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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Better Life: Giving you the 411 in the 405

Civic Center Lawn

As we ring in 2017, we thought it might be time for a quick refresher of what we are all about. Here at Better Life HQ our goal is simple. We want to help you get to know your new hometown a little better. Oklahoma City is a diverse metro with new pockets of development and events being added at the blink of an eye. Even for the most seasoned of OKC natives, staying on top of everything to do in our city can feel like an endless task.

We understand that moving to a new city can be overwhelming and intimidating. However, with a little knowledge (our part) and an open mind and an adventurous streak (your part), you will quickly find out OKC is a place where you can get involved quickly and make a difference.

The blog is posted to the website every Tuesday, rain or shine. In Oklahoma City, it is mostly shine though. You can also sign up to get the blog emailed to you each week here. Don’t worry, we don’t spam you consistently. Just one e-mail, every Tuesday. We pinky swear.

And of course we want to hear from you. Are you new to OKC? What kind of things are you interested in learning about? If you’ve lived here a long time what do newcomers need to know? Let us know in the comments below, shoot us an e-mail or get a hold of us on Facebook and Twitter.

P.S. Although we focus on people new to OKC, we love nothing more than helping people who have lived in our community for a while rediscover their hometown and find cool new things to do in OKC.

community, Oklahoma City
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Get involved

Regional Food Bank

It’s time to break out those carving skills because the holidays are nearly upon us. Great food, family, friends and a little football are pretty hard to beat. Of course the holiday season is not all about eating – it is also about giving thanks. We are thankful that we have so many great organizations in our community who are constantly working to make a difference. If you are looking for ways to get involved in OKC, but don’t know where to start, click here to find all the Chamber members that are nonprofits.

But we’ll give you some ideas here:

  • Give a gift to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Through Jan. 15, every gift received will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $600,000 thanks to APMEX.com, the Cresap Family Foundation and Chesapeake Energy Corporation. You can also sign up your family to volunteer in Food Bank warehouse.
  • Donate to Allied Arts to support more than 40 local arts organizations including the Lyric Theater, deadCenter film festival, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art as well as many more.
  • Donate your time to Habitat for Humanity. Hands-on helpers are always needed to assist with new home construction, critical home repairs and at the Habitat ReStore. 
  • Buy something from the wish list of Infant Crisis Services, Inc., which provides formula, food, diapers and other needs to babies and toddlers in crisis.
  • Donate your time or pet supplies to the Central Oklahoma Humane Society. This great nonprofit has found homes for more than 14,000 cats and dogs.
community, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Lend a helping hand

United Way Volunteers

Oklahoma and specifically Oklahoma City is renowned not only nationally but worldwide as a community who comes together to help each other in times of need. These acts of giving and helping our neighbors are evident in our everyday lives. In fact, nearly 800,000 Oklahomans donate 84.9 million hours annually in their communities.

As #GivingTuesday approaches, consider lending a helping hand. Oklahoma has more than 17,000 nonprofit groups in the state, so no matter your passion, there are many ways you can get involved. Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits is always a great resource for the state’s nonprofit groups.

These organizations need our help year-round so keep them in your thoughts even after the holidays. If you are new to our city there is no better way to connect with people than by volunteering your time.  Do you know of a nonprofit that could use some help in the coming weeks? Let us know in the comments below.

Also be sure to check out the volunteerism page on our site for more causes and ways to get involved.

community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Enrich OKC

Volunteer reading to children

If you are overwhelmed by the number of causes to which you can contribute your time or money, take a look at all the good that the United Way of Central Oklahoma does in our community.

This organization has formed partnerships with more than 60 organizations that contribute to the area’s health, safety, education or economic well-being of families, according to the United Way’s mission. A donation to the United Way will help fund these valuable programs that are held accountable by the United Way.

The United Way picks its partner organizations according to five identified “Focus Areas”: Strong Families, Successful Kids, Healthy Citizens, Independent Living and Community Preparedness. Each year, the organization raises millions of dollars to help fund these nonprofit agencies’ programs.

