Collaboration Strengthens Irvine's Community

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Main News Photo

By Bryan Starr, President and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber

As Published in the Orange County Register | Irvine World News: May 16, 2019

The adage often quoted, “It takes a village,” holds true for many important achievements. Partnerships make up the “village” of support that helps strengthen Irvine’s vibrant community, which is looked to as a model for cities throughout the world.

A diverse catalog of partnerships is the cornerstone of Irvine’s success. In fact, Irvine was designed with partnerships in mind. The visionary Irvine Master Plan established more than a half-century ago planned for Irvine to be built around a university, now the University of California, Irvine (UCI), to ensure the city has a sustainable, highly-skilled workforce-ready population well into the future.

Today, as then, partnerships ensure Irvine continues to provide an unparalleled quality of life for all of its residents and visitors alike. Many of the Chamber’s corporate partners are engaged in collaborative efforts that help achieve common goals in the community.

Allergan and Edwards Lifesciences support Easterseals Southern California’s new Autism Therapy and Disability Services Center in Irvine which provides more than 1,000 people with state-of-the-art autism therapy services.

The Allergan Foundation supports several UCI programs, including the Student Achievement Guided by Experience Scholars Program, which helps to strengthen the pipeline of talented and diverse students entering the workforce and to support them during their undergraduate careers.

Companies such as Cox Communications, Google, and Waste Management sponsor Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) to offer activities like OC STEAMFest, a hands-on, interactive event to spark children’s interest in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) fields.

In turn, IPSF collaborates with many local corporate and community partners, parents, and residents in raising funds to nurture student potential. Each year, IPSF provides millions of dollars in funding to Irvine Unified School District to support STEAM education, small-group learning, afterschool and summer programs, grants for classroom innovation, and support for mental-health initiatives, athletic trainers, and school nurses.

Working together to promote healthy lifestyles for sports fans and the general population across Southern California, MemorialCare is the official healthcare partner of Angels Baseball. Similarly, Hoag is the exclusive health care provider for Orange County Soccer Club, providing the coaching staff and players with comprehensive health care services on and off the field, and opportunities for youth soccer clubs and schools to teach children injury prevention and health education as part of a strategy for living a long, healthy life.

Orange County United Way is kicking off its first annual Corporate Soccer Cup, a recreational-style soccer tournament raising money for United Way’s Healthy Schools Initiative to help reduce childhood obesity in Orange County.

Small- and medium-size businesses also practice high levels of corporate social responsibility to support the community. For example, Irvine-based Antis Roofing and Waterproofing partners with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Orange County Ronald McDonald House to provide much-needed housing resources for disadvantaged Orange County residents.

These are just a few of the many corporate/nonprofit collaborations that support our community. But countless individuals have also taken part in Irvine’s strong philanthropic history.

To further encourage individual volunteerism, Irvine residents are encouraged to participate in the City of Irvine’s recently launched 1 Million Hour Challenge. The Challenge provides an opportunity for residents, whether new to volunteerism or already active volunteers, to log their charitable activity to reach one million hours of collective volunteer time. To learn how to participate in the Challenge and about volunteer opportunities, visit

Click here to learn about the diverse Greater Irvine Chamber member nonprofit organizations that support our community and to join their efforts.

Whether working quietly behind the scenes or visibly making inroads on social issues, organizations engaged in philanthropic activity in Irvine and the countless individuals who generously give of their time and resources, are at the core of our community’s success. Paying it forward makes Irvine a better city for all, and one of the best cities in the world.

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