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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
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Festival of the Arts

OKC Festival of the Arts

You don’t have to be an Oklahoma City native long to understand that the annual Festival of the Arts is the unofficial kickoff of spring in the metro. This year’s festival will be held April 24-28 at Bicentennial Park.

First started in 1967, the Festival of the Arts is put on by Arts Council Oklahoma City to celebrate art and community. More than 140 visual artists from around the county will have booths set up to showcase any medium of art you can think of.

The great thing about the festival is that it’s a blast for the whole family as they also emphasize performing and culinary arts. You can listen to great live music on three stages while enjoying some amazing food.

As you can imagine, the festival is a major undertaking and to make it happen the Arts Council relies on volunteers. If you are interested in helping out check out the link to learn more. Trust us, there are much worse ways to spend an April afternoon.

Also, if this marks your first time going to the festival check out our insider tips from a couple years back. Be sure to note the location of the festival has changed since the post but the tips still apply!

arts and culture, festivals, food, live music, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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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
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Delmar Gardens

Uptown 23 Street Farmers Market

Located in the heart of the Farmers Market, Delmar Gardens Food Truck Park offers a cozy place for friends and family to congregate, enjoy the best food trucks in Oklahoma City and even play some yard games (we call next on corn hole).

The Farmers Market District is steeped in history and is quickly becoming a great destination for shopping, eating, concerts and even some brewing. Delmar Gardens is an outstanding spot to wind down after a day of fun in the district. The best part … they even allow your furry friends, assuming it is a dog (we didn’t ask them about their ferret policy).

P.S. If you are a long-time OKC resident the name Delmar Gardens might seem familiar to you. It is a callback to the metro’s first amusement park.

family-friendly, Farmers Market District, Uptown 23, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Run to Remember

OKC Memorial Marathon

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 30, 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 run or sign 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.

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

A new addition to the race is the Standard Stretch. At 23rd and Classen, runners will through the 9:03 gate. For watchers there will be food trucks, sign-making stations, games and more.

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.

museums, OKC National Memorial, running, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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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
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Get involved!

State Fair Expo Building

Did you ever wonder what it takes to put on a world-class fair such as that in OKC? The Oklahoma State Fair is rich in history and heritage and is ranked among the top State Fairs in North America. But the fun family event wouldn’t be possible without dedicated volunteers working behind the scenes to ensure its success. If you are interested in having loads of fun with a great group consider volunteering. In addition to the State Fair, volunteers get together for other fun and educational opportunities throughout the year including socials and dinners. While the State Fair brings thousands of thrill seekers and game lovers to the fairgrounds each year, hundreds of other events are hosted at the site as well. With the coming addition of the MAPS 3 Bennett Event Center, the number of ways you can have a good time at Oklahoma State Fair Park is expected to grow exponentially.

MAPS, State Fair Park, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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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
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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, September 8, 2015

Get involved…

State Fair at Night

Did you ever wonder what it takes to put on a world-class fair such as that in OKC? The Oklahoma State Fair is rich in history and heritage and is ranked among the top State Fairs in North America. But the fun family event wouldn’t be possible without dedicated volunteers working behind the scenes to ensure its success. If you are interested in having loads of fun, with a great group (and possibly scoring free gate admission AND free season parking) consider volunteering

State Fair Park, 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)



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
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Memorial Marathon is a ‘Run to Remember’

Memorial Marathon Finish Line

Get involved with the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 26, 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 “Run to Remember” marathon started in 2001 and now features more than 25,000 runners running along the streets of Oklahoma City, starting and ending downtown near the OKC National Memorial. 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.

running, volunteer
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
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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. 

nonprofit, pets, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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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.

nonprofit, pets, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring has Sprung

Spring is upon us, fellow OKC’ers. The birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, sometimes there’s a torrential downpour. We know that you’re itching to put away those winter coats for good so here are a few ideas for how to get your spring fever going:

family-friendly, museums, nightlife, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, parks, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Arts Festival Insider

You’ll hear everywhere about the Festival of the Arts, but you may not get insider tips to enjoy the event like a true local.