If you’re interested in finding ways to volunteer for these organizations, check out the United Way’s Volunteer Center.

The United Way has been serving the community for more than 90 years, and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber is proud that it had a role in its creation decades ago.

community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Donít forget to vote

Voting Booths

There’s no better way to honor our democracy than by acting on your right to vote! Today is Election Day, and it’s not too late to make your way to your polling location. Visit the Oklahoma State Election Board to confirm your registration, find your polling place and view sample ballots.

The League of Women Voters of Oklahoma and several community partners have compiled a nonpartisan voters guide to federal and state elections and the seven state questions that will appear on today’s ballot. View the guide here.

community
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Youíve got a friend in me

Kids at the Zoo

You don’t have to have the singing voice of Gayla Peavey to make a difference in the lives of OKC’s zoo animals. There are several ways that you can make a hippo-sized impact for mere peanuts.

Consider becoming a ZooFriend. In addition to scoring unlimited free admission to our world-class zoo for a year (and numerous other benefits), you’ll be helping support the Oklahoma City Zoo further its mission to educate, research and provide exceptional care for our animals. Another way to support the OKC Zoo is through animal “adoption.” You can be the proud parent of any animal in the kingdom from sea lions to giraffes and elephants to snow leopards.  But the best part – when you adopt an animal at the OKC Zoo, you get all of the fun with none of the responsibilities. Don’t worry about the stinky fish or creepy crawlies that your animal thrives on; just make sure you visit often to check on your new-found friend.

Adventure District, community, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Make your voice heard

voting booths

While you are enjoying fireworks with a cold drink and hot dog on July 4th it is also important to remember what makes our country great. Besides serving in some capacity, the next most patriotic thing you can do is vote. No matter your political views making your voice heard on the local, state and national level is extremely important. Heck, there are actually primaries going on in our state today, so if you are reading this before 7 p.m., on June 28th, there is still time to get to the polls.

You may have also heard there are some elections going on in the fall too. From picking a president, to senators, state legislators and state questions the ballot will be packed in the Sooner State. If you are new to Oklahoma or simply need a refresher we recently wrote a handy how-to-guide about voting in Oklahoma City. Give it a gander why don’t you?

community, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Coming together

Oklahoma City Memorial

21 years ago today, our community was forever changed and an unbreakable bond was forged among all Oklahomans. On that April day, 168 Oklahomans died when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed, in what was then the worst terrorist act on American soil.  Hundreds more were wounded and more than 12,000 volunteers and rescue workers participated in rescue efforts, recovery and support.

Out of that act, the grief and the many acts of kindness from around the world that followed the bombing came the Oklahoma City National Memorial. The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is a beautiful and serene park that rests between two gates etched with the minute before – 9:01 a.m. – and the minute after the attack – 9:03 a.m. In between the golden-hued gates are representations of what happened at 9:02, the minute the bomb went off – 168 chairs with each victims’ name, a reflecting pool and the Survivor Tree, an American elm that miraculously survived the blast and is still growing strong.

While you’re visiting, don’t miss the chance to tour the Memorial Museum. If you haven’t ever experienced the museum, or it’s been a while since you have, we can promise it’s something you won’t soon forget. Renovated with new interactive exhibits just last year, including  ‘Investigation and Justice, survivor experiences and “Gallery of Honor” provide visitors a true sense of the magnitude of that fateful day and the search for justice that followed.  

There’s even an app containing video and audio tours for the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial and Memorial Museum. Search OKCNM in the Apple App Store and in Google Play. Tickets for the museum are $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, military personnel and students ages 6-17; and free for children ages 5 and younger.

community, museums, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A Run to Remember

Memorial Marathon sign

We run to remember the victims of April 19, 1995.
We run to honor the survivors and first responders.
We run to never forget.
And we run to ensure the future of the
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.

Each year since 2001, thousands of runners have gathered in downtown Oklahoma City to take part in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. The “Run to Remember” which begins and ends near the OKC National Memorial has grown since its’ inception, now drawing more than 25,000 runners from across the U.S. as well as Japan, China, Germany and the UK. The event has even been labeled "12 Must Run Marathons" by Runner's World magazine.

