by LINDA FRABL | photos by Soul of Photography

Fruitful Philanthropy

Sometimes the best ideas come to us as we’re just strolling outdoors. This was the case when Becky Beattie and her nine-year-old daughter, Ella, were walking along the Olivenhain trails and noticed the ample orchards. Ella commented that it was a shame that the excess fruit just goes to waste, and that there should be a fruit stand in which the proceeds from the donated citrus went to charity. Voila! That chance comment has now turned into the Olivenhain Citrus Project (OCP), which provides fruit to those in need.


Becky elaborated, “There are over 400,000 San Diego County residents who are food insecure, meaning consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources. The OCP directly benefits food insecure residents by providing fresh, free fruit from our community. We are very fortunate to live in a climate that allows for such proliferation.”

Names: Becky and Ella Beattie
Community: Olivenhain
Volunteer Affiliation: Olivenhain Citrus Project
Family: Bay Area and Colorado roots
Hobbies & Interests: Love the outdoors, cooking, picking fruit, and being together
Favorite Local Spots: Manchester hiking trails, Cottonwood Park, Hooked on Sushi, Lazy Acres, Super Donut 2, 2GOOD2B Bakery & Cafe, Oscars Mexican Seafood, and Becky’s Kitchen

There are three ways to utilize OCP. First is to pick your own fruit and then place it on your doorstep for collection (the OCP offers weekly doorstep pickups). “We are organized, available, and ready to pick your excess fruit!” Becky smiled. The second is to recruit the OCP volunteers to harvest your fields, whose services come with full volunteer insurance thanks to the OCP’s partnership with Harvest CROPS, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that embarks on larger crop picks in North County. The third way to get involved is to volunteer for an upcoming pick. Becky revealed, “Everyone comes with an open heart, a big smile, and a willingness to work hard and have fun.”

When these gals aren’t harvesting for charity, they participate in the Girls on the Run program. Becky explained, “I’m currently the head coach for the local transformational program, in which we teach life skills to 8- to 13-year-old girls through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running.” Becky and Ella also enjoy cooking, hiking, and skiing together.


With her day job as a molecular biologist, Becky cherishes her time with her daughter, a third grader at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary whose pastimes include soccer, handball, writing stories, sewing, and creating art pieces. Becky added, “We are lovers of life and so fortunate to have each other’s company on this wild journey. Our community is our village and we are beyond grateful for the bonds that hold us together.”

Name of Organization: Olivenhain Citrus Project
Purpose/Mission: Collect unused backyard fruit to donate to local community members in need.