The Assistance League of Tulsa’s 45th Anniversary and Open House on Sunday, February 21, was a wonderful experience. It was amazing to see the magic that our members performed in transforming Bargains and the Operation School Bell areas into uncluttered beautifully decorated rooms that left enough space for our visitors to walk. Of course, by Monday we had all of the “magic” put away and we were ready to work.
We were pleased that Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Victoria Bartlett were able to attend. Mayor Bartlett read a Proclamation honoring our 45 years of service to the Tulsa Community. They both learned about Operation School Bell and our partners. It was a good opportunity to share information and Victoria asked if she could donate to Bargains…YES, of course.
Life Senior Services, Mental Health of Oklahoma and Emergency Infant Services were wonderful to bring items to share with our members and guests. They stayed the entire time to help us celebrate.
The entry floral arrangement of blue iris was elegant and provided by Toni’s Flowers. Merritt’s Bakery provided the cookies that added to making the middle room inviting. Hospitality did some special magic in the middle room with decorations and a beautiful table of goodies.
We were pleased that some of our honored guests attended and some new folks dropped in. We have three people who asked for information about joining and a young man, who is an attorney from Sapulpa, saw the trolley from the TU track and came to visit. He was so impressed that he is going to volunteer to help with delivery to John 3:16 and with estate sale pick-up. We made new friends with Jay DeMuyncks’ Knights of Columbus group, who helped with the University of Tulsa’s parking lot.
Also, many husbands helped in our parking lot. Other special helpers included two darling granddaughters belonging to Loretta Raschen and Jan Chilcoat. Volunteers from the School of Arts and Sciences and the National Charity League worked hard on Saturday before our Open House. We appreciate our volunteers.
The Open House was fun and proves again that this group of women can take any idea and turn it into something special. There are too many names to mention and too many to thank, but you know who you are…
Here are the results of our effort for Make a Difference Day. My thanks to all of you for your participation and getting the forms back. I’m tooting our horn. You are the very best.
Information to share with your chapters:
Chapters participating: 110
Chapters reporting: 107
Books collected/distributed: 82,140
#Community volunteers: 2,562
Total # volunteers 7,223
#Assisteens Auxiliaries 18
Thank you for Making a Difference everyday in your community.
Margaret Swimmer: Our glass is half full — and more
By MARGARET SWIMMER | 5 comments
As I sat down to write this column, I reflected on where we have been in Tulsa and Oklahoma and where we are going in a world that is quickly evolving in many areas. Do we have a glass half empty or a glass half full? I concluded that Tulsa indeed has a glass more than half full.
Oklahoma’s legislative year ended after much controversy over budget priorities in a year with fewer dollars and increasing needs for our core responsibilities in health care, education, mental health and incarceration.
With the exception of general agreement that these areas should be funded, no practical improvements or funded solutions were enacted. So we have much work left to do!
Fortunately, we are blessed to have many accomplished and selfless individuals to lead us in the right direction. Among many other voices for education, Oklahoma elected a new state schools superintendent who is willing to stand up for excellence in common education, and David Boren continues his fight for excellence in higher education regardless of the hit it received in state appropriations. In addition, voices are rising to demand we address the health needs in Oklahoma.
But we need courageous elected officials to take smart and innovative government action to provide resources. We must accept Medicaid dollars for the health of our most vulnerable citizens, or else, find the resources to fund the medical necessities for our most vulnerable citizens.
Oklahomans, we know what needs to be done. Let’s make real progress during the next year!
On to more positive thoughts: As spring arrived, then summer, I was reminded why we love living in Tulsa — such a beautiful, kind city. We sell Tulsa to others as we travel across the country.
Tulsa is in a renaissance, and it is exciting to see the changes. Our downtown has again become a focus for activities for adults, and for families and children. It is impossible to list them all. Just go to the Tulsa World for weekly lists of events in Tulsa.
Tulsa is best defined by the giving nature of its citizens. We are blessed to have the Kaisers, Zarrows, Helmerichs, Warrens, QuikTrip, and Williams Companies, among many, many others who have given a lasting legacy and continue to give generously.
And, we also have many individuals and businesses that donate not only dollars but also volunteer hours to make life better for the less fortunate. One of our favorite caring agencies is the Assistance League of Tulsa that exemplifies Tulsa’s heart. An all-volunteer agency, with a Bargains Resale Store at 3408 East 11th St., this group is dedicated to serving students in need. At the site, volunteer personal shoppers greet some 2,000 excited elementary school students who are identified and brought to the store by their counselors. The students are overjoyed to select their own school uniforms, new clothing and shoes that fit. Another 46,000 uniform shirts are delivered to area schools during the year. Funds raised by generous community donors and the Bargains Store make all this possible. This past year, the devoted members volunteered more than 30,000 hours and raised over $750,000. This represents volunteerism and philanthropy at its Tulsa finest!
There is not space or time to identify all the many good people and organizations in Tulsa or to list all the wonderful activities available to the public to enjoy.
One way to experience Tulsa is to take a walk through our neighborhoods and parks. This past weekend was beautiful, and with all the rain, we had a unique opportunity finally to see the Arkansas River full of water from bank to bank for several weeks. What a gorgeous sight.
This year Tulsa was named by the New York Times as one of the 50 best cities in the world to visit along with Paris and Rome. Again, I urge you to get behind the dam project and keep water flowing in our beautiful city. This one opportunity to provide entertainment and recreation opportunities from kayaking to concerts and much more, must finally be achieved to make Tulsa truly the most beautiful city in America.
