78-Year Old Mission Viejo Woman Helps Feed Hundreds of Families; Recognized with O’Connor Mortuary Heart & Soul Award

Laguna Hills, CA, February 22, 2011 --(PR.com)-- 78-year old Orange County native Jan Brick is no stranger to hungry mouths, having fed nine children, 22 grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren over the course of her enriched life. But beyond Brick’s commitment to feeding her own family, her decade-long resolve to the plight of more than 600 needy families each month – to go along with an unassuming modesty and unwavering dedication to philanthropy – has resulted in her being named the January recipient of the prestigious O’Connor Mortuary Heart & Soul Award.

Created by O’Connor Mortuary, the Heart & Soul Awards program is designed to recognize Orange County citizens for their passion for life and their dedication to making a difference, whether they possess a lifetime of endeavors or for a one-time inspirational achievement. One Orange County citizen is presented the award each month.

“For ten years, Jan has devoted herself to bettering the lives of those in need simply because she has a genuine desire to help,” said Neil O’Connor, President and CEO of O’Connor Mortuary. “The Heart & Soul Award acknowledges the self-effacing and heroic efforts of ordinary people in our community and Jan’s longstanding work perfectly illustrates those values.”

Being steadfastly selfless by nature, when Brick’s children were grown and she was better able to focus her giving nature on families beyond her own, a recurring advertisement in the local paper prompted her to volunteer at South County Outreach (SCO), a nonprofit organization headquartered in Lake Forest that provides homeless prevention services. Ten years later, she is still helping to feed families every week.

Even once recognized for her charitable efforts, Brick downplayed her own role with SCO, which also provides supplemental food that helps to increase nutritional levels and give people the opportunity to save their financial resources for other necessities.

Instead, Brick warmly expressed appreciation and sincere gratitude for those who make what she does possible. “There’s no question, it’s a lot of hard work here – always something to do,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the stores, businesses and individuals who donate goods, we wouldn’t be here, so thank goodness for all of them.”

For Brick, volunteering at SCO has provided her a second family. She says she enjoys the people she volunteers with immensely and doesn’t merely consider them as coworkers, but friends.

As a winner of the Heart & Soul Award, O’Connor Mortuary will present Brick with an official plaque, and a donation will be made in her name to a local nonprofit organization.

About The Heart & Soul Awards
Created by O’Connor Mortuary in February 2010, the Heart & Soul Award honors Orange County individuals each month for their exemplary and inspiring roles within the community. In celebrating the human spirit, the award recognizes OC residents for pouring their heart and soul into making a difference, whether for a life filled with dedicated endeavors or for a one-time inspirational achievement. One recipient is honored each month with an award plaque, a one-time donation to a local nonprofit organization in his/her name and recognition at a quarterly award reception. To nominate an outstanding Orange County citizen, email Patricia Kolstad at patricia@oconnormortuary.com.

About O’Connor Mortuary
O’Connor Mortuary is the oldest family owned and operated mortuary in California. With offices in Laguna Hills, San Juan Capistrano and Irvine, Calif., it is the leading “stand alone” mortuary in Orange County. Founded in 1898 by Patrick J. O’Connor, and succeeded by his son Joseph and grandson Joseph Jr., the company today is managed by fourth generation CEO, Neil P. O’Connor and his two brother-in-laws, Joseph Fitzgerald, CFO and Charles Ricciardi, COO; as well as Jeff Turner, CAO. O’Connor Mortuary is recognized throughout Southern California for its longstanding tradition of caring, personalized service, honesty and integrity. The multi-generational company is active in numerous local charitable organizations and was honored by the California Historical Society for more than 100 years of continuous care and service to Southern California families. In addition, the company was honored in 2005 by the Family Owned Business Council for longevity and has received the Leatherby Award for Ethics in America.

O'Connor Mortuary
Patricia Margosian Terrell
714 426 0444