Impact Giving Partner, Christina Garkovich is now a passion-driven philanthropist, but she’ll be the first to tell you that her career aspirations were initially elsewhere.
Christina grew up in Walnut Creek, California with her family and made a bold choice to move out of the area when she turned 18. In her new city of residence, Long Beach, California, Christina attended college at Cal State Long Beach and graduated with her Bachelor in Political Science. Christina was on the path to become a lawyer, then a judge turned politician, with a goal of hoping to become the first Asian woman President of the United States, but her aspirations took a drastic turn when she moved to Charleston, South Carolina after graduation.
Earning her first, full-time job at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Trident Area, Christina was introduced to the world of nonprofit work. This is when she made another big decision to push aside her lawyer dreams and switch her career in order to directly help at-risk people and give back to her local community.
Christina’s early life was complicated, but her nonaffluent family has inspired her in many ways. When she looks at organizations she supports now, she is thankful to be able to help kids and families who were like hers growing up.
Since her job at Boys & Girls Club, she has continued to work at nonprofits across the country. Eventually making her way back to Southern California, Christina became involved with Boys Town California located in Orange County and enjoyed piecing together community events with other Board members, such as “Uncork for Hope.” Unfortunately, the organization had to close its doors a few years ago, but the Board members did not give up and began their own non-profit to continue serving the youth of California.
In honor of the memories made with Boys Town, Christina and the group entitled their new organization, Uncork for Hope. The nonprofit partners with the wine community to raise funds to support at-risk children throughout California. “At-risk” can mean a lot of different things to different people, but encompasses disabilities, medically fragile, low-income, abused, neglected and/or abandoned, and so much more.
If you can believe it, Uncork for Hope is one of Christina’s hobbies, along with traveling and wine tasting, of course. A majority of the time, you can find Christina at United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP-OC), where she serves as their VP of Philanthropy. UCP-OC’s mission is to help children with disabilities reach their full potential and improve the quality of life for their families.
Christina became aware of Impact Giving about 3 years ago when she was applying for a grant while working at a local nonprofit and after looking into becoming a Partner, joined right away! She loves being a part of a large group of strong, independent women who volunteer with or work for nonprofits to make a positive impact on our world. In Christina’s words, “being a Partner is a no-brainer!”
Christina believes that it is all about giving back to organizations and giving back to those who need it most. She has loved being actively involved in Grant Committees over the past couple of years and looks forward to joining the Board at some point.
Speaking of boards, Christina and her beautiful 3 kids, Grace, Samuel, and Charles love hanging out and playing endless board games while their labradoodle, Carter, snuggled on their feet.
Christina is a remarkable woman, mom, and giver. Her accomplishments are admirable and we are so thankful to have her passionate spirit on the Impact Giving team. Cheers to you, Christina!