Link to story below:
Assistance League has been named a 2013 National Make A Difference Day Award Honoree in recognition of its member volunteers collecting 113,101 books in a nationwide 94-chapter drive. The Assistance League project was selected from thousands of efforts that took place on Make A Difference Day 2012, the nation’s largest single day of volunteering sponsored by USA WEEKEND Magazine in partnership with Points of Light and supported by Newman’s Own.
Locally, Assistance League of Tulsa participated in the National Children’s Book Drive by collecting 1,299 books for donation to Tulsa Public Schools with mentoring programs, Lakeside Residential Center and the Tulsa Advocacy for the Protection of Children. Together, with 93 other chapters of Assistance League, these local efforts led to selecting Assistance League as one of ten national honorees.
More than 21,500 Assistance League member and community volunteers were inspired to participate in this event, with the project focused on children’s literacy since reading is a critical element in every youngster’s development. “Locally, several hundred volunteers contributed time and books to make this event a success. By providing books to those in need, Assistance League continues to make a difference in our community,” said Martha Nichols, chair of book driveforAssistance League of Tulsa. Pictured below are the women from Assistance League of Tulsa who collected and delivered all of the books they received.
Assistance League was recognized at a luncheon in Washington, D.C., in late April at which time it received a $10,000 donation from Newman’s Own and was spotlighted in the April 19-21 issue of USA WEEKEND Magazine. In presenting the award, CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes pointed out, “In just one day, Assistance League put the gift of a new, magical world into some of America’s smallest hands.”
More information about Assistance League’s Make a Difference Day success may be found at www.AssistanceLeague.org, with specifics on Assistance League of Tulsa located at www.altulsa.org.
Assistance League of Tulsa is sponsoring a children’s book drive in support of Make A Difference Day,a national day of community service scheduled for Oct. 27.
New or gently loved books for children in grades kindergarten through eighth are being collected Oct. 22 to Nov. 2 at Tulsa Teachers Credit Unions, Steve’s Sundry Books & Magazines and Assistance League of Tulsa’s Bargains Resale Shop.These books will be presented the week of Nov. 5 to Tulsa Public Schools with mentoring programs, Lakeside Residential Center and Tulsa Advocates for the Protection of Children.
The Assistance League of Tulsa book drive is being replicated across the country as part of a nationwide project of Assistance League for Make A Difference Day. The organization is encouraging all of its 120 chapters to participate in conjunction with its national signature program, Operation School Bell, with a national goal of collection and donation of 100,000 books. This national endeavor is an extension of chapters’ everyday work to meet needs in their communities, with nearly 250,000 students receiving support toward improved literacy just last year.
“While this one day in October is Make A Difference Day, the real story is that Assistance League makes a difference every day in communities across the country,” said Anne Neish, president of the national organization.
For more information about Make a Difference Day, go to www.handsonnetwork.org/MakeADifferenceDay.
Assistance League of Tulsa Bargains Resale Shop
3408 E. 11th St., Tulsa, OK 74112
The books collected will be presented the week of Nov. 5 -9 to:
Tulsa Public Schools mentoring programs with the greatest need
Lakeside Residential Center
Residential treatment program for male and female youth who are judged to be delinquent. Youth and families are involved in an intensive family treatment program and also attend educational classes provided by Tulsa Public Schools.
Tulsa Advocates for the Protection of Children
Partners with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to improve the lives of abused and neglected children in Tulsa County through advocacy, resource development, best practice service provision and community outreach.
We would like to thank Ryan Medico from Tasc Movers for donating boxes to collect the books for our Children’s Book Drive.
BY DANNA SUE WALKER World Staff Writer
The Assistance League of Tulsa’s annual Sock Market is always a sure investment, unlike the more uncertain stock market.
The Sock Market raises funds to support the nationally acclaimed Operation School Bell program that began in 1977 in Tulsa. Operation School Bell provides new clothing, books, health kits and shoes to needy students in Tulsa and the surrounding area.
Last year, the program clothed 2,000 elementary school children from area school districts and provided 30,000 new uniform shirts to elementary and middle school students.
Assistance League volunteers are beginning their donation letter campaign to raise funds for the program, which kicks off this month. Nancy Sacra and Kathy Harper are Sock Market Campaign 2012 chairwomen and have set a goal of $70,000.
They met recently at the Assistance League office for a letter-signing party. Members attending included Nancy Kirby, Martha Nichols, Judy Thomas, Janet Main, Farryl Stokes, Carol Bethell, Pam Penix, Sara Duncan, Dunnie Anthony, Pat Otto, Donna Spielman, Patty Evatt, Dolores Abraham, Beverly Edwards, Nevin Loerke, Glenda Murphy and Mary Sue Whitney. Advisory board members joining in the signing were Phyllis Dotson, Richard Hoe, Buddy Estrada, Dr. June Holmes and Jeff James.
Over the years, the all-volunteer organization has dedicated its energies to clothing needy students and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our community.
All money raised through Sock Market is used exclusively for Operation School Bell. If you would like to receive a letter and more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 918-832-8832.
The Assistance League of Tulsa is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. Last year, its members volunteered more than 30,000 hours of their time to its programs.
Original Print Headline: Sock Market helps needy kids
Nancy Sacra (left), Phyllis Dotson, Janet Main, Kathy Harper and Farryl Stokes help the Assistance League with its annual Sock Market. Courtesy