VOTING IS NOW CLOSED.

Be sure to pick up a copy of The Oklahoman on
Christmas Day for the final announcement!

 


Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care

Lilyfield is focused on foster families and their needs. Lilyfield would use the grant money to certify, train and provide resources to foster families in Oklahoma.

“On November 14, 2012, there were 11 children under the age of 5 years old in a state run shelter in Oklahoma City. Each of these children was a victim of abuse, neglect or abandonment, left in a shelter due to no fault of their own. Less than 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, a 10-day-old baby lingered in the hospital because there was no home available for her.

Our city is facing a crisis that we must address. Babies should not be left in hospitals and shelters because there are no families equipped to take them home. The good news is that there are families willing to step up and make an impact on these children. In order to accommodate these new families, funding is needed to certify and train families to become foster parents.

Resources are needed to certify and train families to become foster parents. The certification process includes training and equipping these families in preparation for children to be placed in their home. This includes training materials, equipment and processing certification documents.

In many cases, foster families also need means to care for the children who come into their home. Children often come to us with their meager belongings in trash bags or cardboard boxes. Frequently, their clothing is the wrong size or in poor shape, if they have any clothing at all. They rarely come with toys or other personal belongings. Specifically, funding would be used to purchase clothing, shoes, coats, luggage, toys, books and related items for children being served by Lilyfield foster families.

Lilyfield hopes to reduce the number of children who are without families by finding families who can provide a loving home for them. Our dream is for children in our foster care program to know their foster families and their communities love them, even at a time when their biological families are unable to care for them.”


Living Hope Women’s Ministry

Living Hope is an aftercare program offered to women who are reentering the community following incarceration. Living Hope would use the funds to purchase a dependable van to assist with transportation to and from work, church, jobs, field trips and any other responsibilities that the women may have.

“Most of the women of Living Hope have incurred severe trauma in early childhood, adding to the likelihood that they would make choices that were self-defeating and destructive, and leading to severe consequences, such as incarceration. Living Hope’s goal is to break this devastating cycle in this generation and the next, one woman at a time.

Our dream is to see women grow to understand and believe that they are loved and valued. We want to assist them in gathering the knowledge and skills necessary to live responsibly. We walk beside them as they learn to be self-sufficient and spiritually mature, and we help them develop tools and boundaries to improve their relationships. The broader scope of our dream is to see the recidivism rate lowered in our state, which will make Oklahoma a safer place to live and save taxpayers money.

Purchasing a van is vital to Living Hope because most women do not have a driver’s license when they are first released. Often there are fines they must pay before getting a license. The van may also be used to assist women in transportation to jobs, to make court appearances and to meet other responsibilities.”


Infant Crisis Services, Inc.

Infant Crisis Services would use the funds to operate a mobile unit that would distribute formula, food and diapers throughout the state.

“A gift of $20,000 from SandRidge Energy’s Power of a Dream Grant would allow Infant Crisis Services to operate a mobile unit that will serve as a baby food and diaper pantry on wheels in 2013. As the only mobile unit of its kind in the state, it would be used to distribute formula, food and diapers to our target population: babies and toddlers from birth to 48 months, who are without basic necessities in outlying areas of Oklahoma City and remote rural areas. The baby food and diaper pantry on wheels will regularly travel to areas where high concentrations of our target population reside. It will also be used to offer emergency disaster assistance when necessary.

Through the realization of our dream to operate a mobile baby food and diaper pantry, we hope to feed and diaper more needy babies and toddlers who live in rural communities and outlying areas of Oklahoma City. Unfortunately, lack of transportation often prevents families from obtaining our services. With the mobile unit, we will break the transportation barrier for clients who live beyond our current geographical reach. We will provide life-sustaining formula, food and diapers to clients who desperately need such essentials.”


The Spero Project

The Spero Project would use the funds to expand educational services offered to international refugee youth.

“We believe children of families who have survived war, famine, and torture should not simply survive in OKC, but should be surrounded by love and support and given the opportunity to thrive. It is our dream to provide the educational support and relational networks that will allow refugee students to have big dreams for their future and see these dreams come to life.

We aspire to host a Summer Academy Program for students ages 11-18. The Academy will partner with local churches, homeschool groups, and others to provide quality remedial tutoring for students during the summer, thus preparing students for the upcoming school year. The Academy will be a blend of innovative teaching, creative exercises and use of proven techniques for teaching English language learners.

Our ultimate goal is an alternative education pilot program beginning in the spring of 2013. This program is designed to provide schooling for students with acute language needs and will assist them with personalized instruction, tutoring and support in all subjects. A small group of students will participate in the pilot program, and we will implement the lessons learned in 2013 to expand the program for more students in years to come. Funds will be used for program costs, volunteer recruitment and support and staffing needs, ensuring quality and sustainability.

The Power of a Dream Grant will create bridges that offer students access to much needed tools and relationships, resulting in an Oklahoma City area that is strengthened by the transformation of vulnerable youth into developed, culturally diverse leaders contributing to our community.”


Birth Choice of Oklahoma, Inc.

The funds would be used to refurnish Rose Home, an emergency shelter serving homeless pregnant women and their children.

“For the past 27 years, we have served over hundreds of women. If these women were not able to reside at Rose Home, a large percentage would have remained homeless. Rose Home provides financial and health programs for the women to work through during their stay. Also, there are weekly house meetings, where the women are given responsibilities for the upkeep of the home. Through financial assistance and the tremendous efforts of the women and staff, Rose Home has remained in excellent condition structurally.

However, with the extent of use the home goes through, our furniture and household items are beginning to break. The incredible donations given years ago are now worn out, to the point of drawers not opening and the laundry machines constantly falling apart. Since we have established and focused on the operation of the program, we are now dreaming to have more reliable and long-lasting items for Rose Home.

Through our dream of updating Rose Home, we hope to provide a more organized, durable, comfortable and welcoming home life for the women and children. We dream to have women leave Rose Home after their stay, strengthened with confidence and boldness to pursue their goals and dreams. Having the interior re-furnished and redone will only allow for more opportunities for women’s lives to be changed.

When we as humans receive a beautiful and undeserved gift, we are most often filled with gratitude. As Birth Choice employees, we want to offer the best home to these homeless pregnant women and their children. Rose Home gives women an opportunity to choose life for themselves, their children and their future.”


ReMerge

ReMerge helps keep women with children out of prison. They are in need of a fulltime Employment Coach/Aftercare Coordinator. Filling this position would provide assistance to women following their time in the program.

“ReMerge is a female diversion program designed to keep women with children out of prison. These women have entered the judicial system by committing non-violent crimes often related to addiction, lack of education and job skills, domestic violence, childhood trauma and lack of resources. ReMerge is a yearlong treatment program offering these women an opportunity for a brighter, more productive future for themselves and their children.

The program focuses on removing the barriers women face so they can become productive citizens who can care for themselves and their children. In order to provide for themselves and their families, single mothers must earn a living wage of $16.74/hour to pay for adequate housing, food, childcare, medical and other expenses. Job skills training, secondary education, employment placement and support are required to earn this income.

As we prepare for our first group of graduates, our dream would be to hire a fulltime Employment Coach/Aftercare Coordinator, whose goal would be to continue to help the women overcome the barriers that resulted in their involvement in the criminal justice system in the first place. These include: maintaining adequate employment and safe housing; maintaining a positive support system; maintaining long term recovery; supporting and strengthening single parenting; increasing involvement in the community; and supporting their role as a contributing member of society. The success of these women will interrupt the intergenerational cycle of incarceration for their children. Better outcomes for children result with each additional year of parental education and increased parental income capacity.”