24-Hour online fundraiser helped Project Independence provide programs and services for people living with developmental disabilities.

Costa Mesa-based Project Independence (PI) – http://www.proindependence.org – and 12 aligned nonprofits partnered with the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) on May 11 for Empowering Possibilities, a collaborative Giving Day to support people with disabilities living in Orange County.

Project Independence exceeded its original goal of $10,000 by raising $11,735 during the 24-hour online effort that aimed to raise funds for nonprofits offering a range of education and supportive services, skills training and counseling, and community outreach programs. In total, OCCF’s Empowering Possibilities Giving Day raised $150,906.

Within Orange County, there are over 250,000 people living with disabilities, making up 8.5% of the community. This Giving Day was an opportunity for donors to collectively support the nonprofit organizations providing the tools and resources necessary for Orange County’s disabled residents to achieve success and independence.

In addition to PI, other participating organizations included Abilities OC; Beyond Blindness; Dayle McIntosh Center for the Disabled; Down Syndrome Association of OC; Family Support Network; Hope Center for the Arts; Reimagine OC; Special Olympics Southern California; Speech and Language Development Center; TLC Public Charter School; United Cerebral Palsy Association of OC; and Vocational Visions.

“We are proud to support the nonprofits providing vital assistance and opportunities to people with disabilities,” said Carol Ferguson, director of donor and community engagement at the Orange County Community Foundation. “We will continue to advocate for a safe and inclusive Orange County that allows our neighbors with disabilities to experience independence and fulfill their full potential.”

“We thank our generous donors who stepped up in this year’s fundraiser, helping us not only reach our original goal, but also releasing a $1,000 challenge grant,” said Project Independence CEO Robert Watson. “For over 45 years we have had the honor of serving those who need us most. By building independence through supported living, supported employment and day programs, we have helped our population enjoy lives of confidence, purpose and friendship, and our community to grow stronger through the act of inclusion.”

For more information about Orange County Community Foundation Collaborative Giving Days, please visit oc-cf.org/givingdays.

Eighty-seven cents of every dollar raised by PI goes directly to support programs for people with developmental disabilities.