Local Volunteers Make the Holidays Brighter for OC Children in Need with SparkJoy
SparkPoint OC financial empowerment program offers SparkJoy project to alleviate financial burdens for low-income OC families by fulfilling children’s holiday wish lists.
The holiday season tends to spark its own kind of magic. Neighbors show up unexpectedly to lend a hand, strangers go out of their way to help one another, and we feel the joy of giving more deeply.
This year was no exception as the magic of the season inspired local volunteers to provide holiday gifts to families in need through Orange County United Way’s SparkJoy project.
Together, caring individuals and dedicated partner companies fulfilled the wish lists of 608 OC children!
Their efforts helped 259 local underserved families who are participating in United Way’s SparkPoint OC financial empowerment program. Watch some highlights in the recap video below:
Through generous donations, SparkJoy allows local hard-working families to provide gifts to their children while enabling them to allocate their funds to other necessities like rent, utilities, and food.
While each story is unique, every SparkJoy recipient expressed their sincere gratitude for how much the gifts brightened the holidays for their family.
For Eva and her husband, finances have been tight since they took over guardianship of their three grandchildren a few years ago. Eva had to significantly reduce her hours at work and then the pandemic brought on a completely new set of challenges, which created long-lasting effects that the family is still trying to overcome to be more financially stable. Eva and her husband shared how overjoyed they were to have help with gifts this year, reducing their financial burden.
For single mother, Anais, the holidays were going to be especially difficult this year. After losing her job, Anais tried her best to ensure she could provide for her daughter. However, as she struggled to find work, the stress of her situation began negatively affecting her overall well-being. Thankfully, Anais recently secured a full-time job, but will need to designate her next few paychecks to the bills that accumulated while she was looking for work.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate in SparkJoy. The gifts my family received will make this Christmas a very happy one for my daughter and allow me to catch up on bills.”
–Anais, single mom, SparkJoy project beneficiary
Not only was SparkJoy beneficial for the holiday gift recipients, but the volunteers who helped fulfill so many children’s wish lists found the experience extremely rewarding and fulfilling. One volunteer, a single mom herself, expressed how good it felt to know she was making a difference for those in need while helping make the holidays special for children in her community.
“So many families are still experiencing hardships as a result of the pandemic. People are working multiple jobs, dipping into savings, and still struggling to make ends meet. The SparkPoint OC program and the SparkJoy project are helping hard-working OC families get back on track and move toward financial stability.”
–Marcela Ticas, Program Manager, United for Financial Security℠
A huge thank you to everyone who helped make SparkJoy a success! Whether you fulfilled wish lists, helped wrap gifts, or coordinated drop offs and delivery, you played an influential role in this impactful effort. Together, we are improving lives in our community and, for that, we are truly grateful this holiday season.
A special shout out to our partner companies and their employees for their compassion and commitment to helping SparkJoy this season:
- Eli Lilly
- Farmers Insurance
- Forootan Law
- Hardy Windows
- L3 Harris
- McKinley Elevator
- Pacific Life
- Providence St. Joseph Hospital
- Truist, and
- Z Supply
And thank you to our Men of the Breakfast and Women United members for your heartfelt and unwavering support.
SparkJoy was made possible via SparkPoint OC, a financial empowerment program offered through Orange County United Way’s United for Financial Security℠ initiative. These efforts are empowering struggling OC families to transition from surviving to thriving by delivering programs that focus on the most important tools to build financial stability: establishing a Safety Net, establishing Financial Wellness, developing Workforce Solutions, and promoting Public Awareness and Education.
Want to support OC families in need?
If you would like to support local underserved families, we encourage you to:
- Donate to Support Our Programs and Services
- Find Local Volunteer Opportunities
- Contact Doug McKay, Director, Engagement Strategy at DougM@UnitedWayOC.org or 949.263.6125 to learn how your company can partner with us to provide engaging volunteer opportunities.