Are you doing your fair share?

Philanthropy is the lifeblood of nonprofits throughout our community and across the country. Kindness funds help to the homeless and downtrodden; children who, in many cases, would have to do without; medical and health support for so many who are out of other options; and so much more.

Our Spotlight on Philanthropy is designed to show you the inner workings of programs touching our community and, hopefully, encourage you to take a closer look.

Featured Charitable Organization:

Orangewood Foundation logo

What does Orangewood do?

Orangewood Foundation was founded in 1981 and today is one of the leading providers of services to foster and community youth in Orange County. Foundation programs focus on four critical areas: health & wellness, housing, life skills & employment, and education. Recognizing that 46 percent of foster youth do not graduate from high school, in August 2013, the Foundation opened Samueli Academy, a free public charter school for community, including underserved and foster, teens and located in Santa Ana. Today, Samueli Academy is a Gold Ribbon School and ranked by US News & World Report among the top 6 percent of high schools in the nation in 2020. Annually, Orangewood Foundation serves 2,200 foster and community youth. Beyond its programs for thousands of youth in our community, Orangewood means “family,” “opportunity” and “hope.” Learn more at and

Why give to Orangewood?

By giving to Orangewood Foundation, YOU are helping prepare teens and young adults in our community to reach their greatest potential. These vulnerable youth come from the foster care system, are experiencing homelessness, or are the victims of sex trafficking. Oftentimes, Orangewood staff are their only source of encouragement, guidance and resources. 

Every contribution, regardless of the gift level, is critically important to the work of the organization. By making a gift, you enable the Foundation to serve even more youth and show them that there are generous individuals in the community who care about their success. Here are some examples:

–$10 buys a bus pass for one of our youth.

–$100 pays for a high school graduation expense.

–$500 pays for a college student’s textbooks for a semester.

–$1,000 pays for a youth’s 1-on-1 weekly therapy session for three months.

How to give to Orangewood?

You can make a general donation to Orangewood Foundation at, or donate to our COVID Relief Fund at To see our list of in-kind items needed on Amazon, please visit

How can I volunteer? 

Orangewood offers many volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups. Currently, the Foundation is seeking mentors. More information can be found at the flier. The Foundation’s Youth Connected Program is also seeking foster parents for students at Samueli Academy charter school. Details are at

Other volunteer opportunities, such as volunteering in our onsite kitchen, at events, and in our offices, are currently on hold due to COVID-19. 

What are Orangewood PALS and the 44 Women for Orangewood? 

Orangewood Foundation is fortunate to have the support of two volunteer auxiliary groups. Orangewood PALS is a group of fun, energetic professionals who support the work of the Foundation by hosting events and activities for the youth of Orangewood.

44 Women for Orangewood, founded in 1999 by Susan Samueli, contributes to the Foundation by nurturing, supporting and inspiring adolescents exiting the foster care system, generally from ages 18-21. The group focuses its efforts on three key areas: providing mentoring and education, increasing community awareness about child abuse and neglect, and hosting annual fundraising events.

What is Samueli Academy?

Samueli Academy, a program of Orangewood Foundation, is a charter 7th-12th school in Orange County that serves foster and community youth – especially those who can benefit from the school’s hands-on, project-based teaching approach. Later this year, Samueli Academy will open its new on-campus dorm, fulfilling Orangewood’s original vision of offering foster students stability in both their educational experience and living situation. 

Operations of the dorm will fall under Orangewood’s Youth Connected Program (YCP) and follow an innovative 5/2 model – offering foster students the ability to live in the on-campus dorms Sunday night through Friday afternoon, and with a foster family on weekends. This will provide students with educational and emotional support during the week and consistent family connections on weekends.

What are the major fundraisers and when do they take place?

Due to COVID-19, Orangewood is evaluating each of its events to determine whether to host in-person or virtually. Below is a list of Orangewood’s annual key fundraising events:

–October 29, 2020 – 23rd Annual (virtual) Ambassador Luncheon (open to Ambassador-level donors only)

–March 13-14, 2021 – Athletes First Classic Gala & Golf Tournament

–April 24, 2021 – Orangewood Adventure Challenge

–June 2021 – 17th Annual 44 Women for Orangewood Scholarship Luncheon

–June 24-27, 2021 – Stars & Stripes Tournament (benefits Orangewood and other local children’s charities)

–Date TBA – Anaheim Ducks Center Ice Theme Party

Details can be found at

Names of the leadership group

Chief Executive Officer – Chris Simonsen

Chief Development Officer – Kendra Puryear

Chief Program Officer – Shay Sorrells

Chief Financial Officer – John Luker

Orangewood Foundation

1575 E. 17th St.

Santa Ana, CA 92705


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Spotlight on Philanthropy is underwritten by

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