From the 168 seconds of silence before the race begins to the green banners carefully hung throughout the course which pays tribute to the victims, the race is certainly not one to miss. It is a reminder of the hope, perseverance and pride in our community that grows stronger each day.

Get involved with the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 24, whether you want to support a runner, volunteer or run races of several different lengths – a full or half marathon, a relay, a 5k and even a kids marathon completed with a 1.2-mile kids’ fun run as part of the day’s festivities. The full marathon is a Boston-qualifying, USA Track and Field (USATF)-sanctioned event.

Register to runSign up to donate or form a team to raise money for the Memorial’s mission. A separate web page is for those who want to volunteer. Don’t miss the Health & Fitness Expo at the Cox Convention Center where you can pick up your race gear and other awesome swag!

If you would like to cheer on the runners, some of our favorite places include:

  • Starting line
  • Bricktown
  • State Capitol Complex
  • Edgemere Park
  • Crown Heights
  • Nichols Hills
  • Classen Boulevard
  • Finish line

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is the sole beneficiary of Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon event proceeds. This is the Memorial’s largest fundraiser. To learn more about the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, click here.

community, museums, Oklahoma City, running
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



oNE OKC

oNE OKC

The sense of community pride and working together for the greater good is in our DNA. It’s what us Oklahoma Citians do. A group of young community leaders are helping organize the first oNE OKC – a community block party – to showcase the northeastern part of Oklahoma City at Douglas High School’s Miller Stadium on April 30.

Plan to hear live music and enjoy the food truck park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participate in a community mural and enjoy pop up shops and fun activities for the entire family.

community, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Moving Made Easy: Transportation

business man on EMBARK bus

One thing that might surprise newcomers to the 4-0-5 is just how big Oklahoma City is. The city covers 620 square miles, making it one of the top three largest cities in America by land size. In a city that size transportation is crucial.

The good news is that Oklahoma City sits at the crossroads of three major interstates. If your preferred mode of transportation is automobile … well you won’t spend much time there. Out of the biggest 52 metros in the U.S., OKC had the third-lowest commute time.

As the population of the metro continues to grow, public transportation is also key. EMBARK is Oklahoma City’s bus system and has recently won a trio of prestigious awards. We also have a popular bike sharing program called Spokies.

One of the most anticipated transportation projects (heck, one of the most anticipated developments of any kind) is the upcoming MAPS 3 Modern Streetcar. The final route for the streetcar was recently approved, the streetcars are on order, and construction on the line is slated to begin this year.

If you are looking to travel outside of the metro, come home soon, but check out Will Rogers World Airport and the Heartland Flyer. The airport boasts seven airlines with 22 nonstop flights and the train makes daily trips to Ft. Worth (with connections further south) with several stops along the way. 

For more information on transportation in OKC our website is a great start.

community, MAPS, public transportation, streetcar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Moving made easy: voting

voting booths

You probably haven’t heard but there is a small election taking place later this year. If you are new to our city (and maybe even if you aren’t) you might be wondering how to register to vote. Don’t worry, here is just about everything you need to know.

  • First, you have to register. You can do this by downloading a form online and mailing it in or by going to your county’s election board office, a tag agency, a post office, a public library or another designated public location.
  • Once you’ve registered, you’ll get a voter ID card. You’ll need to show your voter ID card or current driver’s license when you go to your precinct to vote. If you’ve already registered and are in the Oklahoma State Election Board system, find your precinct using your name and birth date here. Or get additional help here.
  • And then you vote. Statewide, polls are open at individual precincts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election days. Find your precinct. But you can vote early -- Request an absentee ballot in writing or through your individual county’s election board, or go in person to your county election board and participate in early voting, usually from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Thursday and Friday before the election. Check the election calendar for specifics. In Oklahoma County, the address is 4201 N Lincoln Blvd.

The Oklahoma State Election Board’s website is a good resource.

