Olive Crest Desert Communities Receives Grant From BIGHORN Cares

Olive Crest’s Operation Independence Is Really Rolling Along Now!

Among the many important programs being implemented by Olive Crest, the Recognized Leader in the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse, is its Operation Independence Program. This program targets young adults ages 18-20, who have “aged out” of the foster care system. Operation Independence successfully teaches critical life skills, and provides guidance and counseling to youths, who statistics show are at increased risk for homelessness, drug addiction and even incarceration. This successful program provides opportunities for young adults who share similar life challenges to form healthy mentoring relationships with staff and develop critical life skills. Olive Crest supports the youth’s pursuit of continuing education and employment, as they work toward stability and a clearer path into adulthood.

Olive Crest Desert Communities was keenly aware that many of these young adults would benefit from easier excess to transportation, in order to attend classes, participate in life skills classes and case management sessions, and retain necessary employment.

Enter BIGHORN Cares, the philanthropy arm of BIGHORN Golf Club in Palm Desert, California. Through BIGHORN Cares, its Club members donated last year more than $600,000 to worthy Coachella Valley nonprofits. Included in this tremendous generosity and spirit of giving was a $10,000 grant to Olive Crest Desert Communities, to help fund the purchase of a new Toyota Sienna 15-seat minivan to transport young people in Olive Crest’s Operation Independence Program. BIGHORN Cares was created to assist other 501(c)(3) organizations by issuing grants for specific projects that benefit the most underserved citizens within the Coachella Valley. In true BIGHORN fashion, this organization is supported by member contributions and a partnership with One West Bank, with 100% of the funds passed through to qualified applicants. Over the past five years, BIGHORN Cares has distributed $2.4 million to 332 nonprofits, benefiting the lives of countless adults, children, and families.

“This passenger van is a difference-maker, as we can now easily transport our transitioning youth to jobs, classes, and other important opportunities for their development,” stated Tracy Fitzsimmons, Executive Director of Inland and Desert Communities for Olive Crest. “We are incredibly appreciative of this generous gift from BIGHORN Cares.”

Now, not only can these young adults in Operation Independence attend sessions on such important topics as Health, Housing, Money Management, Independent Life Skills, Education, and Employment, but this new minivan purchased with the BIGHORN Cares grant, allows Olive Crest’s Program Peer Specialists to transport these young individuals to and from other activities, like work and school on a regular basis. This helps enormously toward the program’s goal of creating for each client a support network of peers, co-workers and resource individuals, thus creating the keys to successfully building a stable and productive independent life.

“BIGHORN Cares is proud to create community building within the Coachella Valley,” stated Kelly Levy, Marketing and Charities Director for BIGHORN Golf Club. “Last year, due to BIGHORN member donations, over 100,000 lives were changed and millions of miracles created. By supporting Olive Crest and providing a vehicle like this minivan, it is allowing more youth the opportunity to participate and connect with Olive Crest’s critical programs. It is remarkable to see the benefits these programs provide for future foundations and success. It is an honor to represent BIGHORN members, who make a difference and create a positive impact within the community.”

“This gift allows us to better support the growth and development of young people, as they exit the foster care system,” said Fitzsimmons. “We are proud to partner with BIGHORN to give young people a ‘hand up,’ as they reach for their goals and dreams. This donation has made it much easier for us to support these efforts.”

About Olive Crest

Olive Crest is dedicated to preventing child abuse, training and educating at–risk youth, and preserving the family. . . One life at a time®.” Since 1973, Olive Crest has transformed the lives of more than 130,000 abused, neglected, and at-risk children and their families. The dedicated staff work tirelessly to meet the individual needs of kids in crisis by providing safe homes, counseling, and education for both youth and parents. Its many innovative programs reflect the conviction that strengthening the family is one of the most powerful ways to help heal children. With unwavering compassion, the Olive Crest family maintains a lifelong commitment to the youth and families they serve, even after they’ve graduated from the organization’s programs. Established, Proven, and Respected, Olive Crest serves nearly 3,500 children and families each day throughout California, Nevada, and the Pacific Northwest. Their mission is supported through their commitment to children, family, faith, and organizational excellence.

For more information about Olive Crest and ways you can help, please contact Angela Allen at 760-848-4124 or email her at

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