Six Oklahoma City organizations need your help as Gannett is once again partnering with nonprofits across the country to bring about hisA community thrives‘Fundraising program.
Oklahoma 2021 Class of Nonprofits has the chance to earn over $ 2 million in grant funding. Their services range from resources for relieving hunger or improving education and civic engagement to protecting the environment and developing opportunities for underserved communities.
The non-profit organizations each have a fundraising campaign that will last until August 13th. The qualified winners will receive cash and the chance to advance for larger regional and national grants. Smaller incentive grants are also available for unique donors and the most raised each week.
In 2020, Oklahoma City’s Positive Tomorrows received $ 17,500 and Allied Arts of Oklahoma received $ 10,000. While none of these organizations are participating in 2021, the RIVERSPORT Foundation, which will receive $ 5,000 in 2020, is participating along with five other nonprofits.
The organizations and their projects
The Alpha Community Foundation is the nonprofit arm of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, which has served the Oklahoma City community since 1938, providing support and mentoring to young people, said Chairman George Williams. While the organization works through community engagement, wellness, service, and education, Williams says educational work through mentoring programs like the Alpha Boys Institute are the flagship initiatives.
The foundation recently bought a former elementary school and plans to convert it into a community center.
“This will allow us to build on the programs we currently have, it will allow us to work with other community organizations that are doing great work in the community and currently have no place,” he said.
All the funds raised will go directly to the renovation and maintenance of the school. The center will become a hub within the city to meet the needs of a historically underserved community, Williams said.
“The aim is to turn this vacant lot into a shining light on the east side,” he said.
Generation Citizen is working to transform civic education for youth so that they are ready to promote and participate in a more equitable, inclusive, and responsive democracy.
Funds raised will be used to help teachers and students improve and revise the civics curriculum, as well as working with community schools and teachers to enable professional development that fosters student engagement and participation in the community.
“We help families meet the most basic needs of their most vulnerable members,” said Trisha Bunce, development director for Infant Crisis Services.
The organization exists to make sure no baby goes hungry in Oklahoma, she said. To prevent this from happening, they operate a pantry for groceries, baby food and diapers to support families of babies and young children in times of crisis. She said a lot of people didn’t know that those who receive government aids like food stamps or SNAP benefits can’t use that money on diapers. Bunce said parents can redirect resources if they’re not concerned about diapers and baby food or formula.
“Whether the gas is for the car, whether the food is for older children, meeting these basic needs frees up resources for the higher needs of the family,” she said.
Infant Crisis Services hopes to expand the operation of its BabyMobile, which currently supplies infant formula, food and diapers in 19 counties in Oklahoma. The money raised through A Community Thrives will be used to further expand the group’s partnerships with affected local tiribes, city and county leaders who have invited child crisis services to their communities, Bunce said.
“Children under the age of 5 are the most likely group of people living in poverty in the state of Oklahoma,” she said. “We’re only there to make sure they have the opportunity to move forward and be part of the future.”
Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s mission is to encourage and empower Oklahoma residents “to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the state and to ensure a healthy, sustainable environment”.
A subsidiary of Keep America Beautiful, the group is responsible for Oklahoma’s annual Great American Cleanup event and several programs to educate people about environmental stewardship.
The Oklahoma City Public School Foundation works directly with Oklahoma City Public Schools and exists to help the state’s largest county meet the needs of its students, teachers and staff, said Abbie Vaughan, community minister director.
“We’re really working to empower our next generation here in Oklahoma City and in the community,” she said. “These are our children who grow up here in Oklahoma City and become citizens and community leaders.”
The foundation plans to use the funds raised for ReadOKC On the Go! mobile book bus that gives all students in the Oklahoma City Public Schools community access to free reading material.
“We use something that is really unique and a unique selling point in our community,” said Michael Knopp, Managing Director of the RIVERSPORT Foundation. “Oklahoma City kids have a chance that America really doesn’t have.”
The foundation aims to use new experiences and different sports that children can’t get elsewhere to change their view of sports, fitness and life, Knopp said. By participating in the foundation, children can learn how one experience can lead them to something much bigger, he said.
“We’re bringing all of these things together, from the children’s entry point to top athletes pursuing their Olympic dreams with athletes who have just trained in Oklahoma City, Tokyo,” said Knopp.
The RIVERSPORT Foundation plans to use funds to support their OKC Thrive Outside program. The program brings together schools, nonprofits, and youth development agencies to provide underserved students with access to outdoor activities at RIVERSPORT and across Oklahoma at no cost to their families.
“This flow has now created an opportunity that has resulted in more than $ 13 million in college scholarships for children exposed to these new opportunities,” he said. “We want to take that and go to the next level.”
How to donate
Donations must be made through the respective organizations Mighty Cause platform, similar to a GoFundMe page. You can find links to the individual pages by clicking on the non-profit name listed above. The deadline for all donations is August 13th.