necklace to add to my jewelry collection. The company, Songa, is unlike any other artisan website that I have ordered an item from before. They employ skilled women throughout the country of Rwanda to make jewelry and handbags. They provide the women with skills that they need to create beautiful pieces of art and give them an opportunity to money to help support their families. A great part of the jewelry line is that everything is made with recycled products, and the women receive fair wages for their work that help them to move forward with...

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10th Annual Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation

Posted by on Feb 24, 2017 in Dining, Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

  Montage Laguna Beach, the luxurious five star, five diamond oceanfront Laguna Beach resort, will host the 10th annual Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation For No Kid Hungry event on May 21, 2017. A number of celebrity chefs will come together to prepare fresh farm-to-table delicacies to further Share Our Strength’s mission to end childhood hunger in Orange County and across the nation. Event attendees will enjoy an afternoon of delectable tastings, fine wines, signature cocktails, and picturesque panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean at Montage Laguna Beach. In addition to delicious food and drinks, the event will feature a silent and live auction with live entertainment by the local band, The Kalama Brothers. As contributors to the charity, guests will enjoy the following: Celebrity Chef Tasting and VIP “Meet the Chefs” After Party | 2:00 p.m. –...

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OC Rescue Mission Faces Food Shortage

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 in Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

  As homelessness continues to rise throughout Orange County, the Orange County Rescue Mission is in dire need of food supplies. The nonprofit organization is urgently seeking the community’s help to provide more than 33,600 canned and boxed food items, which will help to feed 400 local families in need each month for six months. “Hunger is an epidemic that is spreading right here in our community,” says Jim Palmer, President of the Orange County Rescue Mission, who explains that the homeless population in Orange County continues to increase significantly year after year. “Homelessness increased by 20 percent from 2013 to 2015, and the need continues to grow. Ensuring that these men, women and children have enough food to eat is a priority for all of us,” says Palmer. Donated food items will be shared with local families through...

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Tips for Invisalign Teen Hygiene

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Family, Giving Back, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 5 comments

  “I am a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board and my son has received complimentary treatment.” Ever since my son started high school, he has been struggling with his Invisalign hygiene. He leaves early in the morning, comes home late at night, and then dives into a homework before falling asleep. I’ve noticed that his trays have started to yellow, and even have a little bit of an unpleasant scent. Once I noticed this, I talked to his orthodontist about how he can take better care of his Invisalign trays. Set Reminders on your teenager’s cell phone I set reminders on my son’s cellphone to remind him to take out his Invisalign trays and thoroughly brush his teeth and trays three times a day. Since he leaves for school at 6 am, this has been extremely helpful...

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2016 CASA Holiday Luncheon

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

  Friends of CASA, a fundraising auxiliary of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), hosted its 2016 Holiday Luncheon on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, at The Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point. The Luncheon and Fashion Show proved a hard ticket to come by as the event was sold out prior to invitations even hitting mailboxes. This year’s event netted more than $344,000 that will go directly to supporting CASA’s mission of recruiting, training, and supervising community volunteers who mentor and advocate for children in the foster care system. Top Tier Diamond Starfish Sponsors of this event included Barclay Butera Interiors and Lugano Diamonds. The sophisticated yet modern event was co-chaired by Molly Jolly and Kimberly DeLamar Matties, who were assisted by a team of over 60 members from the Friends of CASA auxiliary group, which is led by Interim...

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Frontier Communications Twelve Days of Giving

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in Christmas, Family, Giveaways, Giving Back, Holiday, Tech | 0 comments

 Sponsored What do you love about the holidays? We love to spend the holidays giving back. Tis’ the season for giving. Frontier Communications is giving back to the community this holiday season with their Twelve Days of Giving Sweepstakes. They are giving back to local charities and customers from now until December 21st on their Instagram page. Every day during the sweepstakes, Frontier Communications will announce a different prize and charitable contribution, on their website, and on their Instagram page. Then consumers are encouraged to enter the sweepstakes by sharing a picture on Instagram of ‘what you love about the holidays.’ In the Instagram post, make sure to include the hashtags #Frontier #12daysofgiving and #Sweeps – don’t forget to tag @FrontierSoCal. Once you’ve shared your picture on Instagram, then complete the Twelve Days of Giving Sweepstakes entry form. Then...

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OC Rescue Mission in Need of Holiday Gifts

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The Orange County Rescue Mission is in need of over 750 gifts this holiday season for formerly homeless families living at the Village of Hope in Tustin. Donated gifts will be given to men, women and children during the organization’s annual “Magic at the Mission” event, taking place on Saturday, December 17th. “This season is about giving and bringing joy to others, and with the community’s help we can ensure that every child is able to experience the magic of the holidays.” Orange County Rescue Mission President, Jim Palmer The Orange County Rescue Mission’s Magic at the Mission event features a variety of activities for families, including gift “shopping,” an appearance by Santa Claus, holiday games, and even snow. “There is nothing quite like Magic at the Mission. Seeing a child’s face light up with joy at the...

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OC Rescue Mission Needs Thanksgiving Donations

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Giving Back, Holiday, Thanksgiving | 0 comments

  The Orange County Rescue Mission is preparing for the holiday season and is urgently seeking the community’s help to provide Thanksgiving meal items for the homeless families living at the Village of Hope, the Rescue Mission’s transitional living facility. The organization is seeking over 840 pounds of turkey and ham, 800 pounds of vegetables, several desserts and more to provide a Thanksgiving to remember for formerly homeless men, women and children. Several of the families who currently live at the Village of Hope have never experienced a traditional Thanksgiving meal, while others reminisce on the times when they were once able to gather around their own table to enjoy a festive meal. The Orange County Rescue Mission is asking the local community to donate specific food items, including: ENTREES: · 106 whole turkeys · 48 whole hams ·...

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Donate Your Costume’s to Homeless OC Children

Posted by on Oct 14, 2016 in Family, Giving Back, Halloween | 0 comments

  The Orange County Rescue Mission is urgently seeking the community’s help to provide nearly 100 Halloween costumes for its record number of homeless children living at the Village of Hope, the Rescue Mission’s transitional living facility. Orange County Rescue Mission President Jim Palmer explains that many of these children have experienced traumatic life events that children their age should never have to encounter, which is why creating opportunities to be social and enjoy a common interest among other children their age is crucial to their well-being and development. The Orange County Rescue Mission is seeking a total of 93 different costumes and up to 500lbs of candy for the upcoming “Trunk or Treat” community event being organized by Mission Bible Church, and taking place on Monday, October 31 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Rescue Mission....

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Tickets Available for Luau at the Disneyland Hotel

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

  Families are invited to a special Luau at the Disneyland Hotel Adventure Lawn in support of Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) CHOC Walk. The event will take place on Saturday, October 29th from 2pm to 6pm. This special Polynesian-themed event for the whole family will be the perfect way to celebrate the day before the CHOC Walk. The event will feature activities for attendees of all ages, including: *Special photographs with Disney® characters *Tattoos by Kaman’s Art Shoppe *Ambassadors’ silent auction *Delicious luau-inspired dinner *Authentic Polynesian entertainment with special appearances by Tupua Productions, Loa Greyson, Jerome Grey, Halau Hula Lani Ola and “Auntie” and an exciting finale featuring world-famous Polynesian fire dancers! Guests will also enjoy a dash of Disney magic with a special visit from artist Jimmy Mulligan. This year’s master of ceremony will be KTLA’s...

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Story Angels Bridges the Gap Between Generations

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in Culture, Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

 Sponsored The Story Angels project is part of the Fullerton School District’s iPersonalize curriculum in Narrative Writing and Listening.  Fifth-grade teacher, Angela Platon, said that when she was young, her grandparents were the best storytellers and she thought that by pairing the younger generation with the seniors from Morningside Retirement Community, it would be a great vessel for the district’s iPersonalize curriculum. 90 fifth grade students from Fullerton School District would work in teams of 4 and be partnered with a senior from Morningside who would share a life-changing story from their past.  The goal of the students would be threefold.  First, the students would meet with their seniors and take notes on their stories. Then  the students would work as a team to ask the appropriate “why’s and how’s” to make sure they knew all the details of the story....

