Early in the pandemic, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley was the only Boys & Girls Club between Long Beach and the U.S.-Mexico border that was open, said CEO Tanya Hoxsie. They mostly were serving children of medical workers from nearby Hoag Hospital and Memorial Care. “It was tough, but we knew we needed to stay open,” Hoxsie said. The school age clubs and preschools both received CARES Act funding approved by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to help stay afloat during the pandemic. “Funding is always important for nonprofits but in 2020 it became critical for our survival,” Hoxsie said. “We were fighting to survive.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of Tustin: Persevering Through the Pandemic
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Tustin initially closed at the start of the pandemic, but since has safely opened at reduced capacity and increased hours to accommodate children who are enrolled in distance learning. “The impact to our revenue was huge,” CEO Jamie Serrano said. “The longer this goes on the further and further that deficit will stretch.” “Grants like this — it’s huge. Every single dollar of lifeline that comes through is huge for us and gives us the ability to stretch the pandemic a little further,” she said.
The Youth Center: Keeping Kids on Track
The Youth Center provides child care services for families who live and work in the Los Alamitos area. This year has been the hardest in the nonprofit’s 68-year history.
With assistance from a CARES Act grant, The Youth Center is able to continue to serve children and families during the pandemic. The Center currently serves (as of January 2021) 1,000 children at three locations in Los Alamitos. The kids come from 26 different cities, though their parents either work or live in Los Alamitos. The Youth Center re-opened shortly after the shutdown in March to serve the children of first responders, medical staff, and other essential workers. The center was struggling to stay open and make ends meet — and continue their streak of never having declined a scholarship for a single child.
First 5 Orange County helps with diaper distribution at Delhi Center in Santa Ana
First 5 Orange County sent diapers and supplies to Delhi Center in Santa Ana, which distributed to those in need.
The Delhi Center sent photos of some who were helped. Thank you to everyone involved!
Diaper distributions take place every Tuesday through Thursday at the Delhi Center, 505 E. Central Ave., in Santa Ana.
First 5 Orange County Thanks Frontline Staff
First 5 Orange County is sending its thanks to child care workers, homeless shelter staff, and all the community heroes who are helping children and families during this pandemic. We applaud your efforts and appreciate the difficult and necessary work you are doing....
Focus on Innovation: Paving a Pathway to Quality Dental Care
In Orange County, preventable tooth decay is the most common chronic illness among young children. Even more alarming, the most recent statistics reveal that approximately one out of every 10 children in OC – or nearly 70,000 kids – ages 3 to 11 have never visited a dentist. To combat this growing crisis, First 5 Orange County mobilized to tackle the barriers that prevent children from accessing dental care, bringing together and coordinating community providers, championing an innovative model for delivering services, and finding additional revenue. A local provider that stepped up to help give a new generation of Orange County children access to critically-needed oral health care was Serve the People.
Phillip’s Story: Finding His Voice
When Phillip Ogedo went from a 2-year-old to an almost 3-year-old without speaking, his mother knew it was time to ask for help. A developmental screening from Family Support Network helped pave a path to get Phillip the support and speech therapy he needed to find his voice. Today, Phillip loves to talk. He loves to announce his full name to anyone who asks – there’s a joy in hearing him share those simple sentences.
Lexi’s Story: A Critical Early ‘Learning Link’
Shortly after turning 1, Lexi Lee enrolled in Learning Link at Lincoln Elementary School in Santa Ana. Her mother, Venus, intuitively understood the important benefits of helping her little girl acquire solid early-learning skills and habits. Now 2, Lexi has benefited tremendously from Learning Link’s creative and holistic curriculum — and so has her mother.
A Nurturing Environment for All Children: Elisea’s Story
Elisea has loved caring for children at her in-home early care and education program over the past 13 years, and continues to find new ways to help them thrive. She became involved with the Early Childhood Mental Health and Wellness Program as way to help some of her kids overcome behavioral challenges. Working alongside a mental health coach, she now has new strategies in place to support positive social and emotional development of each of her students.
20th Anniversary Spotlight: Lina’s Story
In 2003, Lina Lumme was scared, pregnant and alone. But she made a phone call from a number in the Yellow Pages and ended up finding the Precious Life Shelter in Los Alamitos, a residential shelter for homeless pregnant women. Thanks to the support and services from Precious Life, Lina was able to create a new life for herself and her daughter. She is now
the Executive Director at The Youth Center, married, mother of Cassandra, 15 and Daniel, 6, and she and her family continue to be a part of the Precious Life network.