Spirit of Giving

Service Learning Project

In December 2012, OneOC’s Spirit of Giving Service-Learning program will bring joy to numerous first graders in low-income areas by providing them with books, a Service-Learning lesson and tools to make a difference in their community. After students receive their books, volunteers arrive to read stories and lead discussions about giving, and reinforce the message that giving doesn’t necessarily involve spending money. Students are then asked to “pay it forward” by volunteering their services at school or in their community, or by performing an act of kindness in their home.  Spirit of Giving is designed to empower vulnerable students to improve literacy skills while teaching them how they can make a difference in their families, schools and communities, regardless of their personal financial circumstances.

The Benefits of Being Involved

  • Providing low-income children with resources that inspire school productivity and volunteer service while demonstrating that someone cares about their future.
  • Being Volunteer Readers and Facilitators are an excellent opportunity for a group/employee volunteer project.


  • This program has inspired thousands of children in Orange County since 2001.
  • Despite the great wealth enjoyed by many Orange County residents, there are nearly 90 elementary schools where more than 80% of children live below the poverty level.
  • Youth who volunteer just one hour a week are 50% less likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or engage in destructive behavior (Search Institute, 1995; Laird and Black, 2002).
  • Youth who volunteer are more likely to do well in school, graduate, vote, and be philanthropic (UCLA/Higher Education Research Institute, 1991; Martin, Neal, Kielsmeier, & Crossley, 2006).Research shows that Service-Learning positively affects youth in three general areas: academic engagement and achievement, civic attitudes and behaviors, and social and personal skills.
  • 100% of participating educators surveyed in 2010 said they would use the Service-Learning methodology in their classrooms again.

The Spirit of Giving program meets a crucial need for Title 1 youth through the provision of books and lessons in literacy and the value of philanthropy.  OneOC believes this program is now needed more than ever, as drastic state funding cuts threaten vital resources for our schools and as the state of the economy has more parents out of work.

In 2011, Spirit of Giving served 2,175 low-income first-graders in 20 Title I schools in ten cities. In 2012, we hope to reach 2,500 or more. Help us make a difference in the lives of even more Orange County students this year.  

How You Can Join In – Every Contribution Counts!

  • $1,000 donation sponsors one class.
  • $2,000 donation sponsors two classes.
  • $5,000 donation sponsors one school.
  • $10,000 donation sponsors one school district.
  • $25,000 donation acquires Title Sponsor status.
  • Visit the schools to read stories of giving on Friday, December 2, 2011, and share in the children’s excitement.

Spirit of Giving Sponsors