Print

OC comes together amid pandemic to raise $154,094 in 24 hours for local veterans

On May 20, seven local nonprofit organizations partnered with the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), based in Newport Beach, to host the third annual Stand and Salute, a Giving Day to honor OC veterans and military families. The 24-hour effort raised $153,094 with participation from 437 donors.

“We are thrilled with the success of this third annual Stand and Salute Giving Day. In the midst of a health and economic crisis, the Orange County community stepped up at a time they were needed most,” said Shelley Hoss, president and CEO, OCCF. “The funds raised will provide much-needed support to our military veterans and their families at the time it is needed most.”

Orange County is home to approximately 130,000 veterans – the third highest countywide population in California. With new economic and health challenges arising from the pandemic, veterans are at a significantly increased risk of financial insecurity, among other needs. According to a new study by the researchers from the Economic Roundtable, 87 percent of positions in Orange County are in industries deemed “non-essential,” putting Southern Californians’ jobs in limbo due to stay-at-home mandates.

Together, the Stand and Salute Giving Day organizations are working to meet the needs of veterans and their families through a variety of support services including financial assistance, employment, healthcare and housing support, mental health support, mentorship, counseling and much more. The participating nonprofits included 211 Orange County, Bob Hope USO, Goodwill of Orange County, Strength in Support, Strong Families Strong Children, Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) and Working Wardrobes.

This Giving Day is the latest of a series that, to date, has raised more than $10 million for Orange County nonprofits. OCCF first challenged Orange County residents to “give where their heart lives” during the inaugural iheartoc Giving Day in 2015, raising more than $1.8 million for 347 participating nonprofits in just 30 hours. In 2018, OCCF restructured iheartoc as an expanded opportunity for nonprofits to connect with one another in support of their shared missions.

Additional collaborative Giving Days will be announced over the coming year. For more information, visit www.oc-cf.org/iheartoc.