This huge, fun community event always takes place the last full week of April. Besides two blocks of tents filled by some of the finest artists from around the country, the Arts Council of Oklahoma City brings together varied local restaurants with food booths and a huge variety of local music.

First of all, pick your days and times with care. You can join the big crowds enjoying the gorgeous spring evenings, but mornings at the Festival have just as much music, art and food with lots more space to walk. If it happens to be wet or cold, that doesn’t mean you should stay home. Go then and you’ll find the friendliest vendors ever.

Next: parking. Skip the pay lots and come from a few blocks south where many empty lots and quiet buildings sit. Don’t be intimidated by how vacant it is – just get a glimpse of where the future public downtown park and convention center will be (you’ll need your imagination).

If you’re with kids, check out the children’s activities located in the Myriad Gardens (amazing itself). If you would prefer not to have to watch your step for fear of tripping over little ones, steer clear of the joyful chaos by staying on the north or west end of the Festival.

Faves: Take a little time to see artists in action, actually creating the work at the Artful Experiences area. This is also an ideal picnicking area with tables, grass and trees.

Another idea to get the real insider view: volunteer. Look around while at the Festival and you’ll see teams of grinning volunteers everywhere. This event is run by thousands of volunteers pitching in and they’re so enthusiastic it’s like summer camp for adults. Let the Arts Council OKC know you want to help, and you could quickly be meeting interesting folks while guiding bands to the stage, helping the festival go green or driving golf carts to deliver ice to the drink vendors.

arts and culture, downtown, family-friendly, festivals, food, kids, music, Myriad Botanical Gardens, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year, New You

It’s almost 2014. Do you know what that means? It means there’s still time for you to get your New Year’s resolutions mapped out and stick to them for a full 365 days.

Resolution: Save money
If saving money is at the top of your list this year, you’ve definitely come to the right place. When it comes to cost of living, OKC consistently ranks low – as in we have one of the lowest costs of living out there. So lucky for you, OKC gives you the perfect opportunity to live it up for less.

So let’s all start the year on the right financial foot. Grab a pen and paper (or, if you’re like us, make a handy-dandy spreadsheet) and work up a budget with a fantastic plan that balances both fun and savings. There are tons of online budget tools available out there on the world wide web if you need a little assistance getting a good plan going. Then stick to it.

Resolution: Volunteer to help others
Oklahoma City is famous for its friendly people and vibrant community spirit. That spirit resonates throughout the year as OKC’ers rack up nearly millions upon millions of volunteer hours. During 2012, OKC ranked No. 21 of the 51 largest metro areas in terms of number of residents who volunteer. It’s no wonder – OKC has so many great groups around town that could benefit from your time.

Wondering where you can help? We suggest you check out the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and the United Way of Central Oklahoma. Also, many of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s members are non-profits. So check out the Member Directory to find one you can help!

Resolution: Go back to school
Did you know that there are 18 colleges and universities and two community colleges in the OKC metro area? It’s true. Maybe you’re looking to finish your degree; or pick up some new skills; or just keep your brain sharp. No matter what your goals are, there are incredible education choices at your fingertips in Greater Oklahoma City.

Work downtown and want to take some classes? Check out the OKC Downtown College. This consortium of five colleges and universities offers convenient classes whether you’re looking to pursue a college degree, improve professional skills or just take a fun class.

Resolution: Take a trip
Everyone needs a vacation every once in awhile. But no one said you have to travel to Timbuktu to get away from it all. If you’re looking to stick with two resolutions in one (save money AND take a trip), we suggest a lovely staycation. Get some help planning something spectacular and relaxing with VisitOKC.com. This fantastic tool has great suggestions for things to do, places to stay, where to eat and more. Who knows – you might just discover a hidden gem right in your own backyard.

Resolution: Reduce, reuse and recycle
Looking to be a little greener in 2014? The City of Oklahoma City makes being a good environmental steward easy and convenient with weekly curbside recycling. Just get a little blue recycling bin, fill it with your permitted recyclables and leave it out the same morning as your regular trash service.

