A HUGE thank you to our church and corporate partners who donated thousands of toys for our KidWorks Christmas Store this holiday season. We had a record breaking 3,051 toys donated from our partners.
Summer at KidWorks is vital for so many reasons. Our goal is to create a safe, wholesome place for our students to spend their time. Just as importantly, we want to offset what educators call the “summer slide.” That’s where students of any age level can slip academically when they are away from the classroom.
Each December, a hustle and bustle of activities happen at KidWorks to help make Christmas merry and bright for the students and families of KidWorks.
The festivities kicked-off with a Christmas decorating party held by the employees of BBVA Compass, US Bank and Wells Fargo at all four KidWorks centers. This tradition started several years ago when our friends and corporate partner, US Bank started decorating the KidWorks centers and this year BBVA Compass and Wells Fargo lent their help to the festivities. When our students returned to KidWorks after Thanksgiving Break they were greeted with Christmas cheer.
The celebrating doesn't stop there, now that December is in full swing there are a myriad of activities taking place at KidWorks this month. We welcome members of the community to participate in all that's happening this season.
KidWorks Love in Music Concert (12/09 @ 1pm. Free)
The KidWorks beginning and intermediate students enrolled in our Love in Music program perform holiday favorites in their annual recital. All events take place at KidWorks.
Posadas Christmas Celebration (12/15 @ 5:30pm)
Celebrate the Christmas Season at our Las Posadas Christmas Celebration. Greet KidWorks students and families as they arrive from the Townsend Street processional, enjoy Christmas treats, sing carols, play games, meet KidWorks students and celebrate the start of Christmas with your KidWorks family.
KidWorks Christmas Store/Toy Drive (12/13 & 12/19 - times vary):
Volunteers and toys are needed at our KidWorks Christmas Store this December. Each year we collect hundreds of gifts for our Annual Christmas Store. To provide our parents the joy of purchasing Christmas gifts for their children, the toys are made available at 10% of their retail value and the proceeds from the store then go to a benevolence fund to assist the neediest of KidWorks families throughout the year. Visit www.kidworksoc.org/christmas-store for more details
For many of the central Santa Ana families KidWorks serves, being able to purchase Christmas gifts is not always financially possible. Their limited funds go to rent and groceries. That’s why the KidWorks Christmas store has been such a blessing for hundreds of families for 15 years.
“What makes the store so special to these parents is that it offers them a sense of being able to provide for their families,” says Sonia Rios-Guzman, KidWorks’ Parent Engagement Coordinator. “They are able to buy gifts for their children to make the holidays brighter. With the expansion of the Dan Donahue Center, we are enrolling even more students into our programs, and we hope the Christmas store will bless even more families this year.”
This year, the store will be open to serve families on Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 8 a.m. to noon and on Tuesday, Dec. 19th from 8 a.m. to noon and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
You can make the holidays a time of joy for these families by helping in two important ways:
1) Donate Gifts & Gift Cards: Please bring your new, unwrapped items to KidWorks no later than Dec. 14.
2) Volunteer at the KidWorks Christmas store: Help wrap gifts for the parents, and assist those needing help loading gifts into their vehicle or cart.
Interested in knowing more? Please contact the KidWorks’ volunteer department at: 714-834-9400, extension 115.
Your help will help continue our 15-year tradition of creating holiday smiles!
A 2nd grade girl in our after-school programs might not yet have heard of American Career College/West Coast University, Balboa Bay Resort, Caribou Industries, Heidi and Ruben Mendoza or Toyota Financial Services—but these generous Foundation for Success supporters have certainly heard of her!
That’s because our luncheon “Presenting Sponsors” have given so generously of time, talent and financial resources to support the event that raises the crucial dollars to support our vital after school programs enjoyed by that second grader and hundreds of other children and youth. This year, we are excited to announce that we have more presenting sponsors than in the history of the Foundation For Success Luncheon. We invite you to get to know our Presenting Sponsors a little bit better:
American Career College & West Coast University: David Pyle philanthropist, Founder/Chief Executive Officer of American Career College and shareholder of West Coast University, has generously supported KidWorks for many years. His organizations have been a Foundation for Success “Presenting Sponsor” since the second year of the event. Yet, David does so much more for our students. He meets with them to discuss their career path, and provides interns to serve in our programs. He and his team have donated hundreds of hours serving at KidWorks. David has also been a major donor to the campaign that helped make possible the expansion of our Dan Donahue Center.
