Ducks, Angels and Disneyland Launch “Accelerate Change Together (ACT) for Anaheim” to Address Underserved Anaheim Youth

Commitment of $3 Million Aims to Positively Influence the Most Pressing Needs of Community Youth

Wednesday, 11.20.2013 / 7:45 PM

Three of Anaheim’s largest businesses have joined together to help improve the lives of young people in Anaheim, by launching Accelerate Change Together for Anaheim, or ACT Anaheim. This new initiative marks a shift toward a more collaborative approach to addressing the needs defined in the Anaheim Youth Services Assessment, which was completed earlier this year.

An assessment funded by the Disneyland Resort and released in early 2013 surfaced the challenges and priorities for serving the young people in California’s 10th largest city. After the study was published, the Disneyland Resort led an effort to develop ACT Anaheim, garnering support from Angels Baseball and the Anaheim Ducks as founding members. Together the three organizations have committed $3 million over three years in initial funding for a multi-year grant program. The Orange County Community Foundation, one of the community’s most experienced grant-makers, will serve as managing partner of the initiative, starting with the launch of the program this month.

“For nearly 60 years we have been an active part of this great city,” said Michael Colglazier, president of the Disneyland Resort. “Now, armed with these findings, we more deeply understand what is needed to make a real difference in the lives of Anaheim youth. We believe engaging additional partners who share our passion for improving children’s lives will tremendously increase the impact of our outreach, and we invite other organizations, businesses, and individuals to join us."

“Giving back in our hometown is important to the Angels,” said Dennis Kuhl, chairman, Angels Baseball. “By combining resources and targeting our efforts, we can extend our reach and impact where it counts. Our sincere hope is that other private and corporate citizens will join ACT Anaheim as we target the youth most in need in Anaheim and help them create a stronger future.”

“We are proud to call Anaheim home and are committed to this investment for significant positive change in our community,” said Susan Samueli, co-owner of the Anaheim Ducks and Anaheim Ducks Foundation Board Member. “We believe ACT Anaheim will make a substantial impact on our youth and are pleased to team with the Disneyland Resort and Angels Baseball on such an innovative program. This project promises to improve the lives of children, a cause we are confident the Anaheim community will rally around.”

The inaugural grant program will kick off in November with combined initial funding of $1 million from Disneyland, Angels Baseball and the Anaheim Ducks. Organizations focused on addressing the needs of Anaheim youth, ages 5 to 18, described in the assessment, will be eligible to apply for grants ranging from $100,000 to $250,000. The first grant cycle is underway with the letters of interest due to the Orange County Community Foundation on December 18, 2013, and grants awarded in spring of 2014.

“While the challenges facing the community of Anaheim are significant, the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of its youth is even more compelling,” said Shelley Hoss, president of the Orange County Community Foundation. “We are proud to be bringing our expertise to the process to ensure that the investments made are impactful and enduring.”

For information on how to become an ACT funding partner email Shelley Hoss at shoss@oc-cf.org. For information on how to apply for ACT grants go to www.oc-cf.org/ACTAnaheim.

The Anaheim Youth Services Assessment, an assessment funded by the Disneyland Resort and released by the Anaheim Community Foundation in early 2013, identified specific gaps in service including: underserved geographic areas and age groups; the need for systemic solutions that involve youth and parents; an increased focus on prevention as well as intervention; and comprehensive engagement by all parties in fostering safe communities. The report further advocates for improved communication among all stakeholders, along with a unified vision for strategic and collective action. To download a full copy of the Anaheim Youth Services Assessment go to http://www.anaheimcf.org/wp-content/AYSA%20Report%20Online.pdf.

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