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Many hands brighten Oak View

Nonprofit OneOC, which connects members of the business community with a neighborhood, gets its first beautification project underway in H.B.

February 27, 2013|By Anthony Clark Carpio
  • Kevin Vargas, 16, left and Alex Solis, of Ocean View High School's Interact Club, garden at Oak View Park on Saturday as part of a community involvement project by the Corporate Volunteer Council of Orange County.
Kevin Vargas, 16, left and Alex Solis, of Ocean View High… (Brittany Woolsey,…)

A quiet Saturday morning in Huntington Beach was quickly filled with the voices of nearly 400 volunteers as they moved in to help spruce up the Oak View neighborhood.

Organized by OneOC, volunteers from 16 different companies from Orange County and residents of the Oak View neighborhood came out to conduct a slew of beautification projects in the square-mile community.

"The secret sauce for [Saturday's] event is we have people working together as part of one community," OneOC President Dan McQuaid said. "The neighbors here are participating and they're going to work side-by-side with volunteers from companies. That just shows you that if you work together, great things can happen."

At Oak View Elementary School, volunteers from Pacific Life repainted classrooms, Disney volunteers painted murals and school mottos on handball walls while the Oak View community group El Viento planted trees.

"I found out that this was really close to where I lived. [Oak View] is kind of its own little community," said Mike Burns, a Huntington Beach resident who works in guest relations at Disneyland. "With this small town feel, even though we're in such a populated place, I thought it was it was a good idea to come and support [this community] as much as possible."

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OneOC is a nonprofit consulting group that brings businesses and communities together. McQuaid said Saturday morning isn't a one-and-done project, but more of an introduction to the community.

"We really want this not to be a done-in-a-day event," McQuaid said. "This is where people get to know other people, within their companies, the business community and also within where people live. And by working together, we can make a more vibrant Orange County."

OneOC connected Oak View with the Corporate Volunteer Council of Orange County, a group within OneOC made up of 26 businesses looking to contribute back to the community, with this project being their first.

"Volunteerism has been very important to the Walt Disney Company for 30 years," said Diane Killeen, manager of cast initiatives with Disney. "This is our first initiative as a council. We're coming together as a collaborative to try and make a huge difference in an area that needs some revitalization."

Oak View is a square-mile neighborhood bordered by Warner Avenue, Slater Avenue, Gothard Street and Beach Boulevard.

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