ConnectOC Blog

Bob Greenberg Proves the Power of One Can Make A Big Difference for Thousands of Local Veterans

Posted by: Orange County Community Foundation on 5/25/2016

From left to right: Carol Ferguson, Bob Greenberg, Shelley Hoss, Dr. Alberto ManettaOne isn’t the loneliest number. In fact, one can be the spark that brings people together. If you ever question your ability to achieve change, consider how OCCF began to embrace service members and help integrate them back into civilian life. One person, Bob Greenberg, planted the seed that grew into the Orange County Veterans Initiative (OCVI). A veteran, Greenberg approached us in 2011 to learn more about the challenges facing local veterans. His interest and inquiry gave us the impetus to take a closer look at local veterans’ issues which ultimately  resulted in OCCF commissioning USC’s “The State of the American Veteran: The Orange County Veterans Study.” The groundbreaking report revealed that military veterans coming home to Orange County are significantly underprepared for civilian life. Guided by what we learned from the study and with support from our generous donors, OCCF delivered $500,000 in October 2015 to seven nonprofits to support programs for transitioning veterans and their families.

That’s the power of one in action.

Although Greenberg served in the  Air Force Reserves, his eyes were open to the challenges returning service members face after watching a documentary about the rate of homelessness among San Diego veterans.

“It struck a chord, so I asked OCCF for information about our own veterans,” he said. Greenberg is a certified financial planner helping people navigate major life transitions, member of OCCF’s network of professional advisors and long-term volunteer with OCCF.

Soon after, OCCF launched the OCVI in 2011. “We felt that if we could help make the transition more effectively, you can avoid a host of other problems,” Greenberg explained. Greenberg helped bring together other donors with an interest in the area, which ultimately paved the way for OCCF to commission a landmark special report, “The State of the American Veteran: The Orange County Veterans Study,” conducted by USC School of Social Work Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR). 

In response to findings from the study, OCCF expanded the OCVI and awarded $500,000 in October 2015 to seven Orange County nonprofits helping returning military veterans successfully integrate back to civilian life. Greenburg accompanied OCCF and other donors during on-site tours recently to learn how grantees are scaling veterans’ services across the county.

“I hope that over the next few years, every veteran has the ability to know where to go, can access services easily and is provided a path to make transition smooth home,” Greenburg said.
 

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I appreciate bob for organizing such an amazing task. I think this organization can able to solve the problems of local veterans. Hope this will be a great inspiration for others to organize similar events. Keep update more pictures.
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I really appreciate Bob Greenberg for implementing the Orange County Veterans Initiative. I think this movement can change the outlook of the community. As he had a very good interest in learning about the challenges facing local veterans, his interest in implementing this idea worked very well. Hope this can solve all the problem of veterans.
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