Note that even if you have a mailing address from one of our suburbs, you still might be eligible to vote in Oklahoma City – if you pay utilities to the City of OKC. Also, here are the numbers to surrounding-area local election boards (with their county seats in parentheses) if you still have questions:

community, election, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Better Life: Giving you the 411 in the 405

With a start of a new year, we thought it might be time for a quick refresher of what we are all about. Here at Better Life HQ our goal is simple. We want to help you better get to know your new hometown. Oklahoma City is a diverse metro with new pockets of development and events being added at the blink of an eye. Even for the most seasoned of OKC natives, staying on top of everything to do in our city can feel like an endless task.

We understand that moving to a new city can be overwhelming and intimidating. However, with a little knowledge (our part) and an open mind and an adventurous streak (your part), you will quickly find out OKC is place where you can get involved quickly and make a difference.

The blog is posted to the website every Tuesday, rain or shine. In Oklahoma City it is mostly shine though. You can also sign up to get the blog e-mailed to you each week here. Don’t worry, we don’t spam you consistently. Just one e-mail, every Tuesday. We pinky swear.

And of course we want to hear from you. Are you new to OKC? What kind of things are you interested in learning about? If you’ve lived here a long time what do newcomers need to know? Let us know in the comments below, shoot us an e-mail or get a hold of us on Facebook and Twitter.

P.S. Although we focus on people new to OKC, we love nothing more than helping people who have lived in our community for a while rediscover their hometown and find cool new things to do in OKC.

community, Oklahoma City
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Let us help with New Yearís resolution

The year is new and that means it is time to come up with a plan for 2016. We are all going to hit the gym but let’s go with something a little more realistic. Here are our three suggestions:

Resolution: Save Money
This is a bit of a cheat because if you live in Oklahoma City you are already doing this. OKC consistently has one of the lowest costs of living in the U.S. Check out our handy cost of living calculator to see how much money you save by simply living the better life in OKC.

Resolution: Get to Know OKC
Whether you are new to the metro or have lived here all your life we promise you there are sides of OKC you need to discover and explore. Of course our blog is the perfect start but also check out our friends over at VisitOKC.com. The will also do a great job of keeping you informed on the can’t-miss events in OKC.

Resolution: Be an Ambassador
We love nothing more than spreading the gospel of OKC 24-7. However, nothing is more valuable than hearing recommendations from someone you know personally. Help be an ambassador for our community. Know someone thinking about moving? Introduce them to our website, sign them up for our blog and show them the e-magazine VeloCity.

attractions, community, Oklahoma City
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Why is Retail Important?

Shoppers at Rant in Uptown

In short, retail is what makes our city go. Sales taxes in Oklahoma City fund the city’s core services and day-to-day operations. That’s important stuff like police, fire, street maintenance, the Zoo, parks, etc. While property taxes can be used to fund voter-approved bond issues for specific capital projects, Oklahoma law actually prohibits cities from levying property taxes for services. So, the more you shop in OKC, the more you help your community! So put down the mouse, get out of the house, and get to shopping for a new blouse, pet grouse, Westinghouse, a choice porterhouse, downspouts, bean sprouts or a new spouse (just kidding on that last one, obvi). But seriously, shopping in your community is not only fun and easy but important to maintaining a healthy city.

If you’re curious about how OKC’s sales tax rates compare to some others, just check out this previous blog post.

community, retail
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Serve the community and meet new people

a couple viewing art

Volunteering is a great way to get involved with the community and meet new people, but if you’re new here yourself, often it’s hard to know where to start. As the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits notes, there are more than 19,000 nonprofit groups in Oklahoma. They are filling important needs in their respective areas, but choosing where to spend your time and resources can be overwhelming.

To help get you involved, two umbrella organizations in the community support long lists of nonprofit agencies serving in various areas – arts and culture, health, education, quality of life and financial stability.

Both Allied Arts and the United Way of Central Oklahoma offer a good roundup of organizations that they have vetted and that fit with their respective missions. When people donate to these groups, their donations get distributed to their member agencies. You’ll hear most about these organizations during their respective campaigns and at certain events, but they also can give you an idea of ways to serve as a volunteer. Check out the United Way’s a Volunteer Center on its website, which includes lists of needs among its partner agencies (which number 61 in 2015). And see the list of Allied Arts’ supported agencies (there are about 40 of them) and ways to volunteer.

