The vocation of every man and woman is to serve humanity. -Leo Tolstoy

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Positive Tomorrows

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Positive Tomorrows is a school for homeless children with a vision to be:

 …a sanctuary of hope; educating homeless children and their families for life.

I observed an art class taught by my friend Carri Dolan last winter and was pleased to see an environment tailored to the uncertain lives of the students. The current economy has been difficult for families already living on the edge of financial disaster and Positive Tomorrows works to restore some measure of stability. A little bit more from their website:

Positive Tomorrows is a private, tuition free school for Oklahoma City homeless children, Kindergarten through 5th grade.  Our students’ families live in homeless shelters, motels, or with friends or relatives.  Sometimes, they lack even that much stability and live cars or bounce around from couch to couch each night.  The dynamics of being homeless cause these children to fall behind their peers by 1 or 2 grade levels, academically and socially.  Because they are behind, they need individualized attention and special services to catch up to their peers and be ready for longterm success when they transition to a public school.

To learn more about Positive Tomorrows and support the work that they do please visit their website.

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Breakthrough

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2011 at 9:55 am

For the past four months an exploratory committee made up of Danne Johnson, Jackie Mania, Josh Harlow and myself has been working to bring Breakthrough to OKC. I am so excited about the potential impact on our community. From the Breakthrough website:

At 33 locations across the nation and abroad, Breakthrough Collaborative launches motivated middle-school students on the path to college and prepares older students for careers in education. A national nonprofit, Breakthrough Collaborative is devoted to preparing high-achieving middle-school students, most of whom are of color and from low-income families, to enter and succeed in college-preparatory high school programs. Breakthrough also recruits and trains outstanding high school and college students to become Breakthrough teachers and build an interest in careers as educators.

In June I was fortunate to visit Breakthrough Houston and was blown away by the work they are doing there. Even the highest achieving low income students in Oklahoma City graduate college at very low rates. Breakthrough can help to alter this trend and the lives of entire families.

If you would like to be involved in the effort to bring Breakthrough to OKC please contact me.

Why?

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Why am I writing a blog? This space is meant primarily as a place for me to record and share my thoughts on nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma City. I have been involved with a number of local nonprofits over the past eight years as a patron, volunteer, board and committee member, staff, consultant and user of services. Some of the organizations do amazing work while others fail both their mission and the public that they are entrusted to serve. I want to promote those organizations that are doing good work and contribute to a conversation about best practices.

Oh, and I love Oklahoma!

Service Clubs

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2011 at 11:36 am

Last night I was inducted into the OKC Midtown Rotary Club. Until very recently I had never considered joining Rotary or any of the other service clubs such as Kiwanis, Lions, Optimists or Exchange. I held a limited view of these organizations as groups of older men who met early in the morning to drink coffee. While that is generally an accurate description it leaves out the more important aspects of the organizations.

For nearly 100 years these groups have been doing important charitable work both in their communities and around the world. Most have areas of focus such as youth sports, child abuse prevention, health care and clean water. Midtown Rotary focuses on the arts. In building social bonds among people who are like minded in their devotion to service these groups actively promote community.

OKC Midtown Rotary is a markedly younger and more gender balanced club than most. When looking at the aging demographics of other clubs I fear for the potential loss of these important institutions. I encourage anyone interested in improving their community to investigate these organizations. I’m glad that I did.

OKC Midtown Rotary meets at 6 pm every Tuesday at McNellie’s, 1100, Classen Drive, OKC, Ok. Visitors are always welcome!

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