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OC Rescue Mission Diaper Drive

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The OC Rescue Mission is in critical need of diapers for its record number of young children living at The Village of Hope, the Rescue Mission’s transitional living facility in Orange County. The nonprofit is urgently seeking help from the local community to provide a total of 22,000 diapers and 32,000 wipes. “We go through approximately 5,500 diapers and 8,000 wipes per month, which can add up very quickly,” says says Orange County Rescue Mission President Jim Palmer. “The 22,000 diapers and 32,000 wipes will help to provide enough of these supplies to last for the next four months or to the end of this year. We rely heavily on the generosity of the local community and without their tremendous support we wouldn’t be able to ensure each and every child is afforded this basic necessity.” Their deepest...

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Supporting CHOC at the Taste of Downtown Disney

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 in Dining, Disney, Events, Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of the venue We had the pleasure of recently attending the Taste of Downtown Disney in support of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). It is a lovely event, giving us the opportunity to explore the restaurants of Downtown Disney. It was the 9th annual year for CHOC and Disney; as they combine efforts to create a lovely evening, raising awareness and funds for CHOC and part of the annual CHOC Walk in the Park fundraising campaign. Last year’s CHOC Walk fundraising efforts brought in $2.5 million for the CHOC Children’s Kids’ Care Fund. This special fund provides funding to the programs and services in the greatest need both at the hospital and in the community—from mental health services to an expanded neonatal intensive care unit to care for children and families who...

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OC Rescue Mission Seeks School Supply Donations

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

  Imagine not having fresh new school supplies to start the school year? The OC Rescue Mission is gearing up for another school year and is seeking help from the local community to gather school supplies for the children living at the Village of Hope, the Rescue Mission’s transitional living facility in Orange County. These children attend various schools within the Tustin Unified School District, and it is because of the community’s incredible generosity that we are able to equip these children with the basic necessities to begin the new school year. Currently there are 79 children living at the Village of Hope, and approximately 42 of those children are school-age. The Orange County Rescue Mission is asking the local community to donate items that will provide children with basic “back-to-school” essentials, including: College ruled paper Wide ruled paper...

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How to Find the Best Faith-Based Credit Union

Posted by on Jul 10, 2016 in Family, Giving Back, Hot Topics | 0 comments

 Sponsored Financial Institutions have changed a lot over the years. When I was a child, my mom would go to the bank once a week to deposit checks, get cash, and talk with our local banker. The banker knew all our names, and would always say “hello” when bumping into each other around town. In this day in age, banking has become automated, and a lot of families feel like they have lost that personal connection with their financial institution, making it harder to find a credit union that still makes you feel like they care. When looking for a credit union that has the same personalized feeling like you once had, it is important to find one that has values and supports your faith. A financial institution that won’t treat you like a number and will help your...

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Orange County Community Foundation ‘i Heart OC’ Giving Day

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

 Sponsored Today is the big day. The day in which families can show their appreciation to the many non-profits working hard every day to change the lives of those in our community. Once a year, the Orange County Community Foundation hosts a 30-hour giving period in which they encourage families to dig deep into their hearts, and give what they can to support some of the various nonprofits participating in the event. The i heart OC giving day has just begun, and the giving period will continue until noon on April 28th. During last year’s event, our the community rose to the occasion, and there were 6,139 contributions totally more than $1.8 million for 347 participating nonprofits – let’s try and beat that this year! Without donations from the community, many of the participating nonprofits would not be able...

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CASA Celebration Raises Over 1 Million Dollars for OC Youth

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016 in Events, Family, Giving Back, Hot Topics | 0 comments

  Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) hosted their annual Celebration of Children: Black and White ball over the weekend at The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel. Over 400 guests attended the celebration to help support the work that CASA does in our community for abused, abandoned and neglected children. As a mother of two adopted children, the work that CASA is doing in our community touches my heart in a special way. They are my favorite non-profit in Orange County, and I was thrilled to attend the event along with my husband. The event was one of the most beautiful CASA events to date and the hard work of the co-chairs, Lourdes Nark, Kay Patel, Urvashi Patel and Wendy Tenebaum shined! There was extreme attention to every detail of the majestically decorated ballroom. The evening began with a silent auction...

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OC Rescue Mission Seeking Donations

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The OC Rescue Mission is seeking the community’s help to provide necessary supplies and materials for its record number of formerly homeless children and their families currently living at the Village of Hope, its Orange County transitional living facility. The Rescue Mission currently houses more than 56 families and a total of 103 children, which places the mission at its highest capacity of children and families since its inception in 2008. The Orange County Rescue Mission is asking the local community to donate items that can help provide these basic necessities for families and their children, including: Pack and Play crib sheets Two (2) high chairs Gentle Ease infant formula Eucerin lotion Humidifiers Reams of construction paper Coloring books Children’s books Oriental Trading art projects for various holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc.) Dreft laundry detergent for...

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Making Time for What Matters Most

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Education, Family, Giving Back, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored As a mom of three young children, life keeps me busy. Between working and school events, there is rarely time left in my busy day to relax, refresh, and reconnect with my mind, body, and soul. In the New Year, I have made it a priority to work “smarter not harder” so that I have more time to do what matters most – spending quality time with my family and my God. How have I been managing my time better in the New Year? After doing my morning devotional in the backyard while sipping on a cup of hot tea and watching the sunrise, I make a list of what I need to accomplish in my day. While making my daily to-do list, I look it over to see what tools I can utilize to finish my daily...

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5 Ways Your Family Can Help Make Someone Else’s Holiday Special

Posted by on Dec 13, 2015 in Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

  One of the many things I am grateful for when it comes to my son, is the fact that he’s more of an “experience” kind of person as opposed to a “stuff” kind of person.  Meaning, he’d rather hang out with friends and family making memories, than opening gifts on Christmas morning or any occasion for that matter.   He’s always been like this. He hardly ever asks me for anything, and shopping is a rare form of torture for him. Even if it’s something that he needs. Like clothes. He’d rather wear the shirt or shorts that’s a size too small for him than break down and admit he needs new clothes.   He’s the same with just about everything else. A friend of his just said the other day, “When are you going to get new video...

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Diapers in December Donation Drive

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Family, Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

 Sponsored Curious about how you can make a difference in the lives of others this holiday season? MOMS Orange County is looking for support from the community to help donate diapers and other newborn essentials for families served by MOMS Orange County. What is MOMS Orange County? They are one of our favorite Orange County organizations. The organization provides services to more than 3,800 low-income families in Orange County. The services provided to at-risk mothers and their families include prenatal care, health screenings, and more. Helping is simple. Purchase diapers or baby care essentials during your next shopping excursion. Donate the items to MOMS Orange County, and help to give a new baby in Orange County a great start in life. Curious about what to give? Here are some suggested items to donate: – Diapers – New & Unused...

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Cinépolis USA Holiday Community Food Drive

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

  Cinépolis USA, a popular movie theater chain known for its enhanced moviegoing concepts, is in the final stages of its food drive in partnership with OC Foodbank and guests of the cinema’s two Orange County theater locations, Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas Laguna Niguel and Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas Rancho Santa Margarita, have two more days to get involved and help the hungry! Ending December 4, the food drive is also currently taking place at all of Cinépolis USA’s theaters nationwide to include all of its theaters in California and Florida. As an added bonus to giving back the local community, guests who donate two or more canned goods will receive a voucher for a free popcorn. Time is running out, so head on down to Cinépolis, catch a film and lend a helping hand – all while munching on a...

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Random Acts of Kindness During The Season of Giving

Posted by on Nov 21, 2015 in Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored The holiday season is a time for giving. A time for loving. A time for caring. A time for generosity. Ever since becoming a parent, my biggest focus with my children has been on sharing our blessings with others and giving our time to make a difference in the lives of others. No matter how busy our lives may become, I never want to lose focus on what is important – volunteering. This holiday season, we have decided that instead of filling our tummies with Thanksgiving turkey, we are going to fill hearts with love by spending the holiday building a playground in Mexico. Our goal is to spread love, kindness, and compassion to children this holiday season. While we are in Mexico, I am giving my children ten one dollar bills to attach to a message of...

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Spark LA’s – Spark A Dream Gala

Posted by on Nov 6, 2015 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

  We were thrilled to recently attend and participate in an evening of raising awareness for middle school students in the Los Angeles area at the Spark LA’s – Spark A Dream Gala. A night celebrating students who have participated or currently are being mentored through workplace based apprenticeships. The program combines project based learning, skill building and exploring career paths; a very special journey of opportunity and growth to keep the students on track to graduate on time and lead them into their future. It’s very inspiring to be surrounded by the individuals and companies that participate in this program; but most inspiring are the students themselves. An evening full of big smiles, philanthropy and those first hand stories that give you chills. The event host of the evening was Judy Reyes, you may be familiar with her...

