Fundraising Helps Provide Child Care for Frontline Workers

By Lynn Hackman
Lynn Hackman
Lynn Hackman
Lynn is a reporter for the Southern California edition of The Epoch Times, based in Orange County. She has enjoyed a 25-year career as a senior-level strategic public relations and contingency planning executive. An editor, blogger, and columnist, Lynn also has experience as a television and radio show producer and host. For six years, she was co-host of Sunday Brunch with Tom and Lynn on KOCI 101.5 FM. She is also active in the Newport Beach community, serving as chair emeritus of the Newport Beach City Arts Commission, among various positions with other local organizations.
August 4, 2021 Updated: August 5, 2021

When officials from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley reached out to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian with a request for a lead corporate gift of $25,000 as a matching donation for the Clubs’ annual “Greatness Amplified” fundraising campaign, Hoag leaders quickly doubled the amount to $50,000 to help the struggling club.

Along with other nonprofits in Orange County, California, Huntington Valley clubs have been facing financial challenges resulting from pandemic closures and a steep drop-off in attendance.

For more than 50 years, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley has served youth from Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley, reaching more than 3,000 youngsters from throughout Orange County. Programs include child care, summer camps, preschool, sports leagues, and other services.

“Hoag is famous for its heart for the community, and this remarkable matching gift is one more example of what a true partner they are with the families of Orange County,” said Art Groeneveld, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley in a statement.

During the pandemic, Groeneveld said the club’s leadership and staff were determined to keep Huntington Valley’s seven locations open, knowing the services they were providing were helping to offset the strain that frontline workers, including many employees at Hoag, were facing.

The clubs never turned away any families due to an inability to pay even though operating expenses were far outpacing the income generated by low-cost fees it collects for family programs and services.

“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley have always been there for the community—and now it’s the community’s turn to be there for the Clubs,” said Robert T. Braithwaite, president and CEO of Hoag.

“As the only Boys & Girls Clubs in the county that remained open throughout the pandemic, they reassured Hoag parents—and many other families in the county—that they had a safe place to take their children as they continued to serve the community during a very difficult period.”

Hoag officials were especially concerned about the need for affordable child care—a critical element of the services the clubs offer to households of all income levels, and a service many rely on each day as they continue working at their jobs or are returning to work as lockdowns have lifted.

According to a 2020 First 5 Orange County analysis of child care costs, the annual cost of full-time, center-based care for one infant or toddler is at least $15,650 per year, and a family with two young children in full-time, center-based care spends at least $26,150 per year. The report estimates that child care takes up to 26 percent of most median family incomes, and that 10 percent is considered “affordable.”

No strangers to donating to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley, Hoag employees participated this past year in the internal philanthropic program “Powerful Pennies,” in which employees could elect to have $0.50 to $5 withheld from each paycheck directed to community nonprofit organizations such as the Huntington Valley clubs.

This year’s online “Greatness Amplified” fundraiser will be conducted by various Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the county on Aug. 18.

Lynn Hackman
Lynn Hackman
Lynn is a reporter for the Southern California edition of The Epoch Times, based in Orange County. She has enjoyed a 25-year career as a senior-level strategic public relations and contingency planning executive. An editor, blogger, and columnist, Lynn also has experience as a television and radio show producer and host. For six years, she was co-host of Sunday Brunch with Tom and Lynn on KOCI 101.5 FM. She is also active in the Newport Beach community, serving as chair emeritus of the Newport Beach City Arts Commission, among various positions with other local organizations.