Balboa Bay Resort: The Balboa Bay Resort management Team began supporting KidWorks as a result of the 2013 Foundation for Success luncheon. They have been supporters ever since. We deeply appreciate their consistent generosity on behalf of KidWorks in so many ways. This includes a major gift from their family foundation that contributed to the expansion of our Dan Donahue Center.
Caribou Industries: Mike Harrah, President, has a kind heart and generous spirit for children, youth and their educations. Since connecting with KidWorks in 2015, he has been one of our most generous supporters. This has included the Foundation for Success luncheons, as well as our annual KidWorks Classic Golf Tournament, where he was Title Sponsor in 2017.
Heidi & Ruben Mendoza: Heidi and Ruben Mendoza have been KidWorks supporters since the beginning of our mission to serve children, youth and families in central Santa Ana. Ruben was instrumental in the building of the original Dan Donahue Center and has been actively involved in the recent major expansion of that facility. Both Heidi and Ruben continue to support KidWorks in countless ways.
Toyota Financial Services – Mike Groff, President & CEO, received the 2016 Dan Donahue Leadership award at last year’s Foundation for Success luncheon. That was the first year the award was presented. Toyota Financial Services has been a Presenting Sponsor since the first luncheon, and ever since. His company also donated four vans to KidWorks, which are part of helping us run smoothly each day.
To learn how you can be part of our Foundation for Success Luncheon, please visit: http://kidworksoc.org/foundation-for-success/
One has helped countless students earn credentials in order to fulfill their career dreams. Another has risked his life to keep our country safe and preserve freedom. A third was inspired by KidWorks to pursue a fit and healthy lifestyle—and then share his passion with others.
You’ll have a chance to be uplifted as you hear from each of these three at KidWorks’ 11th annual Foundation for Success Luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Santa Ana.
David A. Pyle, is a philanthropist, Founder/Chief Executive Officer of American Career College and shareholder of West Coast University. At the luncheon, he will be honored with our prestigious 2017 Dan Donahue Leadership Award.
“This very special award recognizes David’s fervent support for KidWorks’ youth and families,” said David Benavides, KidWorks’ Executive Director. “For decades, David has been a leader and innovator in the private, postsecondary education community, and he is as passionate about the community as he is about supporting health care and educational programs that aid underserved children and families.”
“I have been a supporter of KidWorks because these young men and woman are being developed as our future leaders and will be making a difference in our communities,” David Pyle said. “Seeing firsthand the interaction of the kids, family members, staff and volunteers as they grow is inspiring and something I am proud to be a part of.”
Chad Williams is our keynote speaker. He is author of the bestselling book, “SEAL of God.” He shares his journey through the grueling Naval Ops training, illustrating the SEAL mindset and ethos that revolve around leadership, teamwork, integrity, safety, mental toughness, discipline, overcoming adversity and grit.
Chad entered the military's most difficult and grueling training known as BUD/S. As one of 13 out of a class of 173 trainees, Chad climbed the mountain and earned his Trident, which signifies he had become a Navy SEAL.
According to his website, “Serving his country proudly through multiple deployments on SEAL Teams One and Seven, Chad continued to hone the technical skill, tactical proficiency and attention to detail that our nation's best warriors adhere to. In an ironic final operation in Iraq, Chad's shares the story of how his SEAL Team was set up on a premeditated ambush similar to the location and scenario that took the life of his mentor Scott Helvenston. But on that occasion Chad and his Team were victorious, overcoming the enemy and odds set against them.”
Alfredo Padilla is one of KidWorks many amazing student success stories. He is a recent California State University, Northridge graduate, where he earned his degree in kinesiology.
Alfredo was part of KidWorks programs from age 11 through high school, and credits our team with helping him to learn healthy eating and exercise habits. Alfredo turned this passion towards helping others, including serving on the KidWorks’ staff during high school and college.