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Holiday Toy Drives in Orange County

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Christmas, Family, Featured, Giving Back, Holiday | 0 comments

  The holidays are a time for giving back to others in our community, and many local businesses are helping families to give back to local organizations by hosting holiday toy drives. Pick-up some extra clothing or toys during your next shopping trip, and donate them at one of these holiday toy drives happening in Orange County. Know of a toy drive that we missed? Email us at [email protected] CHOC Hospital Saturday, December 19, 2015 Time: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Location: 557 South Main Street Orange, CA 92868 Associate Parking structure CHOC Children’s is hosting a holiday toy drive on Saturday, December 19, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., in the hospital employee parking lot located at 557 S. Main Street, in Orange. Community members who would like to remember CHOC patients and families this holiday season are...

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Mission Pink is in the Air!

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Events, Family, Fashion, Giving Back, Health | 0 comments

 We attended an event as a guest of the venue October is the time of year where we are hearing and seeing pink all around us! We were delighted to be a guest; participating in the launch with The Outlets at Orange in their fight against breast cancer and celebrate the survivors. This is the first time that The Outlets at Orange has partnered with Susan G. Komen in their mission to find a cure for the disease that so many dear ones are affected by, in our own lives and beyond. As we arrived at the event we made our way through the lovely sea of pink; all in attendance were encouraged to wear pink in support. We were treated to an outdoor fashion show with models in beautiful pops of pink. All runway fashions were from stores...

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Tween Volunteer Vacation Experience with the Sandals Foundation

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Events, Family, Featured, Giving Back, Travel, Turks and Caicos | 2 comments

 My mom attended the Beaches Social Media on the Sand Conference When I was at Beaches Turks and Caicos, I really wanted to volunteer my time with the Sandals Foundation. Along with a group of teens, I went to a local school that the Sandals Foundation sponsored and painted a classroom. It was amazing! I felt so good that we could help kids that are less fortunate than us feel comfortable in their classroom. I was so happy that I was giving back to the community while on my family vacation. It touched my heart that I was helping local kids that I had seen walking along the side of the road while exploring the island. I love helping people, and this was my ultimate vacation experience. I love thinking about how happy the kids will feel once they...

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Etnies Shoes That Withstand Serious Play (Giveaway)

Posted by on Oct 18, 2015 in Family, Fashion, Giveaways, Giving Back | 2 comments

 Sponsored When shopping for new shoes with my kids, we both look for different things. I am looking for comfort, support, and quality while my kids are searching for the “coolest” looking shoes in the store. All of our shopping differences have been resolved once we discovered etnies children’s shoes. They have the hip, cool styles that my kids want and the durability to hold up when my kids put them to the test on the school playground. Not only does etnies create shoes that are hip with high-quality, but the company has a passion for giving back to others. The owner, CEO, and OC Dad, Pierre-Andre Senizergues has given a place where children can foster their passion for skating at the etnies Lake Forest Skatepark. Along with the skatepark, he has donated thousands of shoes to at-risk and...

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Harvesters Fashion Show Raises Funds for The Second Harvest Food Bank

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in Events, Family, Fashion, Giving Back | 0 comments

 Sponsored Women from all over Orange County came together last week for the annual Harvesters fashion show at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts to raise funds for the Second Harvest Food Bank. It was a beautiful day as Segerstrom Hall was adorned with crystal chandeliers and flowers blanketed the beautiful purple tables. The afternoon began with a champagne reception and silent auction. Guests attending the event bid on multiple silent auction items including an adorable puppy. There were items from all of Orange County’s elite stores, fine wine, and travel opportunities for guest to place their bids on throughout the morning. Once the final bid had been placed, everyone walked into the Samueli Theater for the fashion show to begin. All of the hottest fall styles from South Coast Plaza were displayed on the runway during the exclusive...

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2015 CHOC Walk in the Park at the Disneyland Resort

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Events, Family, Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

  CHOC has played an important role in the lives of our children. The doctors and nurses fought hard to save the life of our youngest child who was born prematurely. The hematology department at CHOC still plays a major role in the life of my son. They make it possible for him to go to school, be around our children, and live as much of a normal lifestyle as possible while living with Neutropenia. Our life would not be the same without the staff, doctors, and nurses at CHOC Hospital. Every year, we have enjoyed joining our favorite doctors and nurses for the CHOC Walk in the Park at the Disneyland Resort. This year is going to be the first year that we won’t be able to attend the CHOC Walk due to being on a family vacation....

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Child Creativity Lab in Orange County

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Education, Featured, Giving Back, Hot Topics, Shopping | 0 comments

 We have a partnership with the CCL The highly-anticipated opening of the Child Creativity Lab in Orange County is officially here. Earlier this month, the non-profit organization opened the first venue in Orange County to provide reusable materials for artists, teachers, community organizations and families. The resource center is going to make a huge impact on our community by helping to keep reclaimed and reusable resources from filling our precious landfills. Materials include unique and clean manufacturing scraps, a variety of colorful fabrics and textiles, paper goods, decorations, coffee bean burlap sacks, school supplies, picture frame moldings, and many other items that can be repurposed for educational projects, arts and craft supplies, home décor and DIY needs. Because of the organization’s focus on hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, the Depot for Creative Reuse also provides pre-packaged...

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Purchase your Angelitos Card to Support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Family, Giving Back, Shopping | 0 comments

 Ready to get a head start on your holiday shopping at South Coast Plaza, and save on your purchases? Get the Angelitos Card! What is the Angelitos Card? It is a card that will give you 20% off at 115 stores and restaurants at South Coast Plaza from October 7th through October 13th. The fundraiser card is available for $60 online, and the proceeds will help to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County “High School Bigs” peer-to-peer mentoring program. The cards are available to purchase from now until September 30th, and can be used to shop from October 7th through October 13th at participating stores and restaurants in South Coast Plaza. Purchasing the card is a great way to give back to our community, and to help save on your early holiday shopping. Purchase your card today...

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SUBWAY® Restaurants Supports Make-A-Wish® For “You Share. We Share”

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Dining, Events, Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

 This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and SUBWAY® Restaurants blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. Giving back to our community has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager. Over the years, I have committed my time to volunteering for local charities with National Charity League, and I’ve continued to share my passion for volunteering with my children now that I am a parent. Since I have a strong passion for giving back to our community, I love when companies share that same passion, like SUBWAY® Restaurants with their current “You Share. We Share” campaign. More than 7,800 local SUBWAY® Restaurants across the US and Canada are participating in the campaign by donating a percentage of weekend sales to local charities in need. In the Los Angeles area, participating...

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A Generous Slice of Kindness: Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation Raises Nearly $200,000 to Fight Childhood Hunger

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Dining, Events, Family, Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

 It’s no secret that the Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation has long been one of Orange County’s most elegant food-centric fundraising events. All of its moving parts – celebrity chefs, top-flight wines, the stunning seaside cliffs of the Montage Laguna Beach – all represent the luxurious life in some form. Yet all the gloss of the annual gathering is always held together by the desire to defeat the scourge of childhood hunger; an issue that affects a whopping one in five children nationwide. The desire that fueled this year’s event, which was held on May 17th, led to the raising of nearly $200,000 for the non-profit organization Share Our Strength and its No Kid Hungry campaign. It was a dollar amount that, in retrospect, lent a tremendous amount of gravitas to each bite consumed, every wine sipped, and...

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How to Volunteer with Laura’s House

Posted by on May 2, 2015 in Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

  Volunteering with Laura’s House, a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention and education of domestic violence, can be a rewarding experience with many benefits. Volunteer service provides a crucial cost savings to the organization, allowing us to maximize our financial resources and provide more families with lifesaving programs and services. In 2014, nearly 550 volunteers provided more than 12,000 hours of service to Laura’s House. We sincerely appreciate the time dedicated to supporting the nonprofit and hope to inspire you to join Laura’s House and make a difference in your community! Training Requirements As a community agency addressing intimate partner abuse, we have certain requirements that we need to meet as part of the service provisions to our clients.  For example, all volunteers that have direct contact with our clients are required to have completed certification in a state mandated 40-hour...

