Communities Foundation of Oklahoma Blog


Communities Foundation of Oklahoma

By Communities Foundation of Oklahoma / November 28, 2017

Thank you for helping the Regional Food Bank provide nutritious meals for hungry Oklahomans. Your support will ensure our community’s most vulnerable children, families and seniors have access to vital, healthy food this fall and all year long.

And thanks to a special $600,000 holiday matching challenge from, the Cresap Family Foundation, and Chesapeake Energy Corporation, all gifts made to the Regional Food Bank between now and January 15 will DOUBLE to provide twice as many meals for our hungry neighbors, until we reach a matched total of $1.2 million. That’s enough to provide 6 million meals to our hungry neighbors!

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By Communities Foundation of Oklahoma / November 17, 2017
Pets Helping People, founded in 2009, provides incarcerated women with the skills they need for a lucrative career in the pet industry. Women learn to become a certified kennel tech, bather/brusher, groomer or office manager. Since our founding, nearly 200 women have graduated and 93% are still working in the grooming industry. Graduates earn certificates through the International Professional Groomers Association to ensure they are qualified for jobs. Today, 93% of our graduates are still working in the grooming industry. Certified pet care workers can earn nearly $30,000 their first year alone, which only increases over time.

The self-sufficiency and pride that comes with employment makes a difference: The Oklahoma Department of Corrections reports the state recidivism rate for women is 13.3%, yet among our graduates, it is less than five percent! The Oklahoma Department of Corrections and Oklahoma Career Tech have publicly praised PHP as the "best program of its kind" because it is proving to reduce recidivism rates. PHP is helping end the inter-generational cycle of poverty and incarceration that has become all too common in Oklahoma.

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By Communities Foundation of Oklahoma / October 26, 2017

Our Mission:  Cultivating peace, healing and renewal in a contemplative, interspiritual environment.
Our Purpose:  Spreading peace, healing and renewal to all corners of the Earth.
For 30 years, the Forest of Peace has welcomed guests from all across the U.S. and other countries, offering a tranquil refuge for those seeking to go deeper into spirit, healing, and peace of mind and heart. Since 2010, the Forest has been governed by an interfaith board of directors to meet a compelling need for people to experience oneness, acceptance, and understanding. Marginalized people let go of trauma related to illness, religion or gender and find new ways of being through centering prayer and silent meditation. People who are content in their own faith traditions find depth, assurance, and peace within a diversity of beliefs. As visitors experience their own peace and healing, they take that back into the world as a model of how to live in sacred space amidst life’s turmoil.
The Forest of Peace has a long history, beginning in 1977, when a Benedictine nun from Oklahoma was inspired to search for the basic truths at the core of all religions. This quest took her to India, where she lived at an ashram, established by an English monk and known as a center of Hindu-Christian dialogue. In 1979 the Benedictine Sisters purchased 40 wooded acres in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, and created a sacred place of prayer and meditation, which they named the Osage+Monastery Forest of Peace, reflecting deep respect for the Osage Indians of Oklahoma. Our small resident community continues to embody our founder’s original vision of hospitality and a simple lifestyle for all those who seek to deepen, renew and nurture their spiritual practice.
Five program areas include:

1. mindfulness education and contemplative practice
2. mental health and addiction
3. interfaith connection and dialogue
4. caretaker (therapists, clergy, nurses) support
5. veteran and family member support

Feedback over the years has reinforced how powerful even a two-day weekend can be in transforming lives. A participant in a 2013 Veterans’ Families Retreat writes: 
“This was an awesome experience. The introduction to self-care techniques was very helpful. I had heard of many of the techniques but had not truly experienced them. I loved the guided imagery, meditation and yoga. The healing touch made me feel better than I have in years - centered, calm and in control. We also learned that we are not alone, through telling our personal stories about the signs, symptoms and behaviors of PTSD--the reality of the disease. The kindness and sharing from these phenomenal people in itself was very beneficial. The Osage Forest of Peace is an ideal location, providing a sense of serenity, calmness and beauty many of us have forgotten. Walking the forest trails allowed me to be part of the God's portrait and enjoy the beauty of the world we live in. Thank you for being there and sharing such a beneficial healing journey.” 

