Communities Foundation of Oklahoma Blog


Communities Foundation of Oklahoma

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.”

Learn more: 



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.

For more information


 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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501tech expands the social impact of Oklahoma nonprofits by providing high quality, donor subsidized or partner discounted technology expertise, products and services.

Imagine how many lives would be changed if cash-strapped Oklahoma nonprofits could stretch each dollar further. Food banks could fill more hungry bellies, shelters could house more homeless, schools could afford new books. Since 2012, more than 300 Oklahoma nonprofits have saved $8 million by working with 501tech.  501tech provides discounted technology consulting and IT services, hardware redistribution, partner discounts and venture funding to qualifying nonprofits. Every dollar invested in 501tech offers a SEVEN DOLLAR return on investment. The money our clients save is redirected to their specific missions -- impacting the lives of millions of Oklahomans.

Learn More by contacting Christina Ward, 918.591.2463

Cities In Schools, Inc. (CIS) in Ardmore, Oklahoma

Mission: CIS is a non-profit organization that strives to assist the community to help the area schools meet the critical needs of students, and provide a safe, nurturing environment in which students receive mentoring and participate in literacy activities

Organization Description: CIS serves low-income Pre-K through 5th grade students. CIS achieves its mission through two out-of-school programs; the 33-week After School Program and the eight-week Summer Day Camp. The main goal of CIS is to help the under-served Ardmore area students improve their literacy skills in the After School Program, and to prevent summer learning loss through the Summer Day Camp. CIS also strives to increase its participants’ academic engagement and to reduce hunger. Staff for both the CIS After School Program and the Summer Day Camp consist of selected AmeriCorps members, as well as hourly employees. Our 17 after school employees and AmeriCorps members, and the 41 summer employees and AmeriCorps members, attend 27 hours of training for one to two weeks before each program begins.

CIS helps its students by offering homework assistance; facilitating group and individual reading sessions; incorporating interactive literacy activities, such as Word BINGO, sight word recognition, meta cognition activities, phonics activities, and phonemic awareness activities; presenting free nutritious snacks and meals through the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma; conducting pre and post academic engagement surveys; analyzing pre, post, and quarterly literacy reports; and engaging our counselors, AmeriCorps members, and students in supervised free play-time. During the Summer Day Camp, we also offer more educational subjects, such as STEM and art, and we utilize weekly field trips, such as pool time and museum tours.

Learn More: To learn more about CIS, please visit or email Mary Lane Porter at You can also call the CIS office phone at (580) 223 – 8762.


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P.O. Box 21210, Oklahoma City, OK 73156   (405) 488-1450   Email us

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