LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - An annual day-long event that encourages people to donate to local non-profits is happening next Thursday. Texoma Gives is an opportunity for big and small organizations across Southwest Oklahoma and Northern Texas to let people know more about them and remind or encourage people to donate. Leslie Schaffner, with Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation, said 27 non-profits in Southwest Oklahoma are participating in Texoma Gives this year.
“I think a lot of times when people hear the word Texoma, they think more about Texas than they do Oklahoma,” Schaffner said. “But when it comes to Texoma Gives, we are all one community and we are asking everybody on both sides of the red river to come out that day and support their favorite charities regardless of their location.”
Gabriel’s House, which is an after-school enrichment program for at-risk children or students in Duncan, Empire, and Comanche, is one of the groups participating. Dallas Gibbs, the executive director, said this year they opened a location in Comanche and started a STEM program. Both of those additions are stretching their budget, but the executive director says they have faith it will work. They don’t get any state or federal funding.
"We depend 100% on those donations and those funds go into the operating of daily activity to buy those stem supplies and art supplies and give those children that little bit of hope,” Gibbs said.
They hope the funds raised through Texoma Gives will help them expand their new STEM program.
"We want to do things like rockets and robotics and things of that nature,” she said. “So, to see that growth would be amazing.”
The Christian Family Counseling Center in Lawton is also participating this year. They rely on donations to provide some of their services. Charlie Baer, the executive director of the counseling center, said they have to raise about $200,000 every year to pay counseling fees for people who can’t pay for it themselves.
"That takes a variety of different sources,” Baer said. “Some people are paying absolutely nothing while others are paying reduced fees, but to do that we have to have money to supplement that for them and about 40% of the people we're seeing are either paying very reduced fees or no fees for services and donations allow us to do that."
If you’d like to give to either of these organizations, or see a full list of non-profits participating, go to texomagives.org