Representatives from UPS, The Automobile Club of Southern California, Vons, YMCA, and the Orange County Sheriff's Department help to unload the UPS van. (Curt Pringle & Associates, Daily Pilot / May 29, 2014)

HomeAid Orange County, along with the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, delivered more than 1.2 million items Thursday to 17 facilities serving homeless families, according to a news release.

This year's Essentials for Young Lives donation drive brought in almost 200,000 more items than last year's. The majority of the donations were diapers.

In the release, HomeAid Executive Director Scott Larson thanked corporate sponsors, including the Vons Foundation, UPS and the Automobile Club of Southern California.

"The commission's 13-year partnership with HomeAid Orange County has successfully increased the capacity at shelters ensuring that children have a safe and secure place to live," said commission Chairwoman Sandra Barry in the release. "The Essentials campaign has alleviated the burden on homeless mothers to purchase diapers and allows them to focus on parenting."

The donation drive, which started in 2008, has collected more than 3.4 million baby items.

"I am humbled to see that our community, once again, showed enormous generosity to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our community," said Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, who is also honorary chairwoman for the donation drive, in the release. "It has truly been a privilege for the men and women of the Orange County Sheriff's Department to participate in the Essentials for Young Lives donation drive. We see every day how important transitional housing can be to so many Orange County families."

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Red Day brings in the blood

Keller Williams Realty Newport Estates partnered with the American Red Cross earlier this month on a blood drive.

On May 8, 45 participants donated enough blood to save the lives of almost 100 people, according to a news release. The drive was part of Red Day, which stands for Renew, Energize and Donate and is the company's annual day of service.

"RED Day is built on the belief that people can and should come together to achieve extraordinary things to help others," team leader Mayur Thakarar said in a news release. "Last year, we beautified a local church that provides community outreach. We can't tell you what an impact it made on each of us personally."

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New leader for Irvine construction company

Bill Wilhelm is the new president of Irvine-based R.D. Olson Construction, according to a news release.

He will oversee the company's growing hotel construction business and expansion in healthcare and multiunit projects.

"Bill's proven leadership contributions to the company over the past 20 years have helped solidify our firm's position in the building industry," founder and Chief Executive Bob Olson said in the release. "His knowledge in the technical details of building complicated projects and his managerial acumen make him the ideal person to lead this company as we embark on new growth opportunities."

Wilhelm has served as executive vice president and been a partner in the company for 10 years. He has 35 years of experience in construction and senior management.