Oceanside Charitable Foundation (OCF) was founded for Oceanside, by Oceanside, to benefit Oceanside.
Thanks to the vision of its founders, OCF brings charitably-minded residents together to increase local philanthropy and grant money to organizations improving the quality of life in the community. And each year, the organization’s impact takes center stage at its annual OCF grants celebrations.
This year was no different. Members joined together at the Oceanside Museum of Art to celebrate their 9th year of giving and to announce $53,000 in grants to five local nonprofit programs.
The grant programs include:
- New Directions Program with Casa de Amparo
- Basic Needs/My First Home program with Just in Time for Foster Youth
- Safe Spaces program with North County LGBTQ Resource Center
- School Pantry Program with Feeding San Diego
- and Fire Safe Kids program with Burn Institute
California has the largest number of foster youth in the country. In San Diego County alone, there are more than 3,000 children in foster care, with over 300 youth leaving the foster care system each year. Imagine heading out on your own to adulthood without stable relationships and support.
Just in Time for Foster Care (JIT) is stepping up to help transition youth.
Since 2006, JIT has engaged a caring community to help former foster youth (aged 18-26) achieve self-sufficiency and well-being. JIT’s main goal is to empower former foster youth on their road to self-sufficiency— helping them become confident, capable and connected members of the community and breaking the cycle of dependence.
This year, JIT has already served 64 at-risk Oceanside former foster youth and distributed $14,504 in emergency assistance and housing support. Thanks to support from OCF, JIT will have an even greater impact in the community through $10,000 in funding to Basic Needs/My First Home services.
Providing continuous opportunities for positive relationships and networking connections are at the heart of what we do
The JIT Basic Needs program assists former foster youth with the critical life emergencies they inevitably experience, such as a flat tire on the freeway, a shortfall for this month’s rent, and even sufficient food on the table. Too often, emergencies like these are the trigger for a downward spiral that leads to homelessness, incarceration and continuation of the cycle of poverty.
In addition, My First Home program recognizes that a stable home is the first essential step toward creating a secure future. JIT helps youth establish safe housing through the distribution of furniture and other important items.
“Our aim is to make sure youth don’t have to choose between food, medical care or housing and going to school or work, by providing critical resources and an opportunity for a relationship with a caring adult,” explains Don Wells, Executive Director of Just in Time for Foster Youth. “Providing continuous opportunities for positive relationships and networking connections are at the heart of what we do and what sets us apart from simply providing resources.”
This program, along with the four other 2017 grantee programs, exhibit OCF’s dedication to meet emerging needs in their community by encouraging and increasing responsible and effective philanthropy.
Since its inception, the members of OCF have granted an extraordinary $422,000 to strengthen the Oceanside community. The impact can be seen in the many successful programs that now support everyone from children to adults living in Oceanside.
And all of this is made possible through the Regional Affiliate Program, which puts community first.
If you aren’t a member yet, the Regional Affiliate Program is the perfect way to become an active participant in your community’s growth.
How do you give your time, talent or treasure in your own neighborhood? Share your story with us in the comments below!