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FOR RELEASE: February 20, 2003
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Metro Area Organizations Receive Awards for Community Service

The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) recently presented Certificates of Appreciation to six organizations for their exemplary service to the community and Oklahoma City.

“I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude to these organizations for their outstanding leadership and the great work of their staff. They overcame a shortage of resources to provide services to others that helped strengthen and improve the lives of individuals and families in their communities,” said OFBCI Director Brad Yarbrough.

Oklahoma City organizations that received the awards are:

  • Habitat for Humanity -- Recognized as one of the top Habitat affiliates in the world, this Christian ministry provided housing for 40 limited-income families during 2002. It coordinated the efforts of over 800 individual volunteers and collaborated with numerous churches, businesses and suppliers.
  • Cornerstone Assistance Network -- Cornerstone serves as an intermediary organization that offers valuable assistance to faith-based organizations that provide social services in collaboration with state agencies. One of those collaborations is the “Adopt-A-Worker” program whereby a local congregation partners with a DHS social worker.
  • Reaching Our City, Inc. -- This organization has made a commitment to the improvement of the Greenvale community in west Oklahoma City. With far-reaching vision and compassion, it has partnered with Southern Nazarene University, various Nazarene churches, the business sector and scores of volunteers to provide a community center, medical clinic, food pantry, clothing closet and other important services.
  • City Care’s “Whiz Kids” -- Whiz Kids is a highly successful program that matches adult mentors with elementary school children to increase reading skills. It is unique because it matches a suburban church with an urban congregation to form a partnership with an elementary school.
  • Urban Impact Foundation -- This organization has been recognized as a remarkably successful grassroots ministry reaching at-risk youth in the North Highlands community. Located in Britton, it has expanded its activities and offers free Tae Kwon Do classes, medical services and a food pantry.
  • Olivet Baptist Church -- Although Olivet Baptist Church has a small membership, it has made a huge contribution to the surrounding community. It has embraced its responsibility to minister to those in need with a medical clinic, aged program, child care, transitional housing to the homeless, a WhizKids mentoring program, and by hosting a Spanish-speaking congregation.

“The Oklahoma State Department of Health is pleased to be a small part of the efforts that support the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The work of OFBCI is often behind the scenes forming valuable partnerships and collaborating on projects that, in the long term, help make our communities healthier places in which to live,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Leslie M. Beitsch.

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