LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - With the pandemic impacting many in southwest Oklahoma, residents have turned to their community organizations for assistance. But, even those groups need help sometimes, too. The United Way of SWOK has stepped up to help in a big way, giving out checks so the organizations can continue to serve.
“It was a huge blessing,” said Major David Robinson with the Lawton Salvation Army.
Major Robinson said the Lawton Salvation Army getting a check for $110,000 was not only a generous gift, but much needed.
“Being affected with COVID and donations being down and things, it was a blessing to receive that and know that we’re not changing our budget a whole lot, because that’s a number we know we’re getting,” said Major Robinson.
Major Robinson said money has been tight lately.
“I think we’ve gotten $2,000 in the last three weeks,” said Major Robinson. “That starts us on a downward trend that we want to get turned back around so we’re not looking at the bare shelves at the end of the summer and have no funds to restock anything.”
Major Robinson said the Lawton Salvation Army will not get all the money from the check at once, but rather it will be divided up between their programs with about $9,000 total every month.
Marie Detty New Directions program director, Kerri Mathews, said their check of $120,000 could not have come at a better time.
“We can’t afford to stop the services we provide, because no matter what’s going on, domestic violence, sexual assault does not stop,” said Mathews. “Especially during a pandemic when people are having to shelter in place, it increases the danger of survivors and when they can’t get away from their abuser, they’re stuck in a house, it can definitely make things escalate.”
Mathews said she is grateful for the generosity of both the United Way, and the donations from southwest Oklahoma residents that made it possible.
“So thankful people came together and still support the agencies in their community that rely so heavily on funding, because if we’re not here things are not going to be the same,” said Mathews. “It’s good to be in a community where so many good things happen and people come together.”
A few of the other organizations given checks by United Way include Family Promise, Roadback Inc. and the Center for Creative Living.