He organized KidWorks-sponsored fitness and Zumba classes for the moms in the community, managed our gym, led weight training classes for the youth, coached our baseball team and helped manage and train the KidWorks running club for youth and parents.
Dreams really do come true. The “Building Dreams” initiative launched in mid-2015 to fully renovate and expand our Dan Donahue Center becomes a reality next month when we celebrate the Grand Re-opening and Dedication on September 13th. An additional 10,000 square footage will be added to our site and allow 200 new students to join the KidWorks family over the coming year. This expansion wouldn't happen without the generosity of our partners who have walked alongside us to develop our capacity to serve more children and youth in Santa Ana.
“By doubling the size of the Donahue Center, we will be able to welcome hundreds more children, youth and families into our programs,” says David Benavides, Executive Director.
He adds, “This major milestone in KidWorks service to central Santa Ana is possible because of the remarkable generosity on the part of supporters who believe in our mission to transform the lives of individuals and the community they love.”
Our fall programs launch on September 5th. KidWorks has also already begun accepting applications for additional students to join our academic, leadership and spiritual development programs, and they will fold into the KidWorks Donahue Center activities over the next few months to facilitate a seamless transition.
If you happen to be a fourth grader, you’re probably very astute when it comes to evaluating field trips. So it’s definitely a ringing endorsement when our young students give such high marks to their recent complimentary visit to the Orange County Fair.
“This was the best field trip I’ve ever been on!” says Zuleima.
Added first grader Ashley, “My pizza was so good!”
In late July, 200 of our students in kindergarten through fifth grade spent the day at the fair, joined by staff and 22 volunteers, including several of our older students. Several of the older students served as a buddy to a younger students during the day.
For some of the kids, this was their first time going to a fair or amusement park so this outing was a special treat. The students also got to pet farm animals, dance to music, visit Centennial Farm, and learn through exhibits including a salute to the military at the Veterans. These and other similar experiences are some of the special features provided by our summer programs with support from our community partners.
“We are so grateful to the Orange County Fair officials for providing the tickets at no cost to our students and for giving each of them a $30 credit for games and food,” says Rachel Cervantes, a Program Leader at our KidWorks Dan Donahue Center. “Each child was also thrilled to receive a pass valid for three rides.”
Rachel says the kids’ day was packed with fun from start to finish.
“They rode a roller coaster and sky lift, won plush toys and cooled down in a water fountain--all while keeping their energy level up with pizza, and ice cream!” she says.
KidWorks extends a big “thank you!” to the Orange County Fair for making the day so special for our students.
By Glenn Leibowitz, volunteer writer
Editor’s note: Our latest blog series is called “Engage With KidWorks.” We’re excited to share the variety of meaningful—and fun—ways you can become part of the KidWorks experience. In our second installment, we invite you to attend one of our exciting and uplifting KidWorks events.
KidWorks isn't only about homework. We also like to have fun!
That’s why we’re delighted to invite you to one of the many events we hold each year to raise funds, engage with the central Santa Ana Community and enjoy our students’ many talents.
Check out some of the fun stuff we have planned for 2017:
The community fairs are much-anticipated events where families from the surrounding neighborhoods come together to share friendship, play games, relax, enjoy snacks and just have fun. These are the fairs planned for this year:
March 18: Bishop Manor Intergenerational Health Fair
April 22: Dia del Niño Myrtle St. Resource Fair
August 19: Townsend-Raitt St. Resource Fair
KidWorks Classic Golf Tournament
Whether you’re a scratch golfer or simply appreciate the chance to play a premier course, KidWorks invites you to make your reservation now for our fifth annual KidWorks Classic Golf Tournament, to be held Thursday, May 18 at the beautiful Pelican Hill Golf Course in Newport Beach.
For more information, please contact Lisa Gels, Manager of Partnerships & Donor Relations: phone: (714) 619-7560 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foundation for Success Luncheon
We invite you to attend our annual luncheon, that for the past three years, the Orange County Business Journal has listed as one of the top five fundraising luncheons.
For each of its 10 years, the event has featured an extraordinary keynote speaker. It’s also instrumental in helping us raise a substantial portion of the funds for our after-school programs.
This year’s event details are coming soon!