Allied Arts, which formed in 1971, has a mission to ensure that “a variety of local arts organizations have the tools and resources they need to remain strong and offer quality programming to the public.”

United Way has been around for nearly 100 years, and its mission states that it is “committed to improve the health, safety, education and economic well-being of individual families in need in central Oklahoma by connecting community resources with responsive and accountable health and human services agencies.”

While there are many other organizations serving the community, both the United Way and Allied Arts are a good way to jump in.

community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Get your family involved

People volunteering at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

[Photo Credit: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma]

Once you find a niche, look for ways to get your kids involved in volunteering, too. It’s never too early to serve the community, and the holidays are a good time to start.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, which combats hunger throughout the state, has a very well-organized volunteer program that offers opportunities for groups. All you do is sign up for certain times, and you might find yourself sorting and packing food or distributing it. Volunteers as young as 8 can sign up, so it’s a great opportunity for families to do together. Also, the Salvation Army, Central Oklahoma Area Command, has an “Adopt an Angel” program to provide gifts for specific families, and groups can also sign up to accept donations and ring bells in front of the familiar Red Kettles outside high-traffic areas.

Specific to the holidays, the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner has been a Christmas Day tradition since 1947 by providing warm meals and toys to around 5,000 or 6,000 people at the Cox Convention Center.

If you have a teen, there are opportunities for them to get involved all on their own. Here are just a few organizations that have teen boards and opportunities, most which require applications. The links go directly to the teen programs.

And Metro Family Magazine has a list of other opportunities for families this year, as does Revive, Inc.’s ServeOK.org website.

community, kids, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Nonprofit volunteer spotlight: Whiz Kids

Young students

One organization that consistently needs help with volunteers is Whiz Kids Oklahoma, a faith-based, one-on-one volunteer tutoring/mentoring programs. For the last 20 years, the agency has assisted metro-area children who need it most. Currently, the organization is serving around 900 kids by providing them with a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult to help them.

Find out more about volunteering on its website.

community, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What are we thankful for? Local Charities

United Way Volunteer

Time to break out those carving skills because Thanksgiving is upon us. Great food, family, friends and a little football are pretty hard to beat. Of course Thanksgiving is not all about eating. It is also about giving thanks. So that is what we are going to do this week on the blog … let you know some things we are thankful for.

Of course in the spirit of the season we want to start with our communities’ amazing network of nonprofit organizations. No matter your passion, there is a local organization who could use your helping hand, be it financial or your time. Here is a rundown of past blog posts that highlight these charities and the work they do.

  • Infant Crisis Services- Launched nearly 30 years ago, Infant Crisis Services provides a wide range of life-saving services to infants and their families.
  • #GivingTuesday- Learn more about Upward Transitions, Regional Food Bank and Allied Arts.
  • Safe Kids Oklahoma- Safe Kids Oklahoma is a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention of unintentional childhood injuries.
  • Central Oklahoma Humane Society- This great nonprofit has found homes for more than 14,000 cats and dogs.
  • United Way of Central Oklahoma- This United Way has formed partnerships with more than 60 organizations that contribute to the area’s health, safety, education or economic well-being of families.
  • Get Involved- More on Feed the Children, Calm Waters, Dress for Success, Rebuilding Together and Whiz Kids.

These organizations need our help year-round so keep them in your thoughts even after the holidays. If you are new to our city there is no better way to connect with people than by volunteering your time.  Do you know of a nonprofit that could use some help this week? Let us know in the comments below or send us a shout on Facebook or Twitter.

