A Message from Our CEO, as of 3/31/20

Dear friends & supporters,

We thought you as a supporter of Orangewood Foundation might like to know our response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation. First, we hope the virus has not affected the health of you or your loved ones. Certainly, these are unprecedented times and we are so grateful for your support of our youth.

Many of you have reached out with questions and we’d like to address them here. The top questions have been:

  1. How is this impacting Orangewood youth?
  2. How can I help?
  3. Will your 2020 events still happen?

Orangewood Operations & Facilities:

The safety of our youth, staff, volunteers and donors is our utmost priority at this time. We are actively monitoring the recommendations of recognized health agencies at the county, state and national levels. The majority of our staff are going on week 3 of working from home. Our Program staff members continue to support Orangewood youth in creative ways that protect and promote the health and wellness of all individuals. This includes utilizing phone, video conferencing and electronic communication when possible; educating youth on handwashing, hygiene, and symptoms of coronavirus; limited drive-thru or walk up hours outside our on-site Orangewood Resource Center hours; and following the recommendation to use social distancing for all gatherings.

The Samueli Academy campus is closed to students and most staff through May 3rd. Virtual/distance learning began on Monday, March 30th with a 95% attendance rate on the first day!

Supporting Orangewood Youth:

For those that have been asking how they can help our youth during this time, there are two ways:

1. Make a donation:
As you can imagine, our youth are disproportionately impacted by this health crisis. Many are experiencing a reduction in work hours or are being laid off due to the COVID-19. The domino effect on their ability to buy food and pay rent is significant. We are already seeing an increase in the number of youth that need additional financial and other support from us. You can make a donation at https://orangewoodfoundation.org/donate-general/.

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2. Donate grocery and other items (via Amazon or drive-thru):
Orangewood Program staff have worked with our youth to identify their top needs at this time, which include: Hygiene items such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dry shampoo, deodorant; men’s/women’s socks and jackets; easy to prep meals; ready to eat foods, and gas and grocery gift cards. You can view our full list here. We have created an Amazon wish list at http://a.co/cJ5An98 to make purchasing easier. We will also be accepting donations of these items via “drive-thru” at our offices on Fridays from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Our address is 1575 E. 17th St., Santa Ana 92705.

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Events:

  1. Orangewood Foundation has many events throughout the year and we are monitoring this health crisis and following all CDC and government recommendations.
  2. The Athletes First Gala, originally scheduled for March 14th, became a virtual Gala. Thank you to the Athletes First organization including Brian Murphy, David Dunn, and Justin Schulman, and all the donors who bid and contributed.
  3. We are creating contingency plans for all other upcoming events and will communicate our plans as they unfold.

Thank you for your concern about our team and our youth. Please follow us on social media or check back on this page for updates.

Sincerely,
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Chris Simonsen