Others write: “One of my most valued gifts during my chemotherapy was from a friend who suggested I visit the Forest of Peace. I spent two bright crisp fall days there; it was exactly what I needed. I walked for hours on the trails, sat in the Zen garden, attended a meditation session in the chapel and meandered through the outdoor labyrinth. I was invited to a wonderful lunch, perused the spiritual library, wrote in my journal and rocked in silence. The staff gave me the space I yearned for while simultaneously helping me feel welcome and safe. This was a place I could just "be" without the demands and interruptions of my everyday life. After hours of this peacefulness, I began to let go of the some of the stresses that I had been carrying. I literally felt a healing energy running through me. With a clearer head, I could deal with the realities of my situation with a new perspective.”  

“Peace has always been an illusion to many, including myself. I have found, through my pain and suffering, an opportunity to engage in my journey in a deeper and more meaningful way, and discover that this peace we all desire is within us. The Forest of Peace, and her loving brothers and sisters, have been a part of that journey to healing and peace. I pray that you may experience the beauty, peace, meditation and love that the Forest offers as you travel on your journey of spiritual, physical, mental and emotional peace.”

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By Communities Foundation of Oklahoma / October 17, 2017

Provide-A-Ride, a program designed, implemented and managed by RSVP of Central Oklahoma since 1995, ensures low-income elderly persons have safe, reliable and free transportation to and from their medical appointments.  RSVP volunteer drivers utilize their own vehicles to provide one-on-one, door-through-door support for seniors who are no longer able to drive.  Since its inception, over 300 RSVP Provide-A-Ride volunteer drivers have provided 130,700 rides to 5,404 elderly persons who live in Oklahoma County.

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 The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa has been recognized nationally as a leader in primary care physician training. At a time when Oklahoma faces a severe shortage of primary care physicians, carrying out our mission of training tomorrow’s primary care physicians to serve rural areas of our state is more important than ever. Through the implementation of a cutting-edge care model -- Project ECHO OSU Specialty Clinics, OSU-CHS plans to revolutionize the delivery of specialty services to these rural and underserved areas of Oklahoma, helping to fill some of the gaps in care that have formed because of the physician shortage.

Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is an innovative care delivery model developed by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center’s ECHO Institute to expand access to specialty care to rural communities. Project ECHO trains and mentors primary care providers in the care of patients with complex conditions. The Project ECHO model is based on the principle of de-monopolizing medical knowledge, with specialists sharing their expertise and providing mentorship and guided practice to help primary care providers deliver high-quality specialized care to patients in their own communities through the creation of a network of Project ECHO OSU Specialty Clinics.

Project ECHO OSU Specialty Clinics are weekly videoconferences that take place between OSU-CHS’s clinical faculty and participating physicians in rural areas. The multidisciplinary care team at OSU-CHS will be comprised of specialists -- pharmacists, nurse practitioners, social workers and other healthcare professionals -- who are trained in treating a specific disease. During the videoconference, rural providers will present active, de-identified patient cases to the OSU-CHS care team. The OSU-CHS care team will review the cases and recommend treatment options. These discussions, along with educational presentations, will allow rural providers to manage complex patient care with the support of a team of multidisciplinary specialists at OSU-CHS.

Through Project ECHO, rural providers will begin to develop expertise in specialty care. Patients benefit, not only by avoiding long distance travel for treatment, but they can also be cared for by providers who they know and trust and in an environment that is familiar to them. Through Project ECHO OSU Specialty Clinics, OSU-CHS will help ensure that the right care is delivered by the right provider in the right place and at the right time.

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2932 NW 122nd Street Suite D, Oklahoma City, OK 73120   (405) 488-1450   (877) 689-7726   Email us

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