Also be sure to check out the volunteerism page on our site for more causes and ways to get involved.

community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Building a better OKC

United Way fundraiser

If you’re a frequent reader, you know that we think OKC is pretty great! And to say that we’re a close-knit community might even be a little bit of an understatement. One of the organizations making a huge impact in the Greater Oklahoma City area is the United Way of Central Oklahoma. For more than 90 years, the vision of the organization has remained simple: to build a stronger, healthier, and more compassionate community. Yet the reach of the United Way in our community is undeniable.  In fact, the United Way of Central Oklahoma provides support for more than 127 programs at 61 partner agencies and six of the originally funded agencies remain partner agencies today: American Red Cross, Boy Scouts, The Salvation Army, Sunbeam Family Services, YMCA and YWCA.

The organization focuses on creating strong families, successful kids, and healthy citizens. United Way of Central Oklahoma is one of the few in the country to house a research department to help determine strategic initiatives to address our community’s needs, even establishing more than 200 “Cool Zone” locations across central Oklahoma where anyone can go to escape the heat. In fact, the lives of more than 100,000 central Oklahomans are touched each year through the United Way’s partner agencies. From enrichment activities to housing and emergency shelter services and dental care for uninsured Oklahomans, it’s hard to deny the impact the organization has on our community.

Attend the annual Campaign Kickoff  on September 11 for a fun way to learn more about the United Way of Central Oklahoma and get a free fabulous breakfast at the same time. The event will feature a pancake breakfast cooked by local “Celebrity Chefs” and other festivities include a pancake flipping contest and a family movie night under the stars later that evening.

community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Creating a better tomorrow

Kids doing crafts

For more than 25 years, Positive Tomorrows has been working throughout central Oklahoma to remove barriers that get in the way of an underserved child's access to education and success. Today, the elementary school is meeting the educational and social service needs of homeless children and their families and even provides wellness screenings, dental checkups, hearing screenings and vision screenings.

The organization believes that education is the key to ending the cycle of homelessness and poverty and that providing access to an education and a stable home life are critical.

Oklahoma City is home to numerous other agencies who work to build not only a stronger community but a better world for everyone.  From home-grown agencies to those with international reach, Oklahoma City residents prove time and time again that they are always there to help and support each other.

community, nonprofit
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Get involved

Volunteer with United Way

Beyond the United Way and Positive Tomorrows, our region is home to a ton of non-profits who are doing some amazing work in our community. No matter what your passion is, you can find a local organization that could put that passion to good work. Here are some other local charities to check out:

  • Feed the Children: Feed the Children exists to end childhood hunger. It’s the cause the organization has championed for more than 35 years from the world headquarters located right here in OKC.
  • Calm Waters: Provides counseling and support to children and their families who experience grief caused by death, divorce or other loss. The organization directly serves approximately 2,500 children, youth and adults in Central Oklahoma annually.
  • Dress for Success Oklahoma City: Provides women with clothing for job interviews from the Dress for Success boutique but also offers support and assistance to further their career.
  • Rebuilding Together OKC: Since 1992, Rebuilding Together OKC has repaired more than 3,000 homes, 30 non-profit facilities, and eight public school buildings with the help of 70,000 volunteers. These repairs represent a value to the community of more than $20 million.
  • Whiz Kids: The mission of City Care's Whiz Kids is to improve the well-being of inner city youth through academic tutoring and positive mentoring relationships as well as communicating spiritual and moral value.

 For a list of local community service groups, click here

community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



OKC is a city with a heart

Volunteer at the Food Bank

[Photo Credit: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma]

Can you feel the love in OKC? Well, we certainly can! Each year, more than 7,800 Oklahomans of all ages and backgrounds are helping to meet local needs, strengthen communities, and increase civic engagement through volunteering. Serving at more than 980 locations throughout the state, Oklahomans tutor and mentor children, support veterans and military families, provide health services, restore the environment, respond to disasters, increase economic opportunity, and recruit and manage volunteers. In fact, Oklahoma City has the fifth highest overall volunteer rate among the 51 largest cities in the U.S., as well as the second-highest number of volunteer hours per resident, among other high volunteer rankings. Why? Volunteering in America credits the same factors that make Oklahoma City a great place to live, like home ownership levels, short commutes, high education levels, low foreclosure rates and low unemployment.