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CASA Celebrates 30 Years of Success in Orange County

Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of CASA What does CASA mean to me? CASA is more than just a nonprofit in Orange County, but a group of people who are changing the lives of children in Orange County. As an adoptive Mother, and having fostered a child in our home, I have personally seen the impact that the CASA volunteers make on children in our community. Without the volunteers from CASA, many children in the foster system would not have the experience of having a stable and supportive person in their life. With an organization that is so close to my heart, my husband and I, chose to spend our Anniversary this year at the CASA Celebration of Children: Black and White Ball. The grand celebration brought 435 people together to raise over 1,000,000 for the nonprofit that has...

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11th Annual DreamMakers Easter Seals Fundraiser

Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

  On Saturday, May 16, Easter Seals DreamMakers will be holding their 11th Annual Fundraising event at the Dana Cove Room in Dana Point from 11am to 4pm. The community is invited and admission is free. The event is being catered by Panda Express, which is donating staff and delicious Schezuan and Mandarin cuisine. There will Music by Acoustics For Change and a silent and live auction. Silent and live auction items include: artwork, dinner and Cinepolis tickets, hotel stays & restaurant certificates including: Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern, Savannah Chop House, Gemmells, golf, spa packages and much more! The event benefits Easter Seals Southern California, an organization with services that empower individuals with disabilities and special needs at all stages of life. Autism services, independent living services, social skills support, early childhood education services and employment services for civilians...

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Rad Moms Who Skateboard Host Mighty Mama Skate-O-Rama

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Events, Family, Giving Back, Mother's Day | 0 comments

  What is cooler than Moms on skateboards? A group of OC Moms have been hosting a charity event on Mother’s Day called the Mighty Mama Skate-O-Rama. The fundraising event helps to benefit low-income families who have children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. All Moms are invited to participate in this special event at the Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest on May 10th. There is no cost to attend the event, however, there is a cost for entering the skatepark. Raffle tickets will be sold during the event to help raise funds for the local nonprofit. Grab your skateboard, helmet, knee pads and meet us...

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CASA Celebration of Children

Posted by on Apr 16, 2015 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

 The highly anticipated CASA Celebration of Children: Black and White Ball is going to take place this Saturday, April 18th at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. The gala will celebrate CASA’s work impactful work with children in our community for the past 30 years. Keynote speaker for the event will be Orange County native, Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback, Mark Sanchez. Former NFL quarterback, Paul McDonald will be serving as the Master of Ceremonies. During the event, guests will have an opportunity to participate in a silent and live action. There will be dancing and entertainment including a performance by Grammy Award-winning performer, Marvin Young (aka Young MC). This unforgettable evening will honor Anton and Jennifer Segerstrom as this year’s Children’s Champions, and South Coast Plaza as the Outstanding Corporation. The event is Chaired by Lauren Wong and Brenda St. Hilaire, who...

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Backyard Bash at Boathouse Collective

Posted by on Apr 14, 2015 in Events, Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

  You’re invited to help end homelessness in our own OC backyard at Project Hope Alliance’s Backyard Bash at Boathouse Collective in Costa Mesa on Friday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. Project Hope Alliance is dedicated to ending the cycle of homelessness for Orange County children and families, and proceeds from the night will go directly to their innovative education and rehousing programs. Guests will enjoy live entertainment by The Tijuana Dogs, delicious food and drinks, dancing, and silent and live auctions. You won’t want to miss this unforgettable night for a wonderful cause, so make sure to RSVP by April 24. Tickets are available online at http://www.projecthopealliance.org/events for $150 per person. Boathouse Collective is located at 1640 Pomona Ave. Costa Mesa, CA...

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Celebrate Orange County During the ‘I Heart OC’ Giving Day

Posted by on Apr 10, 2015 in Events, Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

 Sponsored We are lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country. Families are invited to share their love for Orange County by participating in the first i♥oc GIVING DAY. During the event, the community is invited to show their favorite non-profit love by making a monetary donation. The virtual giving event will take place starting on April 21st at 6am until April 22nd at noon. During the 30-hour period, the community can help the Orange County Community Foundation reach their goal of delivering $2 million to OC nonprofits. Imagine.. Helping to feed a homeless child in Orange County at the Orange County Rescue Mission. Support healthy families with health coordination and education with Moms Orange County. Give support to women and children who have been affected by domestic violence at Laura’s House. Make...

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Register Now for the 2015 Walk for Kids

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Events, Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The doctors and nurses at CHOC Children’s Hospital played an important role in saving the life of my youngest son Tyler. I was fortunate enough to be within a short driving distance of the hospital, but many of the families I met while our son was under the care of the doctors at CHOC were not. Those families were able to stay close to their critically ill children just a couple of blocks away at the Ronald McDonald House. The Orange County Ronald McDonald House has played an important role in the lives of many families in Orange County. They help to house, feed and provide a comforting environment for families who have a severely ill child being cared for at CHOC Children’s Hospital. How can your family help? Register your family for the Walk for Kids 5K...

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Community Help Needed for Homeless Children in Orange County

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

 The Orange County Rescue Mission is currently housing the highest population of children and their families in the organization’s history at its Village of Hope transitional living facility, according to Jim Palmer, President of the Orange County Rescue Mission. Palmer notes that there are a total of 84 children including infants, toddlers and school-aged kids living at the Village of Hope at this time. This increase in child residents has created a substantial need for additional funding through community donations, in order to support these children and their families on their road to self-sufficiency. “The children living at our transitional living facilities are certainly the youngest and most innocent victims of homelessness in our community,” said Palmer. “As part of our ongoing goal to end the cycle of homelessness in families, we are calling on the community to help...

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Red Carpet Screening of Disney’s Cinderella

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in Disney, Entertainment, Events, Film, Giving Back | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of JDRF My daughter and I attended this magical event as guests of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Los Angeles. The event was held on the beautiful historic grounds of Walt Disney Studios. We were greeted like royalty and waltzed down the red carpet in style. We enjoyed complimentary popcorn and water. We were then directed to our plush velvet seats in Disney’s Main Theater. We enjoyed a brief talk on JDRF’s mission to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes and learned that all proceeds from our advanced screening of Disney’s Cinderella would go to benefit this foundation. Disney’s Cinderella brings fully to life the well loved and cherished animated movie from 1950. We were captivated by each amazing character and the story that unfolded magically before us. The attention to detail,...

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Help Girls ‘Sparkle and Shine’ With Robbins Brothers Dress Drive

Posted by on Mar 6, 2015 in Events, Fashion, Giving Back | 0 comments

 Families are encouraged to donate a bridesmaid, cocktail or evening gown at their local Robbins Brothers. The dresses will be given to teen girls throughout Orange County who is served by Olive Crest to sparkle and shine at their upcoming prom. Those who donate a dress will be entered to win a beautiful diamond jewelry gift from Robbins Brothers. Customers will receive one opportunity ticket per dress donated with a maximum of 20 opportunity tickets per customer or corporation. Go through your closet and help make prom special for teen girls in Orange County. Hurry, donations will only be accepted until March 29th. Orange County Drop-off Locations: Robbins Brothers Fullerton 255 W. Orangethorpe Ave. 714-871-5000 Robbins Brothers Mission Viejo 26281 Avery Parkway 949-364-6639 Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband...

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The Denim Lab: Empower Your Jeans Campaign

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

  Since opening their flagship store in Orange County last year, The Denim Lab has been generating much attention for providing a fresh, modern approach to the way in which the county’s residents buy jeans. Now, the Tustin-based retailer, whose motto has been “Empower Your Jeans,” will bring that sentiment to life as they launch a campaign to donate $1 from the sale of each pair of jeans to support non-profit groups in Orange County, beginning with a lifetime commitment to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF). Owners Mike Mourad and Bilal Haidous will kick off the Empower Your Jeans Campaign on Thursday, March 12th with a fundraiser to benefit JDRF. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the public is invited to enjoy wine, light fare, live entertainment and informal modeling, as they shop for the perfect pair of...

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Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program Accepting Nominations

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Education, Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

  Do you have a child who volunteers their time in the community? Then Kohl’s is looking for them! Since 2001 Kohl’s has recognized more than 22,000 kids with more than $4.2 million in scholarship and prizes with the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program, and the are currently accepting nominations. Ten national winners will each be awarded a $10,000 scholarship for higher education, and Kohl’s will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization on each national winner’s behalf. Nearly 200 students will win regional scholarships worth $1,000 toward higher education, and more than 2,000 local students will receive a $50 Kohl’s gift card. Nominations will be accepted now through March 13 at www.kohlskids.com. We encourage local families to nominate deserving youth and help Kohl’s provide scholarship funding to outstanding kids in our...

