Category Archives: Charitable Organizations

Oklahoma City Community Foundation Grants Provide Warm Meals to Local Homebound Elderly Citizens this Winter

A volunteer delivers a meal to a senior citizen

One in 12 area seniors live in poverty, and nearly 16,000 lack consistent access to the food they need for an active, healthy life, according to Meals on Wheels of Oklahoma City.

This winter, Oklahoma City Community Foundation is continuing its tradition of helping to provide warm meals to homebound elderly citizens by awarding $60,200 in grant money to more than 50 area churches and organizations at the heart of Central Oklahoma’s mobile meals effort, including Meals on Wheels of Oklahoma City, Meals on Wheels of Norman and Edmond Mobile Meals.

“When we think of hunger, we generally think of people in faraway lands. But drive down any street in Oklahoma City, and you’re likely to pass the home of a senior – probably several seniors – receiving home-delivered meals,” said Chris Lambert, director of Meals on Wheels of Oklahoma City.

Volunteers with area churches and organizations provide nutritious meals, wellness checks and meaningful contact to more than 1,900 homebound Central Oklahoma seniors who are unable to prepare their own meals. Meals on Wheels of Oklahoma City took over operation of the central Oklahoma program last summer and is expanding its coordination efforts to serve more people and more neighborhoods.

“Meals on Wheels is not available in some areas of Oklahoma City,” he said. “There’s just so much need and some people don’t even know we’re here. Meanwhile, none of these churches receive state or federal funding for the meals they prepare. It’s the continued generosity of organizations like Oklahoma City Community Foundation and its donors that allows them to keep serving our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Since 2008, the Community Foundation has distributed more than $400,000 in support of the Central Oklahoma mobile meals program.

“The well-being of our senior citizens has deservedly become an increased focus for a lot of our donor-directed grants,” said Nancy B. Anthony, Oklahoma City Community Foundation president. “To round out our 50th anniversary year, we have again partnered with more than 50 churches and Meals on Wheels organizations to help ensure no senior in this community will go hungry this winter.”

Funding is provided by a variety of donors who have made charitable gifts to support services for elderly citizens through the Oklahoma City Community Foundation’s iFund program. The gifts are pooled together, and grants are awarded to programs like Meals on Wheels that help central Oklahoma seniors live independently in their own homes. Learn more about the iFund program at ifundokc.org or make an online gift to support the Services for the Elderly iFund at donate.occf.org.

Five Tips to Make the Most of Your Charitable Giving This Holiday Season

Best Friends of Pets staff receiving a gift check

The holiday season brings a spirit of giving, inspiring us to look for ways to give back and make a difference for others. As you consider where your charitable dollars will make the greatest impact, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation offers five tips for smart charitable giving.

  1. Pinpoint Your Passion: Take the time to determine which causes you care about most and consider what type of charity can make the greatest impact in your areas of interest. For example, if you want to help support education, do you want to give to a public school foundation to fund programs and equipment at your local school? Or, would you prefer to give to a small nonprofit tutoring and mentoring underserved students?
  2. Explore Your Options: Once you’ve identified your giving goals, take the time to learn about the different charities serving that need in your community. Discover local charities serving a specific cause at GiveSmartOKC.org. The online directory offers a keyword search to help you find charities that fit your interests.
  3. Do Your Homework: Learn more about the organization and ensure its legitimacy. Several websites such as GuideStar.org and IRS.gov allow you to verify if an organization is tax-exempt. For charities in central Oklahoma, GiveSmartOKC.org offers a deeper look into the organization’s specific programs to evaluate their impact and ensure they will make the best use of your contribution.
  4. Maximize your Donation with a Matching Gift: Ask your employer if they offer matching gifts for charitable contributions made by employees. Locally, you can take advantage of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund Endowment Matching Program. To find organizations currently eligible for a matching gift, visit occf.org/KFFmatch.
  5. Look for Alternatives to Cash Donations: While cash gifts are always welcome, many charities also encourage other types of gifts such as stocks, real estate or gifts from your retirement account. These alternative giving options may also reduce your taxable income for the year. If your chosen charity is unable to accept these gifts, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation may be able to facilitate the gift to support the charity through its endowment fund.

By giving more effectively, you can maximize the impact of your charitable support and help our local charities make a lasting impact in our community this giving season. Learn more about how the Community Foundation can help connect you with more impactful charitable giving in the video below or call us at 405/235-5603 to learn more.