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…
Margaret Swimmer: Our glass is half full — and more
By MARGARET SWIMMER | Tulsa World
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: http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/readersforum/margaret-swimmer-our-glass-is-half-full-and-more/article_9b2a4fb8-5f6c-5665-af92-64a173ad87bc.html
Check out our recent article about Assistance League of Tulsa and the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma Fashion Show