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Around Town: Free Thanksgiving meal event in Orange County

Volunteers package boxed Thanksgiving meals
Volunteers package boxed Thanksgiving meals on Thursday at Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County’s distribution facility in Irvine as they prepare to for the 34th annual We Give Thanks Thanksgiving Day event at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The Community Action Partnership of Orange County and several community partners are coming together to ease the hardship brought on by the coronavirus pandemic on Thanksgiving Day.

In the organization’s 34th annual Thanksgiving Day event, a drive-through food distribution is expected to provide Thanksgiving meals and additional groceries for about 7,000 cars.

The food giveaway is set to take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday at the Honda Center, located at 2695 E. Katella Avenue in Anaheim. The food will be handed out off Douglass Road, and participants should follow signs providing directions.

Additional partners for the food distribution include OC Food Bank — a program of CAP OC, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, Waste Not OC, Wells Fargo, We Give Thanks, Inc., the Honda Center and the Anaheim Ducks.

The food to be provided includes approximately 1,300 turkeys, 7,000 pies and 175,000 pounds of packaged food.

Newport Dunes to light up the bay

The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort’s 30th annual Lighting of the Bay is on Nov. 27.

The event will continue through the holiday season. Lights will go on every night until to Jan. 1. The public is invited to view the lights, whether it be from their cars or strolling along the beachfront promenade. Parking rates will apply.

The resort is also offering residents the opportunity to purchase trees at its holiday tree lot, starting Sunday.

Blind Children’s Learning Center embarks on three-year training partnership


Santa Ana-based Blind Children’s Learning Center recently announced it will partner with California Deafblind Services in a three-year collaboration to receive training that will assist Orange County youth who live with blindness and deafness. About 132 deafblind children countywide have been identified.

Participants in the trainings will learn how to recognize and differentiate specific conditions and disorders faced by those in the deafblind community and learn about risk factors associated with various disability, among other topics.

Angie Rowe, president and executive director of Blind Children’s Learning Center said she was honored to partner with the San Francisco-based organization.

“Both of our agencies care greatly about making life for those with visual impairments and who are deafblind the best it can possibly be,” she said in a release. “Thanks to this partnership, we will be able to continue teaching, educating, and providing the necessary resources for our children to have the brightest possible future.”

Founded in 1962, Blind Children’s Learning Center operates programs focused on early intervention, therapy services, youth outreach, and school readiness for children with visual impairments and their families.

To learn more, visit blindkids.org.

Miracles for Kids ‘2020 Night of Miracles’ fundraiser raises $1.8 million


Irvine-based nonprofit Miracles for Kids, which offers monthly financial assistance, subsidized housing, mental health services and wellness activities to families with critically ill children, recently announced it had raised $1.8 million at its annual Night of Miracles fundraising event.

Sponsored by Xponential Fitness and several other contributing organizations and individuals, the Oct. 10 event took place in a hybrid format of virtual and live elements that included an online silent auction and a private, socially distanced small groups in satellite gatherings.

Autumn Strier, co-founder and chief executive of Miracles for Kids said the event was emblematic of the organization’s ability to adapt to meet the needs of children in need and their families.

“Our 2020 Night of Miracles was groundbreaking in many ways, from the innovative hybrid format to the record amount raised that will ensure we meet the historic level of need we’re seeing in the face of the pandemic,” Strier said in a release. “I am so thankful for, and humbled by, the support we received from the Miracles for Kids community.”

Officials say 100% of the funds raised from the online auction will help families who are often forced to contend with bankruptcy, homelessness, hunger and depression as they concentrate on fighting for the lives of their children.

To learn more, visit miraclesforkids.org.

Virtual conference for 2021 climate advocacy


The Citizens’ Climate Lobby will host a virtual climate conference and nationwide lobbying push on Dec. 5 at 10 a.m.

The “United We Move” conference, which is open the public and is free to attend, is expected to include discussions on a post-election overview of climate advocacy, breakout training workshops and keynote speakers Hahrie Han, a political science professor at Johns Hopkins University, and John Wood, Jr., the director of public outreach at Braver Angels.

The organization’s Orange County chapter, which is based in Newport Beach, expects at least 30 people to participate.

“We’re looking forward to attending this national event because the need for climate action is more apparent than ever,” said Mark Tabbert, the leader for the Orange County chapter. “This year, coastal Orange County has experienced more frequent high tide flooding which has damaged homes and businesses. We have also suffered through many more days of unhealthy air quality as a result of record wildfires. We are now preparing to push even harder in 2021 for passage of the national climate legislation we need.”

For more information or to register, visit citizensclimatelobby.org/december-2020-online-conference.

Susan G. Komen Orange County names new vice president

Megan Klink, the chief executive officer for Susan G. Komen Orange County, is now the vice president for the organization’s west region as part of a national reorganization effort.

The organization announced earlier this year that it would move from a federated business model of independent affiliates to a single, united entity. A statement from Komen states that Klink now oversees community development and operations for 12 states, spanning from Hawaii to Colorado.

Komen OC’s Robin Walker is also being elevated to executive director as part of this transition and will oversee a support team dedicated to Orange County.

“This transformation will allow us to gain efficiencies, while our local impact will continue” Klink said in a statement. “The diversity and scale of the [Orange County] community makes us a critical population to help shape programs and services that will be implemented nationally. We will have team members here who will continue community outreach, and local events, like the MORE THAN PINK Walk, and will continue in Orange County to bring survivors, patients and families together and raise critical funds for local and national programs.”

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