You can also try your hand at composting. We did a post on this fantastic green act so check it out and get started!

But being green goes beyond recycling bottles and cans. With an influx of Christmas gifts, there are likely things around your house you are ready to part with to make room for the new loot – but what’s the green way to “dispose” of those? Well, for starters, don’t put them in the garbage if you think someone else might want them. For instance, unwanted books (and periodicals, videos, cassettes and CDs), can be donated to the Metropolitan Library System. All you have to do is drop them off at any of the MLS’ 18 libraries. Your donation is even tax-deductible! If there are other housewares or furniture that are cramping your style, consider having a garage sale or donating those items to an organization like Goodwill.

arts and culture, community, education, gardening, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Warm Your Heart

There’s a cold front headed this way and while you may get a little chilled, we have a few ways to warm your heart this holiday season.

Warmth for Winter
It can get cold here in OKC, but not everyone has a coat to keep them bundled up. The annual Brad Edwards Warmth 4 Winter coat drive will kick off next week, Dec. 12, and is a great way to clear those forgotten coats out your closet while also helping fellow Oklahomans.

Share the Warmth
If you’re an Oklahoma Natural Gas customer, there’s a really easy and awesome way to help out neighbors across our state this season. Their “Share the Warmth” program lets you add any amount to your monthly natural gas bill to help seniors, individuals with disabilities and others in need who cannot cover their home heating expenses.

Give the Gift of Light
None of us look forward to paying our monthly electric bills, but we know they’re just a part of life. Some Oklahomans struggle more than others to figure out where that fits into a budget. With OG&E’s Gift of Light program, you can give the, well, “gift of light” to a family member, friend or your favorite charity or organization. You can also use their “Lend-A-Hand” program to add a few dollars to your monthly bill. The amount added will be forwarded to The Salvation Army which distributes the money to individuals in need.

$1 Million Match
We know that you enjoy that delicious holiday goose (or whatever your holiday meal tradition might be), but with more than 675,000 Oklahomans waking up hungry each day, it’s a great time to remember to help those in need. To help fight hunger in Oklahoma, Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Carità Famiglia, LLC are teaming up to match every dollar donated to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma between now and Jan. 15.

community, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Surprise! It's Time for Supplies

Admit it, as much as you may have resisted, you’ve begun to see them: back-to-school displays at your local big-box retailer. The mere sight of these end-of-summer staples can inspire a range of emotions, from outright fear and denial in kids, to dreamy memories of going back to school for some new-to-the-working-world young professionals, to perhaps even a sense of impending relief for harried parents. Unfortunately, some of OKC’s less fortunate kids may look at those displays and wistfully wonder, “What if I could have the use of even the most basic non-designer series Trapper Keeper?” Help keep Oklahoma City Public Schoolkids in Trapper Keepers (as well as pencils, paper, rulers, etc.) by donating to the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation’s Teachers Warehouse program. $25 provides a basic set of school supplies to an elementary student, and helps students, parents as well as teachers (often, teachers are forced to foot the bill for supplies when their students’ families cannot afford them). In addition, Team Up OKC’s annual school supply drive aims to replenish the Warehouse, and provides supply dropoff locations throughout the city during the drive, usually in September. Don’t live in OKC Public Schools? Check with your local school district to see how you can donate. Give what you can, in turn giving our kids the best opportunity to achieve in the classroom—and in life.

More info:
http://okckids.com/invest/donate/
http://teamupokc.com/

community, family-friendly, kids, school, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Oh Baby Baby

Infant Crisis Services provides a wide range of life-saving services to infants and their families. Launched 27 years ago as a Sunday school project, the organization provides formula, food, diapers, clothing and loving care to tiny tots during times of crisis. The backbone of the organization is its volunteers, and their mission is to let no baby go to bed hungry. There are plenty of ways to help this nonprofit agency fulfill its mission, either through donations or a host of volunteer opportunities.

community, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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