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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Get involved

United Way Volunteers

One easy way to get to know your hometown better is by lending a helping hand.  Check out one of these great local nonprofits to get involved. Just an FYI, this is far from an exhaustive list of those doing great work in our community. You can find a more complete list here.

  • United Way: United Way of Central Oklahoma is committed to improving the health, safety, education and economic well-being of individual families in need in central Oklahoma.
  • Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity helps build and restore homes in Central Oklahoma.
  • City Care: Found in 1996, City Care helps provide food and shelter for the homeless.
  • Positive Tomorrows: For more than 25 years, Positive Tomorrows has helped educate our metro’s homeless children.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma: BBBS helps pair kids with mentors who can provide a positive influence in their lives. 
  • 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.
  • Central Oklahoma Humane Society: The Central Oklahoma Humane Society is the largest animal-related charity in Oklahoma.
  • Infant Crisis Center: Provides essential supplies to vulnerable babies and toddlers.
  • 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.
community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A helping hand

United Way Volunteering

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday at Better Life HQ. We are suckers for piles of turkey, stuffing and weird desserts your aunt makes involving Jell-O (at least we think it is Jell-O). But the most important thing about Thanksgiving is the thanks part. We feel like there is no better way to give thanks than by giving a helping hand to those who could use one. Check out one of these great local nonprofits to get involved. Just an FYI, this is far from an exhaustive list of those doing great work in our community. You can find a more complete list here.

  • United Way: United Way of Central Oklahoma is committed to improving the health, safety, education and economic well-being of individual families in need in central Oklahoma.
  • Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity helps build and restore homes in Central Oklahoma.
  • City Care: Found in 1996, City Care helps provide food and shelter for the homeless.
  • Feed the Children: Feed the Children exists to end childhood hunger. It’s the cause the organization (what organization?) has championed for more than 35 years from the world headquarters located right here in OKC.
  • Positive Tomorrows: For more than 25 years, Positive Tomorrows has helped educate our metro’s homeless children.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma: BBBS helps pair kids with mentors who can provide a positive influence in their lives. 
  • 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.
  • Central Oklahoma Humane Society: The Central Oklahoma Human Society is the largest animal-related charity in Oklahoma.
  • Infant Crisis Center: Provides essential supplies to vulnerable babies and toddlers.
  • 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.
community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Lend a hand

United Way Volunteering

Another great way to get to know people is by donating your time to a nonprofit. There is no better place to start than the United Way of Central Oklahoma.

This organization partners 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.

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 15, 2016

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
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)



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)



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
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Give back on #GivingTuesday

As the holiday season kicks off, we’ve given thanks for our blessings and shopped the best deals on Black Friday in person and Cyber Monday online. Now it’s time to give something back.

In recent years, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become known as Giving Tuesday, or #GivingTuesday as it’s tagged on social media sites. It is a reminder that there are lots of organizations that need our help, especially during the holidays. It’s a global movement that we and our families can join at the local level and start a new holiday tradition of generosity.

And so, in honor of #GivingTuesday today, Tuesday, Dec. 2, let’s talk about some of our local nonprofit organizations.

If you 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:

  • Adopt-a-Family during the holidays from Upward Transitions to provide them with specific needs. Upward Transitions operates two programs – Travelers Aid and the Homeless Assistance Center, which is a community outreach program that helps needy and homeless clients by providing basic needs.
  • 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.
  • Give a matching gift to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma – Chesapeake Energy Corp. and the Cresap Family Foundation will match all donations to the Food Bank between now and Jan. 15 up to $1 million, a gift that would provide 10 million meals for chronically hungry children. Or, sign up your family to volunteer in its warehouse.
  • Donate to Allied Arts, the area’s umbrella organization for central Oklahoma’s cultural groups, and get a chance to win one of 10 prize packages, including a $250 gift certificate.

Oklahoma has more than 17,000 nonprofit groups in the state, so there are many ways you can get involved. Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits is always a great resource for the state’s nonprofit groups.

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



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.

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



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



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Central Oklahoma Humane Society

While you are a great owner who cares for their pets and is now going to take them to one of the great dog parks in OKC, there are still lots of animals in Central Oklahoma who need care and a loving home. Since its founding in 2007, the nonprofit Central Oklahoma Humane Society has found homes for more than 14,000 cats and dogs. Equally important, they have spayed more than 60,000 pets (Bob Barker would be pumped about that).

As you can imagine, with numbers like that, the Central OK Humane Society needs as much help as it can get. The next time you want a new pet, consider adopting here. If you don’t have room for a new fuzzy friend, consider donating; every dollar helps OKC’s furry population. 

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



Lend a Helping Hand

The City of Oklahoma City is also trying to do its part in making our city as friendly to pets as possible. The city runs a Pet Food Bank for those who are having difficulties caring for their pets, among other services. You can adopt pets and post if you’ve lost or found an animal. You can even volunteer your domicile to serve as a short-term foster home for animals that need it. The city also offers free spaying and neutering for residents’ pets, and there are no income guidelines. So whether it is through donations, volunteering or adoption, consider helping to make sure Oklahoma City is a safe place for all our furry friends.

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