Category Archives: Parks and Public Spaces

Connecting Generous Individuals to Help Oklahoma City Seniors Maintain Their Independence

RSVP of Central Oklahoma volunteer Rebecca Taylor helps Charlotte Hiel, age 100, travel to and from a medical appointment.

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.

How the Oklahoma City Community Foundation Turned One Woman’s Simple Gift Into Lasting Support for Community Beautification

When Oklahoma City schoolteacher Margaret Annis Boys entrusted her estate to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in 1991, she launched a perpetual effort to enhance and activate every inch of our community’s parks and public spaces. She had long admired Oklahoma’s native landscapes and left a gift in her will along with the simple instruction to create a permanent endowment to beautify public lands in Oklahoma County.

Margaret Annis Boys poses in front of a quilt.
Margaret Annis Boys

Today, the Margaret Annis Boys Trust continues to enhance our community through the Oklahoma City Community Foundation’s Parks & Public Space Initiative. Since 1991, more than $4.5 million in grants has been awarded to municipalities, park departments, neighborhood associations, public schools and other community groups for hundreds of projects to improve public lands in central Oklahoma.

This collaboration may be best showcased at the Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum at Will Rogers Gardens. Located at Northwest 36th Street and Grand Boulevard, the 10-acre public arboretum and gardens feature hundreds of tree varieties dating back to the 1930s. The Oklahoma City Community Foundation has supported a number of improvements to the arboretum including a more accessible walking trail, planting more than 100 new trees and the installation of signage to help residents learn about the tree species that grow well in central Oklahoma. In addition, an endowment at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation supports the long-term maintenance and care of the arboretum, ensuring this urban oasis continues to adorn our city for years to come.

Miss Boys’ generous, yet simple gift illustrates how anyone can make a lasting difference in their community. To learn more about how the Oklahoma City Community Foundation can help you impact the causes you care about most, contact us at 405/235-5603.