featured graphic for Orange County Community Foundation after COVID-19

“Stand and Salute” Giving Day to ease pandemic’s long-term effects on veterans, military families

On June 17, the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) will host the fourth-annual Stand & Salute – a collaborative Giving Day aiming to raise $125,000 for six nonprofits serving veterans and their families in Orange County.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the lives of millions of Americans, it has become increasingly challenging for veterans and military families to receive the support they need. In Orange County, there are more than 107,000 veterans, many of whom face major obstacles when transitioning to civilian life.[1] Those challenges were only heightened during and after the pandemic. A national report from Blue Star Families[2], an organization that supports military families, recently found that veterans had an increasingly difficult time accessing pay and benefits earned through military service, securing routine health care services and finding support and treatment for PTSD and/or combat stress.

Stand & Salute will raise funds for six nonprofits supporting those who have served our community and nation through military service. These organizations offer a range of resources and services, including assessment & referrals, mental health programs, employment resources, family support, and financial counseling.

Stand & Salute participants include 2-1-1 Orange County, Child Guidance Center’s Strong Families, Strong Children Program, Goodwill of Orange County, Strength in Support (SIS), Support The Enlisted Project (STEP), and Working Wardrobes.

“OCCF has long supported local veterans and their families through the Orange County Veterans Initiative (OCVI),” said Shelley Hoss, president and CEO, OCCF. “With current needs greater than ever due to the lasting impact of COVID-19, we believe that our community with unite to ensure that those who have served our country well receive they welcome home they deserve.”

Stand & Salute is part of OCCF’s iheartOC Collaborative Giving Days, an annual initiative that designates cause-specific giving days focused on critical community issues. The online giving model matches OC nonprofits with shared missions – from homelessness and workforce development to preserving ecosystems and supporting local veterans – to create momentum on one shared day and leverage a combined outreach effort for collective success. In 2020, the 10 days secured support from 6,476 donors and raised a record $3.2 million for 98 nonprofits. Since its start in 2015, OCCF’s Collaborative Giving Days have raised nearly $13 million for Orange County nonprofits.

To give online during the 24-hour Giving Day, please visit stand-and-salute-giving-day.ocnonprofitcentral.org. For more information about Orange County Community Foundation Collaborative Giving Days, please visit oc-cf.org/givingdays.

About Orange County Community Foundation 
Founded in 1989, the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) works with donors, strengthens the local nonprofit sector and works to find solutions to community needs. Since its inception, OCCF has awarded nearly $780 million in grants and scholarships, placing the organization in the top two percent in grantmaking among U.S. community foundations. For more information, visit oc-cf.org or call 949-553-4202. Be a part of our conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. View OCCF’s 2020 annual report here.

[1] https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/orangecountycalifornia/PST040219
[2] https://bluestarfam.org/survey

This article was released by the Orange County Community Foundation.