Association has raised over $1 million to help Orange County children and families in need
OCTLA’s history of charitable giving began in the late 1980s when then-president Gary Chambers gathered members of the board to discuss ways the organization could give back to its community. These early discussions led to a commitment to form a philanthropic arm of OCTLA that aligned with the trial attorneys’ dedication to defending victims of injustice and protecting individual rights.
As past president Susan Kelley noted in her 1999 Gavel article: “There was a general consensus that all of the Trial Lawyers took great pride in representing children and, if possible, we would like to do something to help prevent children from becoming victims.” This consensus around the idea that representing individual rights extended to the notion of preventing harm prompted OCTLA to establish the “Free Child Car Seat Program” in partnership with the UCI Birthing Center. Susan chaired the organization’s first committee dedicated to charitable giving and through their fundraising efforts, OCTLA was able to provide a free car seat to the mother of every child born at the birthing center until the center’s closure in 1996. This early effort solidified OCTLA’s philanthropic mission and launched what has become an over 25-year commitment to making a difference in Orange County.
Over the years, OCTLA has raised nearly $1 million in charitable giving and has maintained its pledge to help children and families in need. We are proud to have partnered with a variety of nonprofit organizations including the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, High Hopes, and the Santa Ana Education Foundation among many others. Last year, we were thrilled to have raised over $100,000 for the Eli Home, a local organization that helps victims of domestic abuse, and we are proud to have played a part in Miracles for Kids’ recent project, Miracle Manor, a program that provides housing for low-income families with a child undergoing cancer treatment.
This year, OCTLA is partnering with Together We Rise, a local nonprofit focused on improving the lives of children in the foster care system. OCTLA’s 2018 goal is to again raise $100,000 for Together We Rise. This achievement would put OCTLA over the $1 million mark in overall giving and support Together We Rise’s various programs, giving foster children a chance at a brighter future.
OCTLA continues to give back to its community in different ways. On August 4, 2018, OCTLA organized a beach clean-up day where members and their families joined Orange County Coastkeeper in picking up trash from San Clemente State Beach. OCTLA volunteers filled multiple bags of empty aluminum cans, broken glass bottles, paper and waste products, and discarded beach items. Pounds of trash were collected from a mile stretch of beach!
In September, OCTLA members can volunteer their time assembling “Sweet Cases” and bicycles for foster youth through Together We Rise. “Sweet Cases” are duffle bags filled with toiletries, a blanket, and comfort items that are provided to children who are removed from their homes and taken into foster care. Teen foster children rely on bicycles as their mode of transportation to attend after-school or sports activities when foster parents are unable to take them.
But OCTLA can’t do it alone. Thank YOU for your generous donations and for your efforts to continue the organization’s legacy of giving. Get involved by donating an item or service to the silent auction, making a cash donation, or attending OCTLA’s annual charity auction and Top Gun Awards program which will be held on December 1st at the Westin South Coast Plaza. OCTLA looks forward to another 25 years of active community engagement and creating positive change in Orange County.
(Learn more about Together We Rise by visiting www.togetherwerise.org and read more about OCTLA’s silent auction or make a donation at www.octla.org.)
Geraldine Ly, the new president of OCTLA, practices at the Law Offices of Geraldine Ly in Santa Ana. Her practice emphasizes workers’ compensation and personal injury law. She frequently handles cases that have an overlap between workers’ comp and personal injury law.
by the author.
For reprint permission, contact the publisher: Advocate Magazine