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5 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Giving

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored The holidays are a time for giving back, and is also the perfect time to start talking to your children about what it means to give back. While the holiday are a time for giving it is also a time when overspending can happen, and is a fantastic time to teach your children the value of saving. A great way to begin a conversation about saving with your kids is by opening a savings account that is available online with ECCU. Budgeting! After opening an ECCU online saving account with your children, work on budgeting with them. How can budgeting help give back to others? Have your children budget a small portion of their allowance to donate to their favorite charity every month. Not only are your kids learning an important life skill, but also helping others in...

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Give the Gift of Giving and Be Rewarded with etnies Kids

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Christmas, Giving Back, Holiday | 0 comments

 Sponsored I have two passions in my life. Giving children a forever home, and helping to end child homelessness in Orange County. My husband and I, have adopted two children from Orange County, and have spent countless hours helping to feed the homeless at Mary’s Kitchen and the OC Rescue Mission. Instead of just giving the hottest toys and tech to your kids this year, surprise them with a gift that helps to give back to others in our community. According to our favorite OC non-profit’s, The Illumination Foundation and Project Hope Alliance, there are more than 28,000 homeless children in Orange County. Yes, Orange County. That number has doubled since 2006!! That is 28,000 children in our own backyard who will not have a Christmas this year. etnies is committed to giving back, and will be donating 2,000...

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Where to Volunteer with Your Kids During the Holidays in Orange County

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Giving Back, Holiday | 0 comments

  Tis the season of giving. There are multiple ways that families can give back in Orange County this holiday season no matter what the ages of your children. Whether making a donation or volunteering your time, there is no better time to introduce your kids to community service than now. Find time during your busy holiday season to volunteer with your kids during the holidays. Share Our Selves 45th Adopt A Family Program Share Our Selves’ annual holiday donation program, Adopt A Family, pairs generous donors with struggling families with children in the Costa Mesa & Santa Ana public school districts to provide them a holiday dinner plus new gifts for the children. Pre-registered donations are collected Dec. 18 at the OC Fair & Event Center and information on contributing is available online at ShareOurSelves.org. Hours: Thursday 6...

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Details on Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Culture, Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

 USH is an OC Mom Blog partner Can You Make Extra Income from Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student? Are you thinking of becoming a host family for extra income? Does the thought of housing a student from a foreign country appeal to you? Do you know what a homestay entails? Read on to find out more information about the process of qualifying as a host family and welcoming a foreign exchange student into your home. What is a Homestay? A homestay experience is when a family in another country agrees to house an exchange student, who comes to study and learn about another culture. Homestays can be rewarding and challenging at the same time, so it is very important to understand exactly the type of commitment it requires. When a student visits a host family they are required to...

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Fall Family Craft: How to Build a ‘Thankful Tree’

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Crafts, Family, Giving Back, Holiday, Thanksgiving | 0 comments

 Looking for an easy, fun fall craft to do with your kids that helps reinforce the message of gratitude this season? Each year, our family creates a “thankful tree.” My daughters look forward to writing their own messages of gratitude each day through Thanksgiving Day. Here’s what you’ll need to build the thankful tree: -Brown butcher or wrapping paper (long enough to make the trunk and branches) -Green butcher or construction paper (crown of the tree) -Foam turkey or pumpkin-shape cutouts (already pre-cut for easy application). Usually available at your local craft store, or you can pick up extra orange/brown construction paper and cut your own. -Tape or removable glue dots -Sharpie or washable marker -Scissors What to do: -Measure/estimate the area where you’ll place your tree (keep the tree in a central location, such as a kitchen or...

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Who are the Book Fairies?

Posted by on Nov 16, 2014 in Events, Family, Featured, Giving Back | 2 comments

  Fairies are usually something we tell our kids exist when they’re little, like the tooth fairy, the fairies that live in enchanted gardens and Tinkerbelle, the most famous fairy of all!  I know of two fairies that DO exist here in Orange County and they’re called the Book Fairies. You’re invited to come meet the book fairies and support their organization by donating books at our Moms Night Out tomorrow night in Tustin. How many times have you heard about an overwhelming problem like the low literacy rate here in California schools and thought to yourself, “What can one person do?”   The Book Fairies are here to explain how you can help make a difference in the life of child and help develop the love of reading. The Book Fairies are two retired English teachers who have adopted a classroom...

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Come Join the Orange County Girl Scouts

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014 in Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

  Now that school has started, it is a great time to join a local Girl Scouts troop. Girl Scouts can help your girls grow personally and professionally while making life-long friends. With it being the perfect time to sign your girls up for the Girl Scouts, Girl Scouts of the USA just released data show the organizations benefit for girls and volunteers. Results of a summer 2014 pulse poll conducted with over 3,500 volunteers and parents of Girl Scouts in the K−5 age range show positive effects on members of all ages. Ninety-seven percent of parents agree that Girl Scouts has been a positive activity for their daughter, that she has had fun and exciting new experiences (95 percent), and that she has learned or tried something new (96 percent). In addition, 94 percent of parents say that...

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Participate in ‘Share That You Care Day’

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

 Life is precious. People are precious. Relationships are precious. The founder of The Festival of Children Foundation in Orange County, Sandy Sergerstrom Daniels, along with so many of us was moved by Robin Williams’ recent passing. “I can’t help wondering, if the wonderful things being shared about Mr. Williams had actually been told to him by those close people, could the circumstances have been different?” Sandy Segerstrom Did you know that someone commits suicide in our country every 13 minutes? She is encouraging the public to contact the people in your life, and share how much they mean to you on Saturday, August 16th. There are so many ways to connect and reach out to friends, family and co-workers. Pay a personal visit, pick up the phone or send a text. Feeling social? Use the hashtag #sharethatyoucareday. “Let’s try...

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Tickets Available for Wines and Wishes Fundraiser

Posted by on Jul 12, 2014 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The Make-a-Wish Foundation is one of our favorite organizations to support in Orange County, and the Kaleidoscope Center in Mission Viejo is hosting a special Wines and Wishes fundraiser to support the organization on Wednesday, July 30th from 6-9pm. The fourth annual wine tasting will feature an array of boutique and renowned wineries including Cakebread Cellars, Rombauer Vineyards, Justin Vineyards, Iron Horse Winery, J. Lohr Vineyards, Brassfield Estate Vineyards, Cass Winery, Honig Vineyard & Winery, South Coast Winery, Foley Estates Vineyards & Winery, Maggio Family Vineyards, Maddalena Vineyard, San Antonio Winery, Spellbound Wines, Oak Ridge Winery, Hook & Ladder and Artazuri Wines, among others. In addition, guests will enjoy petite cuisine from Kaleidoscope’s award winning restaurants, live jazz, raffles and more. Wines and Wishes kicks off with a Champagne reception at 6 p.m. and every guest will receive...

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Help the Homeless Children in Orange County

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014 in Events, Family, Featured, Giving Back | 1 comment

  It’s Your Opportunity to Get Involved: Help At-Risk Youth in Orange County to Break the Cycle of Homelessness, Once and for All. When the Illumination Foundation was founded in late 2007, our vision to break the cycle of homelessness in Orange County was born. We are dedicated to leveraging innovative, integrated care and unique partnerships to provide local homeless families with health and housing stability. We’ve helped hundreds of Orange County families to get off the streets and in to stable jobs and homes, and for that, we are eternally grateful to the community for its support of our mission. We are especially focused on giving youth the tools they need to change their lives and accomplish their dreams. Known as the “neighborhood gem,” our Children’s Resource Center is located in the Tina Pacific area of Stanton, Calif.,...

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Help Save the Summer Program for Homeless Children in Orange County

Posted by on Jun 3, 2014 in Family, Giving Back | 1 comment

  The Orange County Rescue Mission is calling on the local community to provide donations in order to make its annual “Summer to Remember” program a reality for 30 homeless children this year. According to Jim Palmer, President of the Orange County Rescue Mission, no donations have been made to provide the $25,000 needed to run the 2014 program, which provides homeless children with opportunities to grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally with hands-on learning throughout summer break. “Homeless children are twice as likely to have a learning disability, repeat a grade, or to be suspended from school,” explained Palmer. “Many of the children who are now residents at the Village of Hope were recently living on the streets with their families. As a result, most of them have fallen behind both intellectually and socially, and are in deep need...

