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Spirit of Giving: Volunteers Make Holidays Brighter for SparkPoint OC Families

Spirit Of Giving: Volunteers Make Holidays Brighter For SparkPoint OC Families

Orange County volunteers helped assemble and distribute holiday food baskets and gifts to over 400 SparkPoint OC families in need.

‘Tis the season for counting blessings and spreading holiday cheer, and in the spirit of giving, that is exactly what our incredible community of volunteers did for over 400 Orange County families in need.

The pandemic hit Orange County’s most vulnerable families the hardest and many of them are still struggling to regain their footing, secure gainful employment, and provide for themselves and their families. To bolster the spirit of giving, we worked with local volunteers and several of our partners in the hope of reducing the strain that many of our struggling OC families are experiencing and helping them celebrate this joyful season.

Throughout November and December, Orange County United Way shared several opportunities to volunteer during the holidays and help local residents who are current or past participants of SparkPoint OC, our financial wellness program, which promotes financial empowerment through free one-on-one financial coaching to increase income, manage credit, and build assets through savings and planning in order to reach goals like buying a house or paying for college.

The events took place at three of our SparkPoint OC school sites and the volunteer impact was immense. Holiday meals were donated and several families also had their wish lists fulfilled. It was incredible to see our community come together for a truly meaningful cause.

Horace Mann Elementary

Through our partnership with Northgate Gonzalez Markets and Oportun, we were able to donate Turkey Vouchers and bags of holiday food items to over 100 families at Horace Mann Elementary School in Anaheim. Four of the families also received a $250 check and $100 Grocery Voucher!

Volunteers serving SparkPoint OC clients at food distribution event at Horace Mann Elementary School












And, thanks to local volunteers, 35 families had their children’s holiday wish lists fulfilled!

We work with families that face many barriers in life. Many of our clients work very hard and do their best to be financially stable for themselves and their children, but they still struggle with low income. The Holiday Food Baskets and other donations received provide some relief during the holiday season to these families. We are very grateful to those who donated and took their time to put these events together. – Leticia Chavolla, Orange County United Way’s SparkPoint OC Program Director

Salk Elementary

Due to COVID, Salk Elementary in Anaheim couldn’t do its usual holiday meal event. Together with our volunteers and partners, we were able to donate and distribute 50 Holiday Food Baskets to help families in need celebrate Thanksgiving and another 60 were distributed in December. Recipients included families who had never needed to seek assistance before, but were overly grateful for the help during such a difficult year.

Bus full of donated food baskets for SparkPoint OC clients















Thank you to our partners for making this event possible: AAA, Enterprise, Synoptek, Ware Malcomb, and KeyInfo.

The pandemic has affected all aspects of life for the families and communities we serve. The holidays are always a hectic time, but bringing a little assistance and hope to the community is such a privilege. The families are so thankful for the gifts. We are grateful for your donations and commitment to helping the community. We feel your embrace. Un Abrazo! –Mario A. Ortega, Chief Executive Officer, Abrazar Inc. (SparkPoint OC partner)

Washington Elementary

Associates from Edwards Lifesciences assembled 144 Holiday Food Baskets, which also included a seasonal gift and personalized holiday card. The baskets were distributed to SparkPoint OC families at Washington Elementary in Santa Ana.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I lost my job so whatever help—small or large—is good for my family. I appreciate you and everything you are doing for the community. –Parent of a Washington Elementary student

Food basket donation for SparkPoint OC families












The volunteer turnout was inspiring and the community impact was heartwarming. We are so grateful!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this incredible spirit of giving effort to help Orange County families this holiday season. We couldn’t have done it without you! And a big shout out to our SparkPoint OC partner, Abrazar, Inc., for helping with the food and present distribution.

When we work together, Orange County is better and brighter!

SparkPoint OC is a program included in our United for Financial Security℠ initiative, which aims to ensure Orange County families gain financial security.

Want to get involved?

If you would like to get involved, we encourage you to:

Donate to Orange County United Way to Support Our Programs

Find Volunteer Opportunities in Orange County

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