The finalist presentations and in-person voting will be held on May 20, 2021 at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum outdoor space. We hope to see you in person, however, all members will receive an option to vote by mail.
Watch for the invitation and a mail-in ballot. Below is a summary of the project each nonprofit is applying for. Please be sure to visit the finalists website for more information.
Mary Abbott – IMPACT: Improving Multidisciplinary Partnerships’ Approach to Child Pornography and Trafficking
What if I told you Oklahoma ranks fourth in the nation for human trafficking cases per capita? Did you know research indicates a surge in child pornography and trafficking, as COVID-19 has resulted in increased screen time and, in many cases, a lack of supervision? Alarmingly, data from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children indicates that reports of child pornography have increased by 400% since April 2019.
With data showing 50 substantiated child exploitation cases in Cleveland County alone in 2020, our children deserve a diligent and dedicated program to combat, respond to, and prevent child exploitation.
To battle this rising issue, Mary Abbott Children’s House (MACH) dreams of creating a multi-agency taskforce focused on child exploitation. The IMPACT Taskforce will include local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, a specialized Multidisciplinary Team (MDT), and an education team. All agencies involved will be housed together at MACH, reducing response time and diminishing the trauma children encounter with disjointed investigations.
The IMPACT Taskforce will have a three-pronged approach:
- Combat – Provide a functional space and the equipment needed to identify and investigate child pornography and trafficking.
- Respond – Reduce trauma and foster healing for child victims through specialized response and MDT training.
- Prevent – Launch an extensive public service campaign and educational program to bring awareness to child exploitation within our community and schools.
The IMPACT Taskforce will ensure a better response, resulting in better outcomes, and ultimately leading to a stronger, safer community.
For more information visit our website at abbott-house.org.
ReMerge – Education and Employment Program – A Pipeline to Success
For 10 years, ReMerge has worked to create a revolution in our community by restoring mothers to their families instead of sending them to prison. Desperate after years of battling addiction and facing 20 years in prison, Candace joined ReMerge and began the hard work of transforming her life. While in the program, she has beaten cancer, reunified with her five precious children, and is in addiction recovery.
She is a warrior woman!
But this warrior is tired. She works two jobs, 12 hours a day, while also being a full time mom. She can envision her future, but her employment dreams feel beyond her reach because she is caught in an ongoing cycle of low-wage work and economic survival. Despite her accomplishments, she is scared, stuck, vulnerable, and one financial emergency away from chaos.
With your help, ReMerge wants to change Candace’s story. Currently, only 2% of ReMerge participants have any form of post-secondary training, which is critical for employment success. This $100,000 grant will fuel the new IMPACT Scholars program and create training pathways for mothers to thrive in careers in growing Oklahoma industries, not just survive in low-wage jobs.
Employment is the number one indicator for a participant’s continued recovery and well-being. Impact Scholars will receive industry certifications, paid training time, and placement in careers that provide family-sustaining wages.
We invite you to join the revolution—your investment will change not only a mother’s life, but will lift her family out of poverty and reverberate through generations.
For more information visit our website at remergeok.org.
Wings – Wings Serves Oklahoma Families
Wings is a special needs community that provides day programs for adults, or “members”, with intellectual disabilities. The day programs consist of Culinary, Health and Fitness, Art Production, Event Center Set Up, Computers, Life Skills, Spreading Our Wings Volunteer Service and, a member favorite, “Wings Serves Oklahoma.” Members with Down syndrome and autism come full time to work, grow, learn and find community and their families know they are loved and supported.
Funding from Impact Oklahoma would facilitate a massive expansion of the “Wings Serves Oklahoma Families” Program. The expansion will allow us to onboard 28% more members and reduce our wait list. “Wings Serves Oklahoma Families” engages members as volunteers to assemble individual hygiene and self-care packs, which are distributed through our 18 community partners. This expansion program, “Wings Serves Oklahoma Families” will be fueled by our new supply and distribution partnership with Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma (RFBO), which has committed to funneling non-food donations to Wings. The program will nearly quadruple our current impact to 110,000 food-insecure and low-income individuals through family-sized products. Our members LOVE the Wings Serves Oklahoma program and its charitable mission and we LOVE to create meaningful work opportunities.
This project is a WIN for adults with intellectual disabilities and their families; a WIN for families who cannot afford disinfectant or soap to keep their families safe; and a WIN for RFBO to have a way to get much needed products to 105 pantries serving families suffering from food insecurity.
For more information visit our website at wingsok.org.
HALO – The Collaborative IMPACT Program
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Did you know children in Oklahoma are being exposed to more trauma than anywhere else in our country? This devastating statistic is one we have the power and ability to change. Wahoo!
Counselors differ in a number of ways. They are set apart by their level of passion and most notably by the specialized techniques they are trained in. Imagine a doctor who is not trained in the best surgical techniques to help a patient. Without a trained doctor, the patient goes untreated. Counselors are similar. They cannot afford the training they need to help their patients. Thus, the pain of abuse goes untreated and the suffering and cycle of abuse continues for generations.
HALO has a team of highly trained counselors with the skillset to train others. Our services are in such high demand we have over 100 families on our waitlist on any given day. In addition, our trainings are so sought after, counselors travel from all over the world to learn from us.
Your grant funds will be used to train 65 Oklahoma counselors in the techniques they need to help vulnerable children and families. Together, we will build an army with the impact of bringing healing to potentially 5,200 families in just the first year. Imagine how many more families will experience healing within five years! Ten years! Twenty years!
Our kids are being harmed at the highest rate in the nation and your vote will change this. From our hearts to yours, we thank you.
For more information visit our website at haloprojectokc.com.