The Junior League of Orange County (JLOCC) is a volunteer-run (and 600+ member strong) organization that develops and supports local nonprofit programming to meet the crucial needs and service gaps in our community. The JLOCC provides support to partnering organizations through conducting research, community education, program development, volunteer hours and monetary donations.
We are proud to have helped found organizations such as OneOC (formerly the Volunteer Center) and the Orangewood Children’s Foundation.
Current Project Collaborations include:
Signature Project: The Academy (2012-2017)
Our relationship with the Orangewood Children's Foundation began in 1989 when the proceeds of our Christmas Company fundraiser opened the Orangewood Children's Home. Since that time, our ties with Orangewood and our work with foster youth in Orange County has deepened to a multifaceted attempt to better the lives of the vulnerable youth in our neighborhoods. We have worked on the social, legal, emotional and educative aspects of the foster youth experience to better their lives.
Not only has our vision allowed us to stay at the forefront of the issue of foster youth in Orange County, but we have partnered with projects in the community to propel them into some of the most powerful initiatives in Orange County, such as the Albert Sitten Home Speaker's Bureau, the Child Abuse Services Team and the Orangewood On My Own initiative. Now, our decades of prudence and good planning have allowed us to donate $500,000 to the development of the new, residential school for foster youth, the Academy.
The JLOCC is proud to support The Academy, the Orangewood Children’s Foundation’s college-preparatory public charter high school. The Academy’s mission is to provide a transformational learning environment to foster underserved teens and will serve as both a home and educational facility for foster and at-risk youth in Orange County. The school is located on over seven acres in Santa Ana, and will accommodate a student body of 480 including 80 who will live on-site once construction is completed.
The JLOCC members have many hands-on volunteer opportunities on the Academy campus. We have been involved with facilitating their monthly Community Nights, as well as various events throughout the school year. We look forward to creating new and exciting programs that will broaden each member’s training experience and most importantly, positively impact the lives of each student.
Bear Hugs and Bear Necessities Program (2010-2015)
The JLOCC and Orangewood Foundation have come together to reach out to teenagers emancipating from Orange County’s foster care system through the Bear Hugs and Bear Necessities program. Over 300 teens emancipate yearly, and many lack the support system to help them finish high school and plan their future.
To ease the transition into independent living, the Bear Hugs and Bear Necessities program provides emancipated teens with a duffel bag or backpack full of essentials, such as toiletries, towels, a blanket, stationery supplies, an inspirational book, calling cards, maps, a flashlight, and an alarm clock. In addition, this program supports the Orangewood Resource Center through their Independent Living Program and the Rising Tide Community Program to provide support services focusing on employment, education, health, and housing.
Grandma's House of Hope
The Grandma’s House of Hope Homeless Services Project empowers the invisible populations of Orange County. Grandma’s House of Hope serves those in the community not only facing unstable housing conditions, but also facing specific challenges such as facing severe physical or mental illness, surviving human trafficking, undergoing treatment for breast cancer, living in motels with their families because of extreme poverty, living in at risk neighborhoods and other challenging circumstances.
Grandma’s House of Hope offers services tailored to meet their basic needs such as shelter and food, as well as support and assistance as they take their next steps toward self-sufficiency and recovery. There is a broad array of groups that offer homeless services in Orange County; however, Grandma’s House of Hope is unique in the populations that we serve and our approach to meeting the individuals’ needs. For instance, few organizations in Orange County partner with the OC Human Trafficking Taskforce to offer shelter to human trafficking survivors. Even more notably, Grandma’s House of Hope offers the only housing program in Orange County that specializes in serving homeless women struggling with breast cancer.
Human Trafficking Awareness and Education Campaign (2012-2015)
Due in large part to the resort industry in Anaheim, Orange County has become a hub of human trafficking in California. Much of this trafficking is domestic with victims relocated to Orange County from other parts of the United States. Foster children are particularly vulnerable to human traffickers in that they often lack a stable home life and support system.
The issue of human trafficking is still being researched and is in the early stages of being addressed in Orange County and currently the most impactful effort the JLOCC could make is furthering public awareness and education. The JLOCC will expand existing community-based education and communication programs about human trafficking in Orange County and how to identify victims. This training will be developed with input from and delivered to health care workers, social workers, law enforcement, teachers, child care workers, and JLOCC members.
Blind Children's Learning Center (2012-2017)
In an effort to empower independence, Blind Children's Learning Center (BCLC) provides early intervention, education and services to not only children who are blind, visually impaired and deaf blind, but also children who are typically-developing, as well as their families. JLOCC provides volunteer support for BCLC during special events for students and their families. The activities JLOCC supports are varied and range from hosting a back-to-school night family dinner to decorating the BCLC campus for the holidays to supporting BCLC's involvement in Cal State Fullerton's Special Athletes event.
Impact Orange County (Annual)
Impact Orange County responds to immediate needs in the community by researching and implementing "done-in-a-day" projects and events within the JLOCC focus areas.
Junior League Juniors
The mission of Junior League Juniors is to create a community of compassionate children. Junior League Juniors are taught the values of philanthropy and volunteerism through engaging events, which develop the compassion that will continue to transform communities. This program also gives parents meaningful opportunities to model philanthropic ideals to their children.
Children from age 5-10, as well as their parents, are invited to participate in a variety of volunteer activities. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate.
Selection Process: We would like to invite any and all children to participate in our program. The only requirement will be that a legal guardian is available to stay with them through the entirety of the event.
While we will welcome participants to come to individual events, we will offer certificates of volunteerism for individuals who participate in at least 3 events with us, and 3 outside events throughout the year. We hope to present these certificates at our Annual Meeting in 2016.
Kids in the Kitchen
Kids in the Kitchen is a youth-targeted initiative to address the urgent issues that contribute to childhood obesity and poor nutrition. The event includes interactive, hands-on activities which are designed to teach children the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and teaches them about healthy meal preparation, nutrition tips, age-appropriate exercise, and recipes for tasty snacks and meals.
The Orange County event, produced by volunteers from the JLOCC, is part of a nationwide program initiated by The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI). The goal of Kids in the Kitchen is to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and to help reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues.