Local & Regional
Wed December 23, 2009
Tulsa, OK – George Kaiser Family Foundation today announced a series of grants to more than 100 Tulsa area social service agencies. The foundation will distribute a total of $6,556,733, with 34 organizations receiving matching grant challenges. More than $2.6 million will go towards community health initiatives, an excess of $2.3 million will support human services and more than $1.6 million will benefit education and youth development programs.
"These are extremely difficult times for thousands of families in our community, as people struggle with basic needs like food, shelter, health care and other critical services," said Ken Levit, executive director of George Kaiser Family Foundation. "At the same time, these individuals and families, in addition to the charitable agencies that serve them, are suffering from cut-backs in public assistance caused by shortfalls at the local and state level. GKFF is pleased to make these grants for services needed by so many in our community and to a number of social service agencies that do outstanding work, day in and day out."
Agencies receiving funding include Community Service Council, Crosstown Learning Center, Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Eastern Oklahoma Donated Dental Services (EODDS), Emergency Infant Services, Family and Children's Services, Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma Project MEND, Good Samaritan, Mental Health Association in Tulsa, Parent Child Center, Rebuilding Together Tulsa, Tulsa Women and Children's Center, Legal Aid Services and Life Senior Services.
Family and Children's Services works to improve the mental health of families and children in the Tulsa area. They will receive a grant of $425,000 to help support school-based mental health services, their children's mental health clinic, their Mobile Crisis for Kids program, child psychiatry, the hiring of a child trauma specialist, an early childhood program and integrated health and substance abuse programs.
"Several Oklahomans suffer from mental health issues. Family and Children's services promotes the well-being and mental health of all Oklahoma families," said Gail Lapidus, executive director of Family and Children's Services. "We work hard every day to provide children and families with the treatment they require."
The Tulsa Women and Children's Center will receive a matching grant of $73,000. The donation will be used to support the child care program and the program's equipment needs.
The $155,000 grant to Rebuilding Together Tulsa will fund home repairs for 40 homeowners in the Hawthorne and Kendall-Whittier neighborhoods. Repairs include a new roof, energy efficiency improvements, paint, wheelchair ramps, secure door locks or other needed repairs.
"With additional support, Rebuilding Together Tulsa will provide safe, secure and weatherproof homes for those in need," said Jennifer Barcus-Schafer, executive director of Rebuilding Together Tulsa. "We hope to give back to the community for years to come as Rebuilding Together Tulsa focuses its repair programs on not only improving lives, but also improving Tulsa neighborhoods."
The Mental Health Association in Tulsa will receive $270,000. The grant will help support housing services, youth outreach, a job development program and general operating support.
Emergency Infant Services (EIS) works to provide basic life necessities to children aged newborn to five years. Distributed items include formula, food, milk, diapers, clothing, cribs, car seats and medication. GKFF awarded EIS a grant in the amount of $60,000 to support general operations, as well as issued a challenge grant for $55,000 to match an equal amount in donations from the community. Once the challenge has been met, GKFF will release $55,000 to EIS, bringing its total commitment to $115,000.
"Emergency Infant Services is seeing an unprecedented need among Tulsa's infants and toddlers; we served 1,109 children in the last month alone," said Eileen Bradshaw, executive director of Emergency Infant Services. "This donation and challenge will help insure that a child who needs a meal or a bottle, a clean diaper or a warm coat can depend on Tulsa to meet that need. This is a lifeline to children in poverty."
GKFF has also partnered with Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma to expand services provided to children of incarcerated parents. Project M.E.N.D. will receive a grant of $125,000 to help coordinate supervised visits between children and their incarcerated mothers at five Oklahoma Department of Corrections facilities around the state. The program provides drug and alcohol prevention, conflict resolution and other valuable life skills to the mothers and their children. The project has received $75,000 to help fund the program. The remaining portion of the grant is contingent upon Girl Scouts matching $50,000 from the community.
"There are thousands of children in Oklahoma with a mother in prison. Without the support of the community, many children in the Tulsa area would suffer," said Karen Morgan, CEO of Girls Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma. "We are so fortunate and pleased to have the necessary funds and resources to continue our work in the next year."
Life Senior Services will receive $65,000 to help fund Adult Day Services and the Medicare Prescription Assistance Program.
Eastern Oklahoma Donated Dental Services offers free dental work to economically disadvantaged, disabled or elderly eastern Oklahomans. The $90,000 grant will be used to purchase units of services for restorative and preventive dental care.
"EODDS is a charitable dental program served by volunteer 918-area dentists that work hard to deliver free quality dental services to families in eastern Oklahoma," said Pam Beard, executive director of Eastern Oklahoma Donated Dental Services. "This grant is going to help us continue to provide free dental care, preventative dental education and free oral and denture health care supplies to those who need these services the most."