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Oklahoma City Community Foundation Awards $127,500 to Eight Nonprofits Helping Youth

Two boys playing tennis
First Serve OKC is one of eight recipients of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation’s Opportunities for Children iFund grants. The nonprofit received an $8,000 grant to support the Serving Up Aces school outreach program, a safe place for students to learn tennis and the life skills it teaches throughout the summer months.

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation is awarding $127,500 to help remove barriers and create opportunities for youth birth to age 14 through the Opportunities for Children iFund program.

The $127,500 was granted to eight central Oklahoma nonprofits to support projects that build school readiness, support youth living in foster care and provide recreational, social and cultural activities for youth who would not otherwise have the opportunity to participate.

First Serve OKC is one of the eight organizations that received funding from the grant program to support their multifunctional tennis program for Oklahoma City Public Schools students.

“Our Serving Up Aces program doesn’t just teach students how to play tennis, it also teaches valuable lessons on good nutrition and life skills as well as provides a safe space for students while their parents are still at work,”” said Emmy Tigert, executive director for First Serve OKC. “We are embracing the opportunity to connect with youth through this valuable program, and are grateful for the Community Foundation’s support.”

“The Community Foundation created the iFund program to provide an easy and effective way for our donors to support common needs within our community,” Oklahoma City Community Foundation President Nancy B. Anthony said. “Donors supporting the iFund program can use the Community Foundation’s expertise to make a greater impact in the community as we use the funds to support effective nonprofit programs that are helping Oklahoma City reach its full potential.”

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation awarded Opportunities for Children iFund grants to the following organizations:

Aspiring Attitudes | $10,000 to help youth with physical and/or intellectual disabilities, who would not otherwise have the opportunity, participate in a dance performance program.

Cavett Kids Foundation | $40,000 to help youth with life-threatening illnesses attend Camp Cavett, a summer camp offering recreation, character-building and connection opportunities.

Center for Youth and Families | $12,000 to support an after-school program with the Boys & Girls Club of Norman that helps at-risk youth with academic success, physical fitness and character development.

First Serve OKC | $8,000 to support the Serving Up Aces school outreach program, a safe place for students to learn tennis and the life skills it teaches throughout the summer months.

Jubilee Partners | $7,500 to support the Summer Kid’s Camp, a safe place for youth to engage in safe, fun, recreational and educational activities throughout the summer months.

Oklahoma City Community College Foundation | $20,000 to fund summer enrichment programming preparing students for STEM careers.

Riversport Foundation | $15,000 to support the Thrive Outside OKC program that helps engage at-risk youth in outdoor activities.

Thick Descriptions | $15,000 to fund a science, technology, engineering, anthropology and math (STEAM) program that helps fill learning gaps for at-risk students during school breaks.

An initiative of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation Trustees, the iFund program utilizes gifts from donors to support services for youth and elderly, as well as provide access to health care. Since 2011, the iFund program has awarded more than $4.4 million to charitable organizations serving central Oklahoma. For more information, visit www.iFundokc.org.

Community Foundation Teams with Health Care Systems, Shelters to Aid Homeless

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation and affiliated individuals are providing $200,000 to area health care organizations and shelters to assist nearly 200 people experiencing homelessness amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Community Foundation is working with a coalition of Central Oklahoma’s largest health systems and area shelters to provide a safety net for Oklahoma City’s homeless community. Beginning next week, the shelters will begin assisting many individuals who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 but have nowhere to shelter in place after discharge. The shelters will also assist others who do not require hospitalization but are symptomatic.

The Central Oklahoma Community Health Impact Team (COHIT) has partnered with Grace Rescue Mission and City Rescue Mission to care for these individuals through a grant from the Community Foundation and a large donation from one of its trustees.

Grace will shelter up to 40 individuals with underlying health conditions, and City Rescue Mission will shelter up to 150 others who have either tested positive for the disease, are awaiting test results or are symptomatic. The shelters will also provide food, laundry and cleaning services. They will not provide medical care, but facility staff will include nurses to monitor symptoms and connect patients with telemedicine and virtual care. The Homeless Alliance will serve as operational lead, helping to organize the shelters, contractors and funders.

The Community Foundation is providing a $150,000 grant from its 2020 Disaster Relief Fund, and an additional $50,000 is being donated by Community Foundation Trustee Ronnie Irani and his wife, Shahnaaz. Additional funding is being provided by the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

“Vulnerable Central Oklahoma individuals experiencing homelessness really don’t have anywhere to seek safe shelter in this pandemic,” said Nancy Anthony, president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. “COHIT has been successful at identifying this problem as well as creating a solution to isolate these individuals to keep them safe along with others in our community.”

What is COHIT?
The Central Oklahoma Community Health Impact Team is a collaboration of four nonprofit health systems in central Oklahoma, including INTEGRIS Health, Mercy, OU Medicine and SSM Health St. Anthony that are working together to better address the health needs of our community. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma serves as an advisor, partner and resource to the team. In response to the Covid-19 emergency, COHIT has also collaborated with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, the Homeless Alliance, City Care, Oklahoma City Homeless Services, Oklahoma County, Grace Rescue Mission and City Rescue Mission.