In Oklahoma City, an estimated 20,000 senior adults age 65 and older live alone, many without access to a vehicle (source: U.S. Census American Community Survey). The Oklahoma City Community Foundation is helping seniors throughout central Oklahoma maintain their independence through grants to programs that help keep seniors safe and living in their own homes.
The grant program, Services for the Elderly iFund, brings together charitable donations from a variety of donors who share a common interest in supporting senior independence. By connecting these charitable resources with nonprofit organizations who are making a difference for our senior citizens, the Community Foundation can help individuals make a greater impact with their donations, no matter the size.
In 2019, nearly $200,000 was awarded to 10 charitable organizations that provide services to seniors. RSVP of Central Oklahoma received a $20,000 iFund grant for its Provide-A-Ride Medical Transportation program to help provide safe transportation to medical appointments for low-income seniors in Oklahoma County.
“Our volunteer drivers accompany our clients to their medical appointments, wait for them, drive them by the pharmacy when needed and safely deliver the clients back home,” said Beth Patterson, executive director of RSVP. “More than just drivers, our volunteers are also caring older adults who give the gift of companionship and friendship to so many elderly persons who live alone.”
Connecting people to causes they care about is what the Oklahoma City Community Foundation does best, and the iFund grant program is just one example. Read more about the many ways the Community Foundation can help connect you with more impactful charitable giving in our 2019 Annual Report or call us at 405/235-5603 to learn more.
Five, six, seven, eight – and they’re off! It’s time to move. It’s time to twirl. Faces light up because it’s dance day!
At Prairie Queen Elementary School in southwest Oklahoma City, dance day is an opportunity for all students to experience the joy of dance thanks to a free program provided by Prairie Dance Theatre. For 30 minutes each week, the nonprofit organization offers free, introductory-level dance classes at a number Oklahoma City public elementary schools with support of a grant from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
“It’s heartwarming to see the students’ smiling faces and watch their eyes light up knowing it’s dance day,” said Prairie Dance Theatre artistic director Tonya Kilburn. “We don’t have them for long, but they learn so much. It’s incredible to watch the transformation and see their confidence grow.”
A grant from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation’s Opportunities for Children iFund program allowed Prairie Dance Theatre to expand its program, providing more students with even more time to dance. In addition to in-school and after-school classes, the group now offers free dance camps for students to participate in during school breaks.
“Thanks to funding from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, our free dance camps allow us to reach children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate in dance lessons,” Kilburn said. “The camps also provide a safe alternative for students and families who do not always have child care during the long school breaks,” Kilburn said.
An initiative of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, the iFund grant program utilizes gifts from donors to support services for children and elderly, as well as provide access to health care. Learn more at ifundokc.org.