For more information, please contact Lisa Gels, Manager of Partnerships & Donor Relations: phone: (714) 619-7560 or email: email@example.com.
Music Concerts Featuring KidWorks Students
Many of KidWorks students have exceptional musical talent. To experience their gifts firsthand, please consider attending these upcoming events:
Wednesday, March 22, 7:00 p.m.: Concert event at Super Antojitos restaurant in Tustin. The event will feature a short five-song set with students in KidWorks Avanti musical program. There will also be a set with Avanti founder and professional musician, Joe Cristina and guitarist/vocalist Tiago Costa. There is no cover charge.
Sunday, April 30, 3 p.m. St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach: “Imago Dei” concert hosted by Jenny Park. This event will feature students from Jenny’s music academy, other local musical groups and selected Avanti students. The concert is free.
By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer
Our KidWorks Preschool students had a very special President’s Day. Over 40 of our kids spent the day at the La Habra Children’s Museum.
We are so greatful to Kevin Watson, owner of JFK Transportation, for so generously donating the transportation for our fun day at the museum. There were about 6 rooms to explore in the museum.
The children had an amazing time exploring a room with a variety of animal fossils, “you could tell they were amazed to see the following a lion, a grizzly bear, and a hyena, which was perfect since we just learned about hibernation in class,” said Idalia Galdamez, KidWorks Preschool Director.
Following the animal fossils, students explored a room with a grand theater and saw different costumes from fireman gear to singers and ballerinas.
Next, students visited a room that had a market and an old OCTA bus. Students were more than glad to pretend to be bus drivers.
Lastly, there was a room decorated like the Old Stone Age. Students were able to pretend to live in that era. Some of them got to climb on top of mammoths, wear pretend skin clothes, and many of our kids took pictures.
We had the best day! Thank you, La Habra Children’s Museum.
We all smile when we hear the traditional Christmas song telling us that Santa is “making a list and checking it twice.”
At KidWorks, we’d like to remind you to check your list, too!
That’s because the Annual KidWorks Christmas store for the families we serve in central Santa Ana is just days away. This year, the store will be open to serve families on December 13th and 14th.
The store allows parents who might otherwise be unable to afford gifts for their children to buy them at a significant discount. And all proceeds go into a benevolence fund to help those families in need during the holidays and the rest of the year.
There are three ways you can help this holiday:
1. GIFT a new, unwrapped item, a gift card, or wrapping supplies to KidWorks by December 9, 2016.
2. DONATE financially to our end of year giving campaign at www.KidWorksOC.org/give.
3. SERVE in one of our many weekly programs and bless a KidWorks students this holiday season.
Interested in knowing more? Please visit www.KidWorksOC.org.
Your help will help continue our 14-year tradition of creating holiday smiles!
Each year US Bank visits our Dan Donahue Center to decorate for the coming holiday season. This simple act of kindness blesses our staff and families in ways words cannot express. The students are thrilled to see the center in full Christmas decor when they return from Thanksgiving break.
We are so grateful for our friends at US Bank and we appreciate their generosity each holiday season.
On November 17, 2016, we celebrating our 10th Anniversary of the Foundation for Success Luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel in Santa Ana, California. Celebrating 10 years of success looked like all of our friends joining us for an afternoon of good food, good laughs, and a speech by the incredible NFL legend Jackie Slater.
If you joined us, we are so grateful for your support! If you were unable to join, we are still so deeply appreciative of your partnership and hope to see you next year!
We're just a few weeks away from the 10 Year Anniversary of our annual Foundation for Success Luncheon--and it promises to be the best yet. Thanks so much to all of our generous sponsors and supporters for making this event so great each year.
There's still time to secure a sponsorship for your company, foundation or organization. Click Here for more details!
We looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday, November 17th at 11:30 at the Double Tree Hotel in Santa Ana!
Thank You To Our 2016 Sponsors!
Heidi & Ruben Mendoza
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Opus Community Foundation
Greg & Stacey Brown
Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP
Frome Family Foundation
Homan Family Foundation
Rutan & Tucker, LLP
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Stuart Kane LLP
Wells Fargo/Eastdil Secured
Bank of the West
Banc of California
City National Bank
Fidelity National Title
Goodwin Procter, LLP
McKenna BMW Porsche Audi
Milan Capital Management, Inc.