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Repurpose4Good – Not Just On Earth Day, But Everyday

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Earth Day, Family, Fashion, Giving Back | 0 comments

  Have you visited your local Goodwill lately? I recently attended an event at the Lake Forest Goodwill during Earth Day, and was very pleasantly surprised by their transformations! Did you know they actually have 2 stores at the location (23740 El Toro Road)? On the left-hand side is the “main” Goodwill store, filled with racks of gently used clothing and shoes for men, women, and children, tons of glassware and knick-knacks, some furniture, and other home items. On the right-hand side is the “Keepers”, which has been recently redone as the 2nd “OC Goodwill Boutique”. This side is filled with brand name and designer items, mostly clothing for women, some shoes and bags, and men’s items as well. I also learned a lot of interesting facts about Goodwill that are worth sharing with you all! Did you know...

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A Sweet! Partnership with The Wyland Foundation Spreads Conservation Education in Los Angeles

Posted by on Apr 25, 2014 in Education, Events, Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

  If you’re a frequenter of Laguna Beach, you are more than likely very familiar with the artist, Wyland. His large murals depicting whales and other marine life are prominent. With galleries in Southern California, Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, as well as Northern California, and murals across the country and internationally, Wyland is a world renowned environmental artist and conservationist. Through the work of his organization, The Wyland Foundation, he has made it his mission to educate the public, particularly parents and their children, on the importance of protecting the health of our world’s oceans and waterways. Now his message and his art have a new home for the first time in Los Angeles, through a partnership forged between The Wyland Foundation and Sweet!, a massive 28,000 square foot candy “emporium” located at Hollywood and Highland. This first of its...

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Local Youth Spread Autism Awareness on Global Youth Service Day

Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in Disney, Events, Family, Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

 The Youth Leadership Council at Pretend City Children’s Museum joined millions of other young people around the world to celebrate Global Youth Service Day, April 11 to 13, 2014. Now in its 26th year, Global Youth Service Day recognizes the positive impact that young people have on their communities 365 days a year. As the largest service event in the world, Global Youth Service Day is celebrated in more than 135 countries and all 50 states. The group of 18 committed high school students were rewarded the Disney Friends for Change Youth Grant through YSA (Youth Service America) to create a short film on Autism Awareness. Grants were awarded to children and teens to lead projects that make a positive, lasting change in the world. The film that was shown at the Imaginology Youth Expo – OC Fair this...

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Help Teen Girls Get Their ‘Sparkle On’ for Prom

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Events, Family, Fashion, Giving Back, Uncategorized | 1 comment

 Teenage girls anticipate this one special event all year long. No, it’s not a spring break trip. Not a summer excursion. Think sparkling dresses, slow dances and punch. You guessed it…prom. Like me, you’re a “tad bit” past the age of corsages, over-the-top hair dos and heels that cause your feet to ache for days. Also like me, you probably have a few gently used formal dresses just collecting dust in your closet. If so, you can help teen girls from Olive Crest attend the prom in style by participating in the Second Annual Sparkle & Share in-store dress drive. Bring your gently worn bridesmaid, cocktail and evening gowns to Robbins Brothers now through Sunday, April 27. Robbins Brothers in Glendale and Fullerton will host special parties in celebration of Sparkle & Share on Saturday, April 19, 11:00 a.m....

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Support Eagle Scout Project to Beautify School Campus

Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 in Family, Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

 My name is Joshua Sherwood and I am a thirteen year old eighth grade student. I am working on my Eagle Scout project for Oxford Preparatory Academy in Mission Viejo, California where I attend. Oxford Prep is a charter school with an academic program based on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences and Service-Based Learning. My project is to paint a new map of the United States and various word squares and literary games on the playground. This will contribute to an overall campus beautification project for the school. Not only will my project promote literacy, it will support the school’s foundation in multiple intelligences. The map and sight words will be used in a variety of ways which will support all students’ learning styles. I need to raise $650 to cover the cost of supplies for my project. Your...

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Nominate Your Favorite Non-Profit For Minor Miracles

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

  Do you have a favorite non-profit? Now is your time to help them! ZeroRezSoCal gives back to non-profits in our community with their “Minor Miracles” campaign. With the campaign, they come into organizations to help clean homes or offices for free. They feel that by helping to provide a clean, healthy environment will help improve the lives of those making a difference in our community. Some of the previous recipients have been Working Wardrobes, U.S. Veterans Offices, Women’s Shelter in Huntington Beach and more. Since The Orange County Ronald McDonald House is my favorite local charity, I am going to nominate them for the Minor Miracles program. The organization has significantly impacted my family when my son was born premature and ill. Since there are often children living in the home that are undergoing severe medical procedures, having...

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Helping Homeless Children in Orange County with Project Hope

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Featured, Giving Back, Hot Topics, Parenting | 2 comments

 Did you know that there are 28,000 homeless children in Orange County? Did you know that the number has more than doubled since 2006? Did you know that 87% of homeless children are enrolled in school but only 77% attend regularly? Did you know that 1/2 of all homeless children are behind in school by two years? It breaks our heart to say that all of this is true. While we live in one of the most wealthiest communities in the Country, we have one of the largest rates of homeless children fighting to survive. The Project Hope Alliance is helping to end the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time. The Project Hope Alliance works directly with housing developers and private apartment owners to eliminate application disqualification due to credit/evictions. They help to provide support through payment...

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What Disney means to the Make-a-Wish Foundation

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Disney, Family, Giving Back, Theme Parks | 0 comments

 The Walt Disney Company has played a strong role in supporting the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The Walt Disney Company is focused on creating a place for families to spend memorable moments together, but is also devoted to our community. In 2013, $370 Million dollars were donated, 667,013 VoluntEARS Hours spent giving back in our community by the Walt Disney Company employees, and 4 Million kids and families have been impacted. The Make-a-Wish Foundation begin in 1980, and the first wish was a child wanting to come to Disneyland. Since that first day in 1980, over 85,000 children have chosen for their one wish to be Disney related. Children have wished to go to Disneyland, Disney Cruises, meet a Disney Character or go to a Disney Premiere. As of today, nearly half of their 14,000 wishes granted annually are Disney related....

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Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Supporting Project Linus

Posted by on Dec 23, 2013 in Featured, Film, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The highly anticipated release of the film, Percy Jackson The Sea Monsters, on Blu-ray and DVD are officially here. The Twentieth Century Fox hit family film is supporting Project Linus this holiday season, and the OC Mom Blog team was honored to be a part of this special campaign. Our families came together to make Golden Fleece Blankets to donate to Project Linus. The kids all helped to tie hundreds of fleece edges to blankets that will go to critically ill children during the holiday season. When my youngest son was going through bone marrow biopsies while suffering from Neutropenia as a young child, the blanket that the hospital gave him from Project Linus helped to make his procedures more comforting. The blanket that he brought home from the hospital is the same blanket that he sleeps with...

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The Holiday Razor Secret Scooter Mission

Posted by on Dec 23, 2013 in Christmas, Giving Back, Holiday | 0 comments

  One of the main focuses that I try to instill in my children is the importance of giving to others during the holiday season. It is a time for giving, loving and caring. We have done the adopt a family program for many years in the past, but this year I wanted to give back to our OC Mom Blog readers who needed some extra support this holiday season. Without all of you – we would not be where we are with this blog, and we are so grateful to all the support we have from Moms all around Orange County throughout the year. We are also thankful that Razor helped to sponsor the holiday Secret Scooter Mission that allowed us to surprise children all over Orange County, with shiny new Razor Scooters this year. We put out...

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Let’s Change the World with Club Penguin Coins for Change

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in Featured, Giving Back, Tech | 0 comments

 The holidays are a time for giving. A time for encouraging children to make a difference, and give back to others. Club Penguin is helping to empower children to make a difference in the world this year with their annual Coins for Change campaign. Happening right now on Club Penguin through January 1st, children can donate virtual coins the they earn while playing games on Club Penguin to give back. Club Penguin will donate $1 million USD from Club Penguin on behalf of the children who donate their virtual coins to ten real-world projects. Club Penguin has already donated $10 million USD to charities all over the world! Players will be able to donate their coins in order to fund projects that matter to them, such as: Toys and warm coats for kids in the United States A Clean...

