I am so thankful for the generosity of our Rotarian members. In this unusual year of illness, loss and economic pain the members of Rotary Club of Oklahoma City continue to demonstrate Service above Self.
The Rotary Board of Directors approved a series of holiday contributions to many in our community who need help. The one-time savings that has accrued in our budget from reduced meeting attendance has been channeled to some of our greatest needs. Thank you, President Elect Jerrod Shouse, for helping to organize, along with our devoted Rotary staff, the distribution of some of these savings.
$6,000 was given last week to the Homeless Alliance. Unfortunately, the distancing necessary under the Pandemic has reduced their shelter capacity from 900 to 600 individuals per night… forcing more causing more people trying to survive on the streets. The Homeless Alliance will use your Savings Contributions to serve those that have no shelter alternatives and their families. $2,000 was given to Positive Tomorrows who, under the leadership of Rotary Member Susan Agel, are providing education and family services to the children of homeless families. Catholic Charities received $2,000 to assist with 100 families who were identified as especially in need during this holiday period. $1,000 each was given to our four major hospital foundations who have programs to help our frontline health care workers needing assistance during the holidays as they labor around the clock to care for the victims of the Pandemic. It was wonderful to visit with Stacy Dykstra, a new Rotary Member, who runs the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Rotary gave this organization $6,000 that was matched by other donors for a combined contribution of $12,000 that will pay for 50,000 meals… Fifty Thousand Meals! With the matching, this round of Contribution Savings resulted in over $25,000 in community support for the needy.
This is all on the heels of a record setting OnePledge campaign where the campaign target was quickly exceeded. A goal of $90,000, thought by some to be too ambitious during this troubled time, was exceed with over $105,000 in pledges. This extra generosity will allow us to do even more for our grant recipient the Rainbow Fleet Rotary Community Park… assisting with the training needs for early childhood education and will allow us to buy more books for our needy students and support other Rotary Programs. Our new President Elect-Elect Wes Milbourn’s leadership in a pandemic-reduced Salvation Army bell ringing afternoon also nearly set a record with well over $5,000 raised in the kettles, virtual and otherwise.
The innovative Helping Hands matching grant program that was started this year by Rotary, was such a success that it may become a regular holiday initiative. Announced on December 8, 2020, the establishment of a $10,000 matching grant fund was made possible through our budget savings, matching dollar-for-dollar charitable contributions, up to $250, by Club 29 Rotarians. These funds were spoken for by many Rotary members in just a few days and the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City Board agreed to increase this matching fund by another $5,000.
While all this is going on locally, our International Committee is pursuing several matching contribution opportunities and are researching the best channels for us to contribute to help the massive devastation in Central America from back-to-back hurricanes.
One of the reasons you are a Rotarian and a member of one of the largest clubs in the world is to be able to channel your energy into large impact good deeds. Just during the Holiday period, you have caused approximately $170,000 in compassionate support for good things and for those in need in our community.
I hope you share my pride in being a member of this remarkable organization. Thank you for all you do to support our community and our world. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Be safe.
David Walters, 111th President
Rotary Club of Oklahoma City
Rotary Members Respond to Club 29 Holiday Contribution Report
This is amazing that the club was able to give funds to so many worthy causes. I did something similar last week with some remaining funds we had and gave $2,500 to Meals on Wheels OKC and $2,500 to Meals on Wheels Tulsa. I’m excited to be a part of the OKC Rotary Club! –
Susan Bohl – ED OKIE811
Good morning! Kudos to the board of directors for this initiative!!! What a great way to share resources with our community. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!!!
I’m so proud to be part of this club!
This is certainly a ray of sunshine in a very dark moment.