R.D. Olson Development
Scott S. Pollard Trustee/Winslow Maxwell Charitable Trust
Ware Disposal, Inc./Madison Materials
Waypoint Property Group
Bixby Land Company
California Bank and Trust
Kinecta Federal Credit Union
Shea Home/Shea Properties
Steve and Stephanie Rados
The Camille and Tim Strader Jr. Family
Warren Lortie & Associates
(Sponsors Committed as of 10/27/2016)
Editor’s note: We are pleased to present the fourth story in our latest blog series, “Foundation for Success: 10 Year Anniversary Celebration.” In this installment, we describe how the dollars raised go such a long way to support the after-school programs at our Dan Donahue Center.
Each school week, hundreds of students stream into our Dan Donahue Center to grow academically, learn about the arts, develop spiritually and maybe even toss a basketball around for a few minutes.
Each of these experiences—and more—in some measure or another are funded by the Foundation for Success luncheon, our premier event of the year.
Over 10 years, $4.3 million (net) has been raised at our Foundation for Success luncheons. Each dollar has had a tremendous impact on the lives of each of our students.
For example, for the past two years 100% of KidWorks students graduated high school on time and continued on to colleges and universities (a much higher percentage than in Santa Ana schools overall).
The majority of the luncheon’s costs are underwritten or covered by sponsors, meaning that almost every dollar raised goes towards helping the over 800 children, youth and families we serve.
As the 2016 luncheon nears, we invite everyone to be part of one of Orange County’s most anticipated non-profit events—one that for the past three years, the Orange County Business Journal has listed as one of the top five fundraising luncheons.
Foundation for Success:
For more information about the Foundation for Success event, or to purchase tickets, please visit: http://kidworksoc.org/foundation-for-success
To purchase tickets, please click here.
Thank you St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church for coming to KidWorks for your Serve Day 2016. KidWorks has been a long time ministry partner of St. Andrew's and on Saturday, September 17th, many members of their congregation came to our Dan Donahue Center for a Serve Day.
Volunteers hosted a carnival for our families and participated in reading buddies with our K-5th grade students. Another team of volunteers revamped our storage space to accommodate more instruments for our music program, Avanti.
Avanti leader, Joe Cristina, led a group of volunteers in working directly with our music students and we ever had a parenting workshop.
Here are some photos from our event!
One of the most well-known and beloved verses in the bible is Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
This powerful message was brought to life this summer for our kindergarten through fifth grade students by Calvary Chapel’s Iglesia La Puerta Church.
Pastor Armando Reyes and 15 Iglesia La Puerta church members—including youth and adults—led the vacation bible study that took place the final week of our summer program. The church also hosted a fun day for neighborhood families on the Sunday following the conclusion of our summer program.
“Our youngsters absolutely loved the volunteers and the way they creatively made this bible verse relevant to their lives,” says Noemi Juarez, KidWorks’ Director of After School Programs. “The church volunteers told stories to the kids, helped then make crafts and even shared fun snacks that related to our ‘The Island’ summer theme.”
Noemi said that the students learned that treasurers are not just material items, but more importantly the people, faith and values that they hold dear in their hearts.
Noemi also thanked Teen Challenge for leading a similar bible study activity at our Bishop Manor satellite center and the Christ Before You Ministry organization for a fun beach day they hosted for students attending summer programs at our Cedar Evergreen Center.
By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer
On Saturday, August 20, 2016 we hosted our largest community event of the year, The Townsend Street Fair. The theme for this year’s fair was Neighborhoods of Action and Hope. Our goal was to increase awareness and access to health related services to strengthen the local community, celebrate its positive attributes, and bring different resources from the community to Central Santa Ana.
Over 50 organizations and businesses attended, all of which brought fun activities for youth and children. Participating organizations included: PBS SoCal, Santa Ana College, Orange County Health Care Agency, Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers and Community Health Initiative of Orange County, which offered free information and guidance on free and low-cost community services and educational and college opportunities.
Here are some photos from our event:
Questions on getting involved for next year's Townsend Street Fair? Contact Frank Bejarano, Frank.Bejarano@kidworksoc.org for more information.