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Gorjana Necklace Benefiting Illumination Foundation (Giveaway)

Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in Featured, Giveaways, Giving Back | 10 comments

  The holidays are a time for giving back, and helping others. Gorjana Jewelry is helping holiday shoppers to give back to a great foundation, and surprise someone in their life with a beautiful piece of jewelry. 80% of all proceeds from the purchase of the Gorjana Flame Necklace will go directly to the Orange County non-profit, the Illumination Foundation. The Illumination Foundation is helping to break the cycle of homelessness in Orange County by providing stable housing, medical services, mental health counseling, case management, and food and clothing. I never realized how many people in Orange County are currently homeless, until volunteering my time at the Orange County Rescue Mission. The stories of the people touched my heart in a way that I never knew possible, making it my mission to help support foundations that care for the...

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Make the Season a Little Brighter for Those in Need This Holiday Season

Posted by on Nov 23, 2013 in Christmas, Family, Featured, Giving Back, Holiday | 0 comments

 Tinsel-covered trees, stockings filled to the brim and the ripping open of gifts are just a few of the holiday joys that our family cherishes each year. However, even more important is the opportunity to give to others in need during the holiday season. My daughters and I love selecting name tags from our church Christmas trees, and putting together Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. So, if your family is able to make someone’s life a little brighter this holiday season, here are a few organizations in Orange County that still need help: Alzheimer’s Family Services Center 9451 Indianapolis Avenue Huntington Beach, CA 92646 714-593-9630 The Alzheimer’s Family Services Center is in need of holiday set up and decorating on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Come decorate halls and the outside of the center with trees,...

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How Families Can Give Back this Holiday Season in Orange County

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The holiday season is a time for showing our thanks and giving back to our community. Involving children in community service projects is important to do throughout the year and during the holidays. These are some ways that your family can come together to give back this throughout the holiday season in Orange County.   Ronald McDonald House Orange County 383 S Batavia Street Orange, CA 92868 Host a holiday toy drive with your children for the kids living at the Ronald McDonald House. They will be allowing toy donations to be dropped off on December 13th from noon to 8pm, and December 14th from 10am to 6pm. Families can also purchase toys from the Ronald McDonald House Amazon wish list, and Amazon will deliver the toys to the house on your behalf.   Orange County Rescue Mission...

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Macy’s Make-A-Wish Believe Campaign

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Giving Back, Holiday | 0 comments

  Imagine getting to be a part of making a child with life-threatening medical conditions wish come true with Make-a-Wish. I have been fortunate enough to witness a wish being granted, and the organization will forever hold a special spot in my heart. This year, Macy’s, is supporting the Make-a-Wish foundation with their 6th annual “Believe” campaign. How can you help? Write a letter or color a picture for Santa with your children. Bring the letter to your local Macy’s store to be mailed. For every letter sent, Macy’s will donate $1, up to $1 Million to the Make-a-Wish foundation!! We invite all of you to be a part of this special campaign, and help make wishes come true this holiday...

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Tickets Now on Sale for the Elephant Parade Auction

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Events, Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

 The Elephant Parade has raised nearly seven million dollars globally for Asian elephant conservation, and will only be in Dana Point for just a few more days. An estimated 50,000 people have visited the Dana Point exhibition thus far, and now locals have an opportunity to make one of the elephants their own at the Elephant Parade Auction. Tickets are currently available for the Grand Auction that will take place on Sunday, November 17th from 2pm to 6pm at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point. Tickets are available for $175 per person or $300 for couples, and may be purchased through [email protected] A selection of elephants will be available at the auction, while the rest of the herd will continue on tour to locations soon to be disclosed. Specific elephants may be made available at...

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Donate Your Halloween Candy to Support Our Troops with Heartworks OC

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Events, Featured, Giving Back | 1 comment

  Heartworks OC is a local non-profit acts of kindness group that aspires to turn compassion into action by making connections in our community. We host many family friendly events, in the hopes of spreading the desire to help others, to our children. Get ready to fill shoeboxes, color pages and write personal thank you notes to support our troops in this fun event. Let’s say “Thank You” to our troops overseas! Family Event: Troop Box filling When: Sunday, November 3, 2013 Time: 2PM-4PM Where: Kite Hill Community Park, Laguna Niguel Suggested items to bring: *Left over Halloween candy (no chocolate please-it will melt ) ▪ Granola bars, protein bars, and other healthy bars ▪ Individual snack bags of mixed nuts, sunflower seeds, trail mix, peanut butter crackers, almonds, chips, Oreos and other cookies. ▪ Instant coffee ▪ Things...

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OC Suitcase Soirée Benefits Children with Autism

Posted by on Oct 23, 2013 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

 On Friday, September 20, Former MLB All-Star Pitcher Eddie Guardado, along with his wife Lisa Guardado, hosted the OC Suitcase Soirée to benefit children with autism. Eddie and his wife Lisa established The Eddie Guardado Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3), in 2008 after their youngest child, Ava, was diagnosed with autism. Lisa and Eddie understand the emotional and financial hardships families impacted with autism experience and founded the Eddie Guardado Foundation to help other families receive access to therapy and treatments that they could not otherwise afford. In January 2011, The Eddie Guardado Foundation joined forces with ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), as both non-profits share the mission of providing awareness of and access to effective therapies for children with autism. Since their partnership began, the Eddie Guardado Foundation has enabled ACT Today! to provide an additional 100 grants to...

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Monroe Elementary School Receives a Newly Renovated Library

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013 in Events, Family, Giving Back | 1 comment

 Target Corp. and The Heart of America Foundation has unveiled a newly renovated library at Monroe Elementary School. The renovated library will feature 2,000 new books and a technology upgrade, including new iPads. Monroe Elementary is one of 25 elementary schools to have been selected to receive a brand new library as part of the Target School Library Makeover program. If you’re not familiar with the program, here’s a fun infographic that shows you a look at the life of these projects. As part of this program, Target is on track to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015. By reimagining school libraries and transforming outdated spaces into state-of-the-art learning centers, Target hopes to ignite a love of learning and put more children on the path to high school graduation. The program also provides seven books for each student to take home following the...

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Make-A-Wish Grants Wishes of Three Children in Orange County

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Family, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The Make-a-Wish of Orange County and the Inland Empire along with the Kaleidoscope Center in Mission Viejo will grant the wishes of three children in Orange County on Wednesday, September 25th. The premiere retail, dining and entertainment center will present the Make-a-Wish Foundation with a $15,000 donation raised during its annual Wines and Wishes Summer Tour and Mini Carnival over the Summer. The funds raised will go to grant the wishes of these three special children living in Orange County: Emma who is 6 and lives in Mission Viejo. She is diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Failure and her wish is to visit Disneyland Resort. Colin is 17 and lives in Huntington Beach. He is diagnosed with Immune Deficiency and his wish is to travel to Atlantis in the Bahamas. Sara is 10 and lives in Garden Grove. She...

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Join The OC Mom Blog Team for the 2013 CHOC Walk at Disneyland Resort

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Disney, Events, Featured, Giving Back | 1 comment

  What does CHOC Children’s Hospital mean to you? All my life, it was just a hospital that I knew cared for very sick children. The meaning of the hospital changed significantly for me after giving birth to my premature son Tyler. Tyler was a fighter, but without the care from the doctors and nurses at CHOC Children’s Hospital, he would not be here today. We are inviting all of our readers to join team OC Mom Blog on October 13th, at the 2013 CHOC Walk in the Park, to celebrate the lives of all the children who are here today because of the doctors and nurses at CHOC Children’s Hospital. All of the long days and nights that Tyler spent at CHOC Children’s Hospital while fighting his neutropenia, never felt long to him. The doctors, nurses, and staff...

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Raise Awareness with Your Children at The Elephant Parade in Dana Point

Posted by on Sep 15, 2013 in Events, Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

  Your children will become an Elephantologist by helping to save the Asian Elephants from extinction at The Elephant Parade in Dana Point. We have seen these beautifully painted elephants throughout Dana Point, and while visiting the Tallships Festival, the kids got an opportunity to learn what the organization is all about. Over the past 100 years, scientists estimate that the Asian elephant population has decreased by over 90%. Because of their immense size, the Asian elephants need much more areas of natural habitat to live. They weigh an estimated 5.5 tons (that is 3 mid-sized cars!) The Elephant Parade features large elephant statues located throughout the city. All of the elephants have been designed by world renowned artists, iconic celebrities and community members. The Elephant parade has made previous stops in London, Singapore, Milan, and now right here...

