National Volunteer Week

Walter (Ace) Hoyt


Some of our volunteers create lasting relationships with our youth, like Walter (Ace) Hoyt. Ace is one of our mentors at Orangewood Foundation. “Seven years ago I was recently retired,” says Ace. “I wanted to give younger people advice and share my life experience.” Ace was matched with Elias, a former foster youth, in 2012 and taught him things like budgeting and interviewing for a job. But Ace learned some things too. “Not everyone has the same goals as you,” Ace explains. “Elias had different goals than what I’m traditionally used to, and I learned how to support him in his decisions.”

Ace has dedicated his time and energy to help us serve youth like, Elias, for the past seven years. As Elias puts it, “He is my mentor. But most importantly, he’s a good friend.”

Thank you, Ace, for creating a meaningful relationship with our youth!



Sub Zero SM

Our volunteers help us in all aspects of our organization. A good example is Sub-Zero. Sub-Zero has been a supporter of Orangewood Foundation for over two years, starting out with donations for fundraising events. Sub-Zero has taken the initiative to work closely with our youth, including creating workshops for them. They’ve opened their showroom in Costa Mesa to teach youth the basics of cooking (an important life skill!), shown in the picture.

Most recently, Jeff Jones, the showroom sales manager at Sub-Zero, worked with our development team on donor research and strategies around donor relationships. Jeff has donated his time over the past five months to help us enhance our relationship with our donors. Our Senior Development Director Tracy Cooper says, “Jeff’s keen instincts and expertise with data have provided invaluable insights into the work we do. I am so incredibly impressed and highly value his passion and contribution.”

Thank you, Sub-Zero, for volunteering your time, expertise, and resources to make Orangewood even better!

Judy Nicholls

Judy Nicholls

Some of our volunteers work directly with our youth at Samueli Academy, like Judy Nicholls. Judy has been a mentor to Violeta, a Samueli graduate, for over a year. “Being Violeta’s mentor is rewarding,” says Judy. “I get to know a resilient and positive young woman.”

Judy has been a supporter since 2008. As a member of Orangewood’s 44 Women for Orangewood auxiliary group, Judy has been on the planning committee for major 44 Women fundraising events. Our Manager of Donor Relations, Jeff Gilstrap, is our staff liaison to the auxiliary and says, “Judy is a dedicated individual who cares about our mission and the youth we serve.”

Thank you, Judy, for all your hard work! We’re grateful to have you!

Lyon Living

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At Orangewood Foundation, our volunteers come from all facets of the community. We’re fortunate to have employees from Lyon Living who cook and serve delicious meals to our youth in our kitchen every month. Lyon Living and the William Lyon Company have always been great supporters of Orangewood Foundation. In fact, the foundation was co-founded by General William Lyon himself!

In addition to Lyon Living’s support of Orangewood through donations and volunteerism, the company has also had a direct impact on some of our youth, like Alex. “I was in the kitchen one day and I was just talking to a Lyon Living  employee about wanting to find a better paying job,” Alex recalls. “He asked for my resume, I luckily had one in my car and I got a job at Lyon Living the next Monday.” Alex has been working with the company for the last two years.

We’re grateful to have Lyon Living as a supporter. Our Community Engagement Manager Humberto says, “It’s always a pleasure to have dedicated and consistent volunteers like Lyon Living that provide a meal because our youth remember them upon every visit.” Thank you, Lyon Living, for your service and dedication to our youth!