Are you interested in volunteering, but not sure how to get started?  Hit up our website for information about how to get connected.

community, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Oklahoma Standard reflects state residentsí kindness, generosity

Oklahoma Standard

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building, the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is asking Oklahomans to commit to the Oklahoma Standard by committing one act of service, honor and kindness in the month of April.

Volunteer your time to someone in need, honor the victims and survivors of the 1995 bombing and show kindness in smaller ways in order to demonstrate the spirit of generosity that Oklahomans demonstrated to the world – and the world showed to us – during that tragedy.

Watch a video that details more about this effort that Oklahoma City Thunder General Manager Sam Presti, chairman of the campaign, suggested based on his experience living in the state.

The Oklahoma Standard kickoff with the Thunder will be from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 5, 2015, at the Chesapeake Arena.

Join Oklahomans there, or sign up online to participate in the campaign.

Other events related to the Oklahoma City bombing anniversary include:

  • The Memorial Motorcycle Run from noon to 6 p.m. on April 18, a “Ride to Remember” which will include bikers from across the state and beyond to honor those who were killed. Sign up or donate.
  • A reunion with family members, survivors, rescue workers, investigators and law enforcement members associated with the bombing efforts from 3 to 5 p.m. on April 18.
  • The 20th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony from 8:55 to 10:55 a.m. on April 19, which annually includes 168 seconds of silence at 9:02 a.m.
  • The Reflections of Hope Award luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 20. It will honor the prosecutors, defense attorney and judges who fought for justice following the bombing.
  • The annual OKC Memorial Marathon on April 26, which started in 2001 and has grown into an event with more than 25,000 runners. It is one of the Memorial’s major fundraisers and a Boston-qualifying, sanctioned race. Register now.
  • Cox Community Day on April 19, which includes free museum admission courtesy of Cox Communications.
community, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Get Carded at the Library

Hey, how about reading something other than the back of the shampoo bottle for a change? If you feel like you don’t know your volcanoes, vivisection, or Vietnam War (among other topics) like you should, the Metropolitan Library System has you covered. If you live or own property in Oklahoma City or Oklahoma County, just bring two forms of ID (one showing proof of residence) to your nearest library and get hooked up like a tow truck with your very own library card. But if your county is Cleveland, McClain, or Pottawatomie, you still oughttocomeandsee– the Metropolitan Library System has a reciprocal service agreement with the Pioneer Library System, HQ’d in Norman. (This means MLS cardholders can do the same at any Pioneer Library). Yes, there are virtually no limits to the things you can learn as a card-carrying member of the library. Lather, rinse, repeat, and then get yourself there!

community, family-friendly, kids, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Accolyte

Did you know Oklahoma was one of the top moving destinations in 2014? Or that National Geographic named Oklahoma City one of the best trip destinations in the world? Oklahoma City has been on a bit of a hot streak lately, and the national media has taken notice. The accolades have flooded in for our economy, quality of life and everything in between. This praise is great because it is not us bragging about our city, it is impartial national publications who keep noticing the great things happening in our community.

It seems like every day a new accolade or honor is being announced and it is a daunting task to keep up to date with the latest news. You can check the Better Life website for an always-fresh list of accolades. Be sure to share with your friends and family to show them we aren’t the only ones singing the praises of OKC.

community, Oklahoma City
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Home and Heart Community Art Show

Want to experience some pretty cool art while making a difference in our community? On Friday, nearly 40 artists who are experiencing homelessness will display their work in an art show in OKC titled the “Home and Heart Community Art Show.” The show will take place at the Homeless Alliance from noon to 8 p.m. The featured artists participate in “fresh stART,” a program designed to provide people experiencing homelessness in Oklahoma City with a supportive environment for creating art.

In addition to providing a potential source of income, open studio art programs enable people experiencing homelessness to express themselves creatively, manage emotional issues, develop social skills through positive interaction with a peer group, and develop a greater sense of dignity and skills transferable to employment. Find out more about the Homeless Alliance.

arts and culture, community, nonprofit
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Give to the United Way of Central Oklahoma

If you are overwhelmed by the number of causes to which you can contribute your time or money, take a look at all the good that the United Way of Central Oklahoma does in the community.