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Support Parents that Lost Babies at OC Golf to Remember September 18th

Posted by on Sep 14, 2013 in Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

 Part of feeling at home where you live is having a sense of belonging and giving back.  A little over a year ago we relocated here. It has taken time to get settled as a family, but we are really at home now here in Orange County.  Some of you may not know that my husband and I lost our second son, Jaxon, to a stillbirth two days shy of 37 weeks.  We feel even more at home now as we will be walking in his name at the OC Walk to Remember on October 5th.  OC Walk to Remember is also holding their first ever OC Golf to Remember on September 18th. The OC Walk to Remember is a nonprofit organization that supports parents who have lost a baby in pregnancy or infancy.  The OC “Golf to Remember Tournament”...

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Heartwarming Minnie Walk at Brings Joy to Children at CHOC Hospital

Posted by on Sep 13, 2013 in Disney, Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The CHOC Walk is coming to the Disneyland Resort on Sunday, October 13th. The CHOC Walk, has raised more than $21 Million, to provide necessary resources, and health care needs that impact the children at CHOC Children’s Hospital. It has been a long tradition that Disneyland Resort has partnered with CHOC Children’s Hospital for the walk. Yesterday, Children who would like to participate in the walk, but cannot leave the hospital got to have their own “Minnie Walk.” “It is a walk that was created here, developed in this community, and embraced by the Orange County community,” said Graig Eastin, Vice President of CHOC Children’s Foundation. “People come in from all over the world to be a part of this experience because of what it means to the children. Last year, we had 800 teams, and over 15,000...

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You are Invited: 7th Annual Designer Runway

Posted by on Aug 25, 2013 in Events, Giving Back | 0 comments

 You are invited to attend the 7th Annual Designer Runway event on September 12th from 5pm to 10pm. Orange County’s top interior designers will create fashion forward outfits from fabric and trip in only 90 minutes at the event. Then watch the designers strut down the runway in front of celebrity judges while enjoying culinary tastings paired with wine. The 2013 Designer Runway will  have celebrity designer, Michael Berman as the Master of Ceremonies, and will be co-hosted by The Colton Company and LUXE Interiors. This special event will benefit the Council on Aging in Orange County. The event will be located at the Laguna Design Center at 23811 Aliso Creek Road in Laguna Niguel. Tickets are currently available online for $100 per...

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Giving School Supplies to The Kids at The Ronald McDonald House with Champions for Kids

Posted by on Aug 12, 2013 in Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

  The Ronald McDonald House is a charity that is close to my heart. After having a sick and premature baby, The Ronald McDonald House played an integral role in helping the families that we grew close to while our baby was in the NICU. Not all of the children living at The Ronald McDonald House are terminally sick. There are also siblings who stay with their parents who are caring for their sick children. After making a meal last month for families living in the home, we learned that many of the siblings living in the home were in need of school supplies for going back-to-school. Since their parents are spending all of their hours in the hospital, they don’t have time to go shopping for back-to-school supplies for their other children. We wanted to help by giving...

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Volunteering at The Ronald McDonald House of Orange County

Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in Family, Featured, Giving Back | 0 comments

  I grew-up spending a lot of time doing volunteer work in our community. My mother raised me knowing the importance of always taking the time to give back to our community. Now that I am a mother, I work hard to instill the same value in my children. Every summer, we plan a community service project to do together as a family. Both Amy’s family and mine spent a day volunteering at The Ronald McDonald House in Orange County. Why the Ronald McDonald house? It has a special place in my heart. When my youngest son Tyler was born premature, I never left the NICU. Sitting in a rocking chair watching my baby fight for his life inside of a plastic box while watching his monitors, I bonded closely with the mothers of the babies who were next...

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Five Ways to Support Ronald McDonald House

Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 in Featured, Giving Back | 2 comments

  Giving back is important for all of us to do and as families we can teach our children so many valuable lessons through volunteer work and the act of giving back.   Our families served a meal to the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Orange County last week and we are so thrilled to hear from so many of you asking how else you can support. Here are five easy ways to support the Ronald McDonald House. Cash Donations Life goes through busy times, but that does not have to deter your efforts to give back to organizations of your choice.  You can make cash donations to the Orange County Ronald McDonald House through their website or by mailing your donation to: Orange County Ronald McDonald House Donor Services 383 South Batavia Street Orange, CA...

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Simon Youth Foundation Awards Scholarship June 13th

Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in Giving Back | 0 comments

  The Simon Youth Foundation helps to foster and improve educational opportunities, career development, and life skills that transform the lives of at-risk youth through the Simon Youth Academy at Westminster, which is hosting a graduation and scholarship presentation this Thursday, June 13. Simon Youth Foundation Academy at Westminster Mall will hold a graduation and scholarship presentation on Thursday, June 13 to honor the perseverance and accomplishments an at-risk teen. The Simon Youth Foundation Academy Scholarship Recipient this year is Michelle Lafuentehas who received a Simon Youth Foundation Academy Scholarship valued at $7,700 over two years. The scholarship is awarded to an individual who has worked tirelessly to earn their diploma, and seek to pursue their dreams in post-secondary education. SYF is a national non-profit dedicated to providing educational and career development opportunities to youth. More than $1 million in Simon Youth Foundation Scholarships will be...

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Hunger in The Summer At The Orange County Rescue Mission

Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Featured, Giving Back | 1 comment

 I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®, Odwalla, and Champions for Kids #cbias #SocialFabric. I have been volunteering in the community since I first started Junior High with National Charity League. I donated so many hours throughout my time in school that I was honored with a medallion for my community service hours at my debutant ball. Giving back to our community has been a lifelong passion of mine, and I want to instill the same passions in my kids by encouraging my kids to help other kids. When Odwalla offered me the opportunity to sponsor a food drive for a local shelter, I immediately went to my favorite place that supports homeless in Orange County – The Orange...

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Family Activity to Honor our Fallen on Memorial Day

Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Family, Giving Back | 1 comment

 Our family is very patriotic and as parents we work very hard to instill a deep sense of gratitude in our children.  Gratitude for the freedoms we have.  Gratitude for our family, our friends, and all we have together.  Gratitude for our country. A friend asked me the other day if I knew the meaning of the Poppy flower for Memorial Day.  I was disappointed in myself that I could not articulate the actual meaning of the flower.  I knew veterans collected donations and distributed them each Memorial Day and have wonderful  memories of getting them each and every Memorial Day with my grandma and grandpa. But that was and is not enough… We drove around to find a veteran distributing poppies. We researched the meaning of Memorial Day, and the poppies, as a family over the Memorial Day...

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‘Save the Children’ Supports Children after Oklahoma Tornado

Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Giving Back | 0 comments

  It’s Memorial Day weekend…a time to honor those who lost their lives fighting for our country. Yet for many of us this is a long weekend filled with family, friends, parades, cookouts, and togetherness. For those affected by the Oklahoma tornado, that is not the case. Save the Children’s U.S. emergency response team has set up a safe play area to ensure the needs of children in the impacted areas of Oklahoma are prioritized.  The recovery process is underway, but it will be a long road for sure.  The organization’s safe play area, called a Child-Friendly Space, is located at the Moore Community Center.  Save the Children will also be creating these safe spaces at additional shelters to help displaced families. As we enjoy a weekend of normalcy, it is important that we remember what families in Oklahoma are...

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Make-a-Wish Foundation 3rd Annual Walk a Huge Success

Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Events, Featured, Giving Back, Uncategorized | 0 comments

    Make-a-Wish foundation is one of my favorite local organizations to support. Once I saw the face on a child having their wish granted through the Make-a-Wish foundation, I realized how important this organization is to terminally ill children living in Orange County. Recently, the Make-a-Wish foundation hosted their 3rd Annual Walk for Wishes that was a huge success raising more than $170,000 between the 1,400 walkers that came to show their support. “We are overjoyed by the success of today’s walk,” said Stephanie McCormick, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire. “It was thrilling to see such an amazing Orange County community presence and we are truly grateful for the support.” Walk For Wishes proved to be a day of excitement, entertainment and inspiration made possible by Trusted Choice, Mackenzie Corporation, Pacific Contours...

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