Updated: Oct 21

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Annual Gala moved to an online format for 2020. The theme for the event was Boots & Bling Virtual Fling. We held a Silent Auction the week leading up to the Live Event, with over 40 wonderful items available for bidding. There was also a Prize Puzzle where supporters could choose a donation puzzle piece to transform a photograph online. On Saturday, August 22nd, we streamed our Gala Event live from Second Baptist Church in Santa Ana, complete with entertainment, award presentations, and other fun surprises. The event was a great success, raising much-needed funds for families experiencing homelessness in Orange County.

Thank you to everyone who donated, participated, and tuned in to the event!

The video of the Live Event can be viewed here:

The video of the 30-minute Pre-show can be viewed here:

2020 TOTAL RAISED: $116,498

Silent Auction Total: $10,373

Prize Puzzle Total: $4,900

2020 Volunteers of the Year: Bill and Susan Richardson, Church of the Foothills

2020 Karen Olson Caring Heart Award: Nancy Oldenkamp, Trinity United Presbyterian Church

Live Event Participants:

Rev. Nancy Brink, Chapman University (Emcee)

Cyndee Albertson, Executive Director, Family Promise of Orange County

Rev. Dr. Steve Ranney, Tustin Presbyterian Church

Marjorie Ambroise, Board Member, Family Promise of Orange County

Ryan Rosales, Board Member, Family Promise of Orange County

Melody Mosley, Board Member, Family Promise of Orange County

  • Malia

Our Emergency Shelter Program continues to remain suspended at this time, as all 14 of our host congregations in our congregational rotation are still unable to host families due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are continuously monitoring all State and County regulations, but we do not have an anticipated date of return for the Emergency Shelter Program at this time. All families in the program prior to the pandemic continue to be safely housed at our Short-Term Housing facilities.

Even in the middle of a global health crisis, we are happy to announce that we will have two of our families in Transitional Housing graduate to their own housing in the next few weeks! Amazingly, these families have found a way to not only survive, but thrive, during the pandemic. Family Promise has been honored to help them find their way home! Because of the space that will become available at our Short-Term Housing facilities, we are anticipating being able to accept up to three new families who qualify for our Short-Term Housing program!

We also continue to support on a weekly or bi-weekly basis ten of our graduate families with USDA produce donations, meat donations, and paper goods/household supplies. On July 15th, our program distributed 206 pounds of farm-raised pork to our families!

Our staff is also hard at work with the preparations for our Annual Gala, which has gone VIRTUAL this year! We are excited to share with you all the fun and surprises we have planned for our very first virtual gala event! We will be having a Silent Auction, which opens on August 17th, as well as the main live stream event on Saturday, August 22nd at 6:30 p.m. More information can be found on our Events page. Mark your calendars, and we hope to “see” you there!

Despite the many challenges our program has faced this year, we have been fortunate to have the amazing support from our community. Our host and support congregations have been so generous in making sure our program and our families are taken care of during this difficult time. Donors, volunteers, and friends have come together, and we have seen great kindness as we navigate the unique challenges this pandemic has presented. We look forward to our host congregations reopening their doors and once again being able to welcome families into their care. Until then, we hold steadfast in our commitment to helping the families in our program in any way we can!

For ways that you can help the families of Family Promise of Orange County during the pandemic, please see our Current Needs page.

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Dear Friends,

Today, Juneteenth, I find myself in deep reflection and prayer about what I can personally do to help bring equity and equality to our society and for the people I love. As you read my personal reflection, I am challenging you to also consider what you can do to help unite our community. Please take the time both today and in the future to listen intently to the pleas of those who are asking us to end systemic discrimination, racism, oppression, and violence.

As a poor, blonde Caucasian girl growing up in Santa Ana, I had friends of all races, but my best friends were Jewish, Bolivian, and Black. Not until recently did I fully understand the discrimination, racism, and other injustices that my Black friends experienced. I want equity, justice, and equality for ALL, and I stand in solidarity with those who are working to implement change. I stand with those near and dear to my heart and with those I have never met.

As an organization that supports families experiencing homelessness, we commit to telling the full story of homelessness, the one that includes systemic racism that has left so many Black Americans without housing or wealth. The events of the past few weeks, as well as the past three months, have highlighted the importance of the work that we all do, as well as highlighted some uncomfortable truths: 13% of the US population is Black, over 40% of people who are homeless are Black, while our 1,200 volunteers are predominately White. Family Promise of Orange County is part of a larger network of over 200 Affiliates in 43 states, engaging over 200,000 volunteers with one goal: ending family homelessness. We have a unique seat at the table that allows us to promote change and take an active role in being part of the solution.

We honor the work being done to end family homelessness in our community, and we honor the broader work being done toward justice. We commit as an organization to be open, diverse, and educated. We know there are no easy solutions to ending centuries of systemic racism, but we will hold ourselves accountable to reflect, listen, learn, and use our abilities to make a difference.

Let us do this work together to build an Orange County that helps ALL our residents thrive and let us work together so that we can have the equitable communities to which we all aspire. Just as we work together to help end homelessness, only TOGETHER can we truly end racial inequality in our community.

God Bless,

Cyndee Albertson

Executive Director

Family Promise of Orange County

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