More than 900 registered viewers for the virtual fundraising event with special guest Lisa Ling
Irvine, CA (July 12, 2021) – Orange County United Way hosted the 18th Annual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast virtually on May 20, raising $433,964 to support initiatives targeting poverty and housing instability in challenged neighborhoods in Orange County.
More than 900 community leaders tuned in for the event, making it one of the most successful breakfast fundraisers in the county, even with its altered format.
Bank of America and UPS served as Champion Sponsors of this year’s breakfast. These companies are longtime supporters of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund and Orange County United Way initiatives.
“The Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast allows us to celebrate philanthropy and excite our community about doing even more as they learn of the impact of our collective work,” said Susan B. Parks, President and CEO of Orange County United Way. “This past year highlighted the inequities in our community like never before. We are so grateful to the members and supporters of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund for joining forces with us in the fight against poverty and housing instability.”
Celebrity guest, Lisa Ling, inspired viewers during a Q&A with Tam Nguyen, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Orange County United Way. Their conversation shone a light on why we need to support Orange County’s most vulnerable families and children.
“It was an honor to co-chair this year’s event. Living through a pandemic for over a year has been an immense hurdle for everyone, especially for those who are experiencing poverty and the challenges that come along with it. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this event and fundraise for a critical cause,” said Anne Michaelsen-Yahn and Dilanthi De Alwis, Breakfast co-chairs.
The Women’s Philanthropy Fund has partnered with Paul Revere Elementary School for eight years, investing in resources to collectively improve outcomes for children and families facing high poverty, unemployment and housing instability. Over the last year, support from the Women’s Philanthropy Fund meant the school could refer parents to Sparkpoint OC, a one-stop financial empowerment center. Additional funds helped provide computer devices so that students could remain connected, a monthly food pantry, book rewards for students achieving reading goals, and weekly videos for physical activity, to name a few.
A special part of the program featured an update from Jennifer Swan-Altieri, a passionate third-grade teacher at Paul Revere, and one of her students, Andrew, who benefitted greatly from the Women’s Philanthropy Fund’s investment during an especially trying year of distance learning.
While Andrew’s family struggled financially and physically after his father became ill with COVID, so did Andrew’s classroom attendance and participation. As a result of the partnership, Mrs. Swan-Altieri reminded Andrew to take advantage of the food pantry to provide much-needed groceries for his family, and spoke to his mother about receiving support from Sparkpoint OC. “With support and reassurance that we were there to help him, Andrew began showing up to class again, participating in discussions and was even named ‘Student of the Month,’ said Mrs. Swan-Altieri.
This year’s breakfast highlighted the acute needs stemming from the pandemic and how United Way is helping to ensure vulnerable families thrive. The great success of the breakfast will allow the organization to support more programming, including a much-needed program in South County.
Other sponsors of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast included:
- Owl Foundation
- Victoria and David Collins
- Laurie and Scott Dubchansky
- Edison International
- Artyn and Max Gardner
- Masson Family Foundation/Lifestyle of Giving
- Pacific Life Insurance Company
To watch a recap of the virtual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast: https://bit.ly/3bY3Rtj
ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY UNITED WAY
Today’s Orange County United Way is committed to leading the fight for equity by removing barriers, closing gaps, and leveling the playing field for everyone who lives here. More than a fundraiser, we’re hands-on, delivering more than 50 programs countywide to improve lives in our community. Every day we are doing more for the Education, Health, Housing and Financial Stability of people in Orange County. We are working to ensure our students succeed, our struggling families find financial security, and our homeless neighbors find a place to call home. To learn more or discover how you can help, visit www.unitedwayoc.org.
Orange County United Way is a standalone, independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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Media Contact: Annie Noebel, firstname.lastname@example.org, (949) 525-7024