Launched by the Orange County Community Foundation, Project Independence Partnered With Six Other Nonprofits to Host Third Annual Empowering Possibilities Giving Day


COSTA MESA, Calif. (July 20, 2020) — On July 16, Project Independence and six fellow organizations partnered with the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) to host the third annual Empowering Possibilities, a Giving Day for Orange County neighbors with disabilities. This 24-hour online effort raised $81,334 in critical funds from 294 donors.


“We are so pleased to team again this year with our fellow nonprofits serving those who need us most as at Project Independence we are honored to serve adults with developmental disabilities,” said Debra Marsteller, CEO, Project Independence. “Our Empowering Possibilities team represents the valuable community services to so many individuals and families throughout Orange County who need a helping hand. As a result, our entire community grows stronger. We thank you for your compassionate support during this campaign. We could not do what we do without you!”


In addition to Project Independence, the other organizations that participated in the 2020 Empowering Possibilities Giving Day included Blind Children’s Learning Center of OC, Down Syndrome Association of OC, Family Support Network, Hope Center for the Arts, Special Olympics Southern California and Vocational Visions.


These nonprofits have been forced to cancel all in-person fundraising events and meetings since March due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. According to the latest information from the State of California, official health partners and local authorities, most closures will remain in effect indefinitely. The funds raised during the Empowering Possibilities Giving Day will prove vital as these nonprofits pivot in their response and continue to serve their clients in innovative ways.


“During these challenging times, we see how critical our local organizations are in serving Orange County’s most vulnerable residents,” said Shelley Hoss, President and CEO, OCCF. “We are inspired by the outpouring of generosity from our community to support nonprofits providing essential resources and care for those with disabilities.”


This Empowering Possibilities Giving Day is the latest of a series that, to date, has raised more than $10 million for Orange County nonprofits. OCCF first challenged Orange County residents to “give where their heart lives” during the inaugural i♥oc Giving Day in 2015, raising more than $1.8 million for 347 participating nonprofits in just 30 hours. In 2018, OCCF restructured i♥oc as an expanded opportunity for nonprofits to connect with one another in support of their shared missions.


Additional collaborative Giving Days will be announced in the coming months. For more information, please visit


About Orange County Community Foundation

Founded in 1989, the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) works with donors, strengthens the local nonprofit sector and works to find solutions to community needs. Since its inception, OCCF has awarded more than $700 million in grants and scholarships and ranks in the top one percent in grantmaking activity among more than 780 U.S. community foundations. For more information, visit or call 949-553-4202. Be a part of our conversation on Facebook  Twitter and Instagram. View OCCF’s 2019 annual report here.