JLOCC has been training volunteers and solving issues in Orange County for over 60 years. During this time, we have changed the landscape of nonprofit and charitable partnerships in Orange County. Below are just a few of our efforts from the 1950s-1980s.
In the 1950’s, JLOCC established the Community Volunteer Bureau to coordinate and encourage volunteer work with the agencies that serve Orange County. The JLOCC assisted with the development of funds, manpower, and facilities were donated to bring this concept to the local community. The Volunteer Center is now a model in the nationwide Volunteer Center Network and is currently known as the Volunteer Center of Orange County.
In the 1960’s, the league helped start a music therapy program for mentally disabled people, which began at Fairview State Hospital. The program was then turned over to the staff and in 1962, the Fairview State Hospital reorganized the program into an occupational therapy program for teenage girls. A Children’s Art Workshop was run for seven years between 1964-1979. It was geared for ages 5-11 and conducted for Fall and Spring classes. In 1965, classes are expanded to include ages 5-14 as well as summer class offerings, art shows and a library. Project “Schooltime” was started in 1966 and included art and music appreciation lectures in 125 schools. The program was later turned over to the Docent Program at the Newport Harbor Art Museum. The JLOCC created a program called Philharmonic Juniors and ran it for two years before turning it over to the Orange County Philharmonic Society.
In the 1970s, the JLOCC continued multiple efforts throughout Orange County. In 1972, a community center called, Casa Delhi, was established. The center was in the Delhi barrio of Santa Ana and served as an activity and volunteer placement center. Craft and language classes were provided, as well as childcare. The center merged with another community center and was renamed the Delhi Center. A project called, The Environmental Nature Center “History of Our Environment Project,” ran for 4 years. The project included three neighboring school districts with docent training and assistance. Assessment and Treatment Services Center of Coastal Orange County (ATSC) involved working with local law enforcement agencies in the development of a diagnostic treatment and referral agency for Orange County juveniles and their families. The League funded the salary of a full-time psychologist for one year at the Center. Members served as community educators and advocates through a Speakers Bureau, acted as receptionists and follow-up interviewers for clients, and conducted a high-level countywide seminar on the juvenile justice system. The league also ran a KOCM Radio program which was a community forum and broadcast weekly interviews of community and League members. And additional music program call “Music History” was created and turned over to the Orange County Philharmonic Society. In the late 70s, the league published a Child Advocate Newsletter.
Based on a member’s personal struggle, the League had the compassion, resources, and energy to launch the Action on Alcoholism project for alcoholic women. After training 50 League and community members about alcoholism, volunteers were placed in various alcohol-related fields under the guidance of the Alcoholism Council of Orange County. The project developed into the opening of a halfway house for women. In 1977, Action on Alcoholism separated into two projects: Alcoholism Advocacy and New Directions for Women. Alcoholism Advocacy terminated as a project in 1978. New Directions was turned over to the community in 1982. Begun at a time when women alcoholics had virtually no treatment or support options, New Directions continues as a thriving non-profit organization serving Orange County.
In the 1980s, The JLOCC offered net profits from The Christmas Company (1980), which totaled $117,000, as a challenge grant to replace the overcrowded Albert Sitton Home for abused children. The community responded, and in 1986, Orangewood opened. Today, the JLOCC continues to be involved with projects at Orangewood. In addition, the league created the Albert Sitton Home (ASH) Speakers’ Bureau which educated the community about the needs and status of Orange County dependent children. The league also hosted a History Lecture Series and Traveling Exhibit which were held at the Gallery at the Orange County Marine Institute. For 5 years, in conjunction with the Saddleback Valley YMCA, the JLOCC provided an organized day of program of social services for the elderly with physical and/or mental impairments. A provisional project during these years involved decorating the Children’s interview room at the Orange County Courthouse for Victim Witness Program. The SEAL (Safe, Educated, Aware, Loved) project, established in 1983, was an educational program about child molestation prevention developed for and presented to children in grades K through six in the Newport Mesa Unified School District.
Established in 1983 as a project of the JLOCC, CASA’s mission is to provide quality advocacy for children through a unique, one-on-one relationship between a trained and supervised court-appointed volunteers and an abused, abandoned or neglected child. CASA is dedicated to giving a voice, hope and a future to the community’s most disadvantaged children: the abused, abandoned and neglected children living in Orange County’s foster care system. Through the JLOCC, specially selected and trained volunteers were appointed by the Juvenile Court of Orange County to monitor cases and speak on behalf of abused, abandoned and neglected children who were dependents of the court.
The JLOCC continued to focus on substance abuse awareness and established The Irvine Chemical People. This was a collaborative effort with the Irvine Police Department, the City of Irvine, and the Irvine Unified School District. The program provided community training and assistance in a program of substance abuse prevention and intervention in grades K through 12 in the Irvine School District. JLOCC also organized and sponsored the Good Beginnings Conference. This was an annual conference attended each year by over 500 pregnant and parenting teens with workshops including child care, substance abuse, healthy relationships and making good choices. Additionally, JLOCC volunteers researched, developed, and produced a dramatic presentation, “Not Guilty,”on the effects of alcoholism on children and their families to minimize the effects of alcoholism on children of alcoholics.
In the mid-80s, the JLOCC started the “History Comes to Life” program. This project refurbished the Kellogg House located in Santa Ana to be consistent with features and décor for the turn of the century. In the History Comes to Life program (1986-1988), a personal view of the rich cultural heritage of early Orange County was provided to children in workshops featuring reenactment of prominent local historical figures. This project was in conjunction with the Discovery Museum of Orange County. During this time the Pediatric Enrichment Program (PEP) provided an enrichment program in the arts to help normalize the hospital environment for children and adolescent patients. JLOCC volunteers developed special events, art carts, and an artistic resource directory. Another project, Human Options, implemented a career development program for shelter residents and developed a booklet that provided shelter residents with information about community resources available to them. A file for potential donors was developed to help meet the shelter’s operating needs.