This organization has formed partnerships with more than 60 organizations that contribute to the area’s health, safety, education or economic well-being of families, according to the United Way’s mission. A donation to the United Way will help fund these valuable programs that are held accountable by the United Way.

The United Way picks its partner organizations according to five identified “Focus Areas”: Strong Families, Successful Kids, Healthy Citizens, Independent Living and Community Preparedness. In 2013, the organization raised more than $22 million to help fund these nonprofit agencies’ programs.

If you’re interested in finding ways to volunteer for these organizations, check out the United Way’s Volunteer Center.

The United Way has been serving the community for more than 90 years, and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber is proud that it had a role in its creation decades ago.

volunteer, community, nonprofit
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Help those in need keep warm

As we launch into full winter mode here in OKC, there are plenty of people who will need coats and other gear to keep warm. Here are some ways to help:

  • The Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) district already has distributed more than 5,000 new coats to children in need through a partnership with the national nonprofit organization Operation Warm. The organization accepts monetary donations, and then OKCPS buys the new coats to distribute to students in need this winter. Although OKCPS is wrapping up the campaign for funds that began this summer, it is still accepting donations to help and still identifying students’ needs. To donate, send a check or money order with the words “OKCPS Coat-A-Kid project” in the memo to Operation Warm, P.O. Box 822431, Philadelphia, PA 19182-2431 or donate online.
  • For more than 30 years, those in need have been able to “shop” for Christmas gifts and other supplies and clothing in a department store setting where all the merchandise is free. Although it started out as a seasonal nonprofit organization, The Christmas Connection has developed into a service agency that provides support throughout the year through five programs: Christmas Shopping Days, School Connections, Crisis Relief, Senior Shopping Days and General Shopping for basic needs. It only takes $20 to give a child a winter coat. Donate funds online, or donate items by dropping them off at Christmas Connection, Inc., 5728 S May Ave., or at one of four Quik Print locations, 3403 Northwest Expressway, 7206 N Western Ave., 406 NW 23 or 10633 N May Ave.
  •  Infant Crisis Services, Inc., is in need of coats for its littlest clients.
  • Give to Brad Edwards’ Warmth 4 Winter coat drive, which goes to the Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command for distribution. Among other locations in central Oklahoma, you can drop off items in Oklahoma City at KFOR-TV NewsChannel 4, 444 E Britton Road; The Salvation Army – Oklahoma City, 1001 N Pennsylvania;  Earlywine Park YMCA, 11801 S May; and The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City, 7624 W Reno Ave. , #380.  Also, participating Jersey Mike’s restaurants are giving away Philly Cheese subs to those bringing in a new coat for donation through Dec. 21. Find more information on the Warmth 4 Winter website.
volunteer, weather, community, nonprofit
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Raindrops Keep Falling on Your Head?

We’ve mentioned before that here in OKC, we have the benefit of experiencing all four seasons. Who doesn’t love that? It means we get to really live it up weather-wise, but come spring-time, it also means that we need to be weather wise.

Oklahoma’s location east of the Rocky Mountains and north of the Gulf of Mexico mean that we are sometimes a hot spot for some interesting weather. Cold dry air from the Rocky Mountains and Canada have the potential to gather over our state with warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, sometimes resulting in thunderstorms or even more severe weather including tornadoes.

Like other states that have the potential for severe weather, here in Oklahoma, we are pretty well prepared for what Mother Nature might throw our way. Nearly 200 tornado sirens are operated across Greater Oklahoma City. These sirens are utilized when a tornado warning exists in our area. What’s a tornado warning? Here, our meteorologists issue watches and warnings (both for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes). Here’s a brief overview from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

And to help you get prepared for any storms that might come our way, the City of Oklahoma City has assembled a number of references and resources on their site to help. Included in this powerhouse of preparedness are tips for building an emergency supply kit. So go on, download your favorite TV station’s weather app, make sure your weather radio has new batteries and be like a Boy Scout because who doesn’t like